Balliol College, Oxford

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Balliol College

Balliol College (pronounced /ˈbeɪliəl/), founded in 1263,[1] is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England but founded by Scottish academics.

Traditionally, the undergraduates are amongst the most politically active in the university, and the college's alumni include three former prime ministers. H. H. Asquith (a Balliol undergraduate and British Prime Minister) once wryly described Balliol men as possessing "the tranquil consciousness of an effortless superiority". Adam Smith, a graduate student of the college, is perhaps its best known alumnus. During Benjamin Jowett's Mastership in the 19th century, the College rose from its relative obscurity to occupy the first rank of colleges, and indeed continues to play a prominent role. In 2006, 45.1% of finalists got First Class Honours degrees, a higher proportion than any other Oxford college has ever achieved, and was placed second in the Norrington Table. As of 2009, Balliol had an endowment of £64 m.[2]



The College was founded in about 1263 (leading some to argue that it is the University's oldest college, a claim contested by University College and Merton College) by John I de Balliol under the guidance of the Bishop of Durham. After his death in 1268, his widow, Dervorguilla of Galloway, made arrangements to ensure the permanence of the college. She provided capital and, in 1282, formulated the college statutes, documents that survive to this day.

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