Balliol College have a travel grant specifically for Old Etonians so they can get paid to study ‘poor people’.
An Oxford College is offering a massive travel grant for Old Etonians to study poor people.
Details emerged last week that Balliol College offers a whopping £4,000 postgraduate pay-packet for any student who had been schooled at Eton to study at a foreign university for a year.
There is a catch, however. The terms of this Gap Yah clearly state that applicants’ work must involve “a study of the social conditions of poor people”.
The fund was set up in the will of a Mrs D.J. Vaughan in the 1950s. While priority is given to Balliol students, any old Etonian at Oxford who fancies roughing it for a year is eligible to apply.
Balliol-Eton alumni include former Conservative PM Harold Macmillan and gaffe-prone Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.
The news is another blow to Oxford, which is desperately trying to shake off its rah-putation after a string of embarrassing revelations this year.
In January, 19 year-old Elly Nowell dramatically sent Magdalen College her own rejection letter, claiming it deliberately “intimidates state school applicants”, while last month, the notoriously elitist OUCA was expelled for the second time in three years after dining-and-dashing at a Pall Mall club.
Because the grant was part of a will, Balliol can’t do anything to change the details of the award, meaning young toffs will be paid to live like common people and see whatever common people do for years to come.
Fitz student Noreen Masud, who went to Jesus College, Oxford, has come up with a novel way to redress the balance, however.
“I think they should make the application process so involved and arduous that, in practice, it’s impossible to apply. Then they reabsorb the money.”
“Perhaps an application fee of £4,001?” she suggested.