Blavatnik School of Government

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Blavatnik School of Government
Established 2010 (2010)
Type Public
Parent institution
University of Oxford
Dean Ngaire Woods
Postgraduates 62 (2014)
Location Oxford, England, U.K.
Blavatnik School of Government logo.jpg

The Blavatnik School of Government (BSG) was founded in 2010 at the University of Oxford in England.[1][2][3] The School was made possible by a £75 million donation from Leonard Blavatnik, supported by £26 million from the University of Oxford.[4]


The School began accepting students in September 2012 and initially only offered one course: The Master of Public Policy (MPP) which seeks to prepare students for a career in public service, whether in government, non-governmental organisations or the private sector.[5] The MPP programme's goal is to develop students’ analytical skills and critical thinking in order to help them understand better the challenges of government: the framing of public policy, implementation and delivery in government, and the evaluation of performance and results. It aims to equip students with the key practical skills – such as negotiation, and managing budgets - that are essential for effective public service. The course is intensive and runs from mid-September to the end of August. A DPhil in Public Policy is offered from September 2014.[6] A range of short courses is also offered for senior professionals and practitioners on specific policy challenges.[7]


On 6 October 2011,[8] Professor Ngaire Woods was announced as the first Dean of the School and Herzog & de Meuron as the architects of the School's planned permanent home on the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter. Monica Toft is Professor of Public Policy at the School and Sir Paul Collier is Professor of Economics and Public Policy.[9][10]


The School is located in Merton Street, but it is planned that it will move to Oxford University's Radcliffe Observatory Quarter on Walton Street.[11] once a new building, designed by Herzog & de Meuron, has been completed. The planned building is taller than Carfax Tower in the centre of Oxford, causing opposition to the scheme by local residents in the Jericho district of the city and elsewhere.[12] The Campaign to Protect Port Meadow that has been formed to oppose the Castle Mill development, to the west and visible from Port Meadow, has expressed concerns about this scheme as well.

The proposed site is immediately to the south of the café/bar Freud, in the historic 1836 Greek revival St Paul's Church on Walton Street.[13] The scheme has been opposed by the cafe's owner, David Freud, due to its size compared to the church building. The site is also opposite the classical Oxford University Press building. In Spring 2013, a public meeting was held in St Barnabas Church and the building was described as "a concrete marshmallow".[14] A historic wall on Walton Street would be demolished as part of the plans.[13]


The Blavatnik School of Government admits graduate students for its Master of Public Policy and DPhil in Public Policy programmes. Applications are made through University of Oxford’s central Graduate Admissions and Funding Office.[15]

Admissions to the Blavatnik School of Government is highly competitive. Latest available admissions statistics listed the Master of Public Policy programme, with an admissions rate of 11.3%, as the most selective taught graduate programme at the University of Oxford, and the third most selective graduate programme overall.[16]


  1. ^ "Blavatnik School of Government launched". UK: University of Oxford. 20 September 2010. Retrieved 20 February 2011. 
  2. ^ Oxford University to open school of government The Telegraph, 20 September 2010; Retrieved 20 February 2011
  3. ^ School of Government launched at Oxford University BBC News, 20 September 2010; Retrieved 20 February 2011
  4. ^ Oil tycoon's £75m gift for Oxford University school BBC News, 17 June 2010; Retrieved 20 February 2011
  5. ^ "Master of Public Policy". UK: Blavatnik School of Government. 
  6. ^ "DPhil in Public Policy". UK: Blavatnik School of Government. 
  7. ^ "Short courses for senior practitioners". UK: Blavatnik School of Government. 
  8. ^ Blavatnik School of Government announcements University of Oxford, 6 October 2011
  9. ^ "Monica Toft | Blavatnik School of Government". Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  10. ^ "Paul Collier". 
  11. ^ Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, University of Oxford, 27 May 2010; Retrieved 20 February 2011.
  12. ^ Little, Reg (28 February 2013). "University is facing battle over £30 Jericho plan". The Oxford Times. pp. 1, 3. 
  13. ^ a b Little, Reg (7 March 2013). "Shadow over cafe culture". The Oxford Times. p. 29. 
  14. ^ Fantato, Damian (4 April 2013). "'A concrete marshmallow': Damian Fantato reports from a public meeting on controversial proposals for Jericho". The Oxford Times. p. 10. 
  15. ^ "How to apply". 
  16. ^

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°45′06″N 1°15′03″W / 51.7517°N 1.2508°W / 51.7517; -1.2508