In 1801 Oxford introduced the idea of class degrees, which was developed into four classes of degree and a pass degree. It is true that the idea, on Balliol’s part, to open ‘free’ places to scholarship candidates had a very powerful influence too. Were the Grandes Ecoles in France to award class degrees rather than the undifferentiated diplomes, the effect might revolutionise the style of study and reinvigorate French academic thinking.