Under the Oxford Pakistan Program, Pakistani students and faculty members will be able to apply for graduate scholarships and visiting fellowships at Oxford University (OPP).
The initiative, which has received significant backing from Oxford University, the Pakistan High Commission in London, and the British High Commission in Islamabad, was inaugurated during a high-profile ceremony at Pakistan’s embassy in London.
Aside from that, the Oxford Pakistan Program has received over £500,000 in pledges from Pakistani businessmen and prominent members of the Pakistani community in the UK.
It is the idea of University of Oxford Professor Adeel Malik, Dr Talha J. Pirzada, Lecturer in Aerospace Materials, and Haroon Zaman, Trainee Lawyer at Travers Smith in London. Oxford graduates Minahil Saqib and Dr. Mohsin Javed aided them in their endeavour.
Delighted to announce the launch of Oxford Pakistan Programme (OPP), a major new initiative on education and public diplomacy at @UniofOxford
— Adeel Malik (@AdeelMalikOx) October 3, 2021
A large number of Oxonians, senior Oxford academicians, scholars, and writers attended the event, including Malala Yousafzai; Alan Rusbridger, former editor of The Guardian; Sir Tim Hitchens, President of Wolfson College; Christine Gerrard, Principal of Lady Margaret Hall; and Nick Brown, Principal of Linacre College; and renowned author Victoria Schofield.
Syed Babar Ali, founder of the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), described this endeavour as a “historic endeavour” that will open up various chances for Pakistani researchers in his keynote speech at the ceremony.
Malala Yousafzai, a strong backer of this project, recently announced a significant new scholarship that would allow one Pakistani girl from a low-income family to study at Oxford each year.
Senior University officials emphasised the historic link between Pakistan and Oxford, praising the achievements of numerous Pakistani leaders who studied at Oxford, including Liaquat Ali Khan, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Benazir Bhutto, and Pakistan’s current Prime Minister, Imran Khan.
Several prominent academics attended the occasion.
Christian Turner, the British High Commissioner to Pakistan, characterised the Oxford Pakistan Initiative as a watershed moment in developing academic ties between the UK and Pakistan. He described the 1.6 million British Pakistani population as a “living bridge” between the United Kingdom and Pakistan.