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Oxford Pakistan Program For Pakistani Students Initiated By Oxford University

A large and new platform for educational access and public diplomacy for Pakistani students at Lady Margaret Hall of Oxford University has been launched under the name Oxford Pakistan Program.

The launch was attended by about 200 distinguished guests including Malala Yousafzai, Pakistan’s High Commissioner Moazzam Ali Khan, British MP Naz Shah, Yasmeen Qureshi, and Pakistani-American businessman Sohaib Abbasi.

Senior academics and organizers from Oxford University also attended the event, including LMH Principal Professor Christine Gerrard, Mansfield College Principal Helen Mountfield QC, Academic Registrar Dr Saira Sheikh, Director Admissions Undergraduate Dr Samina Khan. Also in attendance were Dr. Nadia Polini, Director of Admissions, and Leslie Elder, Chief Development Officer.

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The Oxford Pakistan Program OPP is the first of its kind to make a concerted effort to fill the under-representation gap between Pakistani and British Pakistani students at Oxford.

The program also aims to enhance Pakistan’s academic profile, and promote academic exchanges between Oxford University and Pakistan.

The OPP is led by Oxford educationists and alumni, including Prof. Adeel Malik, Dr. Talha J. Pirzada, Haroon Zaman, and Manahel Saqib.

Dr. Adeel Malik, Co-Founder and Academic Lead of OPP, highlighted the need to move beyond tradition to expand scientific dialogue in Pakistan.

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He explained how Pakistan could serve as a useful laboratory for some of the key questions in the social sciences, ranging from climate change, social justice to tax reform.

Dr. Malik launched the Allama Muhammad Iqbal Lecture Series (“Iqbal Lecture”), named after the poet, philosopher and jurist Allama Muhammad Iqbal.

The inaugural ceremony of the Iqbal Lecture was held on Thursday, May 19, 2022 in association with the Dadabhaya Foundation, in which Col. Columbia University Professor Wile B. Halqal spoke on the topic “Ethics of Empire and Wealth: Ibn Khaldun and the Modern State”. The lecture was live-streamed at 20 universities across Pakistan.

Dr. Talha J. Pirzada, co-founder of OPP, stated that approximately ً 1 million has been pledged over the next five years to fund various initiatives as part of OPP. Scholarship program for graduate students is also included.

He explained that despite the fact that more than 60% of Pakistan’s 220 million population is under 30 years of age, every year more than 20 Pakistani students take up the offer of graduates to study at Oxford due to lack of funds.

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Haroon Zaman, another co-founder of OPP, highlighted how, despite being the UK’s second largest ethnic minority community, British Pakistanis are the least represented group at Oxford University.

Mr Zaman announced the launch of the OPP’s Bursary Program, which provides additional financial support to current Pakistani-born graduate students at Oxford.

He also launched the OPP Access Program, which will facilitate school visits for Oxford students and recent alumni, to meet with prospective Oxbridge applicants in UK schools who are British Pakistani. Located in areas with a high number of students, virtual engagements should also be started with schools in Pakistan.

OPP Outreach Lead Manahel Saqib launches OPP’s internship program through which OPP will partner with Venture for Pakistan to provide internship opportunities to graduates from Oxford and Pakistani universities. ۔ The program will provide participants with the opportunity to experience Pakistan’s growing startup ecosystem.

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On the occasion, Dr. Naji Benahsen, Country Director for Pakistan at the World Bank, announced a new internship program with OPP, under which four students from Oxford University and four students from a public sector university in Pakistan visit Islamabad every year. Will be able to do an internship at the existing World Bank office.

Malala Yousafzai, the youngest Nobel laureate to date, has announced the establishment of a graduate scholarship for Pakistani women at Oxford as part of the OPP and wished that OPP Become a long-term plan.

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also described the OPP as an important effort to advance educational access and engagement.

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He expressed pride that LMH was being supported by OPP, the college where his beloved mother Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Shaheed had studied.

LUMS founder Syed Babar Ali also described the move as a historic effort that has the potential for great change.

Dr. Elizabeth Kiss, Warden of Rhodes House and CEO of Rhodes Trust, announced the Rhodes Trust’s campaign for the second Rhodes Scholarship for Pakistan, which is supported by the OPP.

A group of Pakistani Rhodes scholars, led by TRG Global CEO Muhammad Khishgi, has already raised 60 60,000 for this purpose.

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