What is the OPP?
The University of Oxford enjoys a historically strong relationship with Pakistan. Six Prime Ministers and two Presidents of Pakistan have studied at Oxford. Benazir Bhutto, the first female Prime Minister of Pakistan, was a LMH alumna (PPE, 1973).
As a truly global university, Oxford recruits the best students from around the world. A typical graduate degree at Oxford costs £45,000 a year and the concern, evidenced by statistical data is that financial constraints are preventing British Pakistani students and students from Pakistan from taking up their places at Oxford. 20 Pakistani students every year cannot accept offers from Oxford because they cannot afford it. Only around 12 undergraduate and 45 graduate students attended Oxford in 2021, despite over 60% of Pakistan’s 220 million people being under the age of 30. British Pakistanis are the most underrepresented BAME group at the graduate level in Oxford.
This loss of intellectual capital is to the detriment of both Oxford and Pakistan. Part of the OPP’s long-term ambition is to encourage a greater representation and study of Pakistan at Oxford and to develop a community of donors who will widen access for the most talented and deserving graduate students who are either from Pakistan or who are British Pakistani.
The OPP is the first initiative of its kind, in which a concerted attempt is being made to generate momentum on various Pakistan-related activities at the University of Oxford. The OPP’s principal aims are to:
- Increase the representation of Pakistani and British Pakistani students at the University of Oxford;
- Raise the academic profile of Pakistan, and Pakistan-related studies at the University of Oxford; and
- Act as a bridge between the University of Oxford and Pakistan’s academic communities through the exchange of scholars and the sharing of scholarship.
LMH and the OPP
Lady Margaret Hall is spearheading the creation of a wider Oxford Pakistan Programme through the LMH-Pakistan Initiative. This will establish six pillars of support:
i. Graduate Scholarships based at LMH – to provide funding for Pakistani and British Pakistani students wishing to study at Oxford. We are seeking to create meaningful scholarships, ranging from partial scholarships to full funding at £45,000pa per student.
ii. Graduate Bursaries - to provide support to Pakistani and British Pakistani students studying at LMH who are most in need of financial support to continue their studies.
iii. Research grants - to provide support to MPhil and DPhil students of any background who are studying Pakistan or a Pakistan-related topic, with the aim of encouraging the study of Pakistan at Oxford. £5,000 per year.
iv. Visiting Student Programme - to accept two students to LMH from the Lahore University of Management Sciences each year to spend a term in Oxford enabling them to complement their undergraduate studies with the rich academic experience of Oxford. £6,000 per year.
v. Malala Visiting Fellowship in Education - to provide a groundbreaking, fully-funded fellowship in education for an early career academic to develop a teacher training curriculum to support the establishment of a two-year Master's of Education for teachers in the Sindh province of Pakistan, in collaboration with the Malala Fund, Oxford's Department of Education and local partners.
vi. Access Programme - to support a range of activities, both in the UK and Pakistan, to address the underrepresentation in Oxford of Pakistani-origin students, including school visits and the distribution of materials to encourage and support applications to Oxford, in collaboration with both the Undergraduate Admissions & Outreach team and the Graduate Admissions & Recruitment team at Oxford.
You can find out more about the OPP on its website.
LMH would like to thank to the following for making this work possible:
- Malala Fund
- Syed Sheharyar Ali
- Ghani Dadabhoy
- Sarwar Khawaja
- Asad Ghauri and Omer Ghauri
- Areeb Azam
- Mohammad Nawaz Khokhar
- Ahmed Owais Pirzada
- Tariq Zaman
- British Council
- The High Commission for Pakistan
- Bilal Hussain
Further details can be found on the OPP website.
Support the LMH Pakistan Initiative
The OPP is a labour of love and survives on the extraordinary generosity of our donors. We believe in the power of small, concerted efforts which can unlock impactful change.
We are the only initiative of its kind to be generating world-class academic opportunities for students of Pakistani origin, as well as supporting such a diverse platform of academic activity on Pakistan at one of the best universities in the world.
The OPP is a campaign for Pakistan which has, in the past two years, created a rich and diverse network of businesspeople, professionals, policymakers, academics and students, who are working together to build the OPP into a long-standing vehicle for change and community uplift.
We are a platform for the delivery of effective and diverse initiatives on Pakistan at Oxford, which is owned by all those who may be interested in such work, and we encourage you to join with us in this collective effort.
Professor Adeel Malik - Adeel is Co-Founder of the OPP and its Academic Lead. He is an Associate Professor at the University of Oxford and the Globe Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies.
Dr Talha J. Pirzada - Talha is Co-Founder of the OPP and its Development Lead. He is a Junior Research Fellow and Lecturer at the University of Oxford as well as being Research & Technology Manager at Cross Manufacturing Company Ltd.
Haroon Zaman - Haroon is Co-Founder of the OPP and its Management Lead. He is a Trainee Lawyer at Travers Smith LLP.
Minahil Saqib - Minahil is the OPP Outreach Lead and is an Associate Director at Barclays.