The University of Oxford welcomes several hundred students with an Indian-origin each year. The number of Indians increase with the inclusion of post-doctoral researchers, other academics and staff. there are many academics and institutions at Oxford that have been and are studying various facets of India. With such a thriving base, the University of oxford-India Society (OIS) was established in 2003, with an aim to represent India and brought together a community at Oxford.OIS have always strongly believed in the Indian philosophy of “Vasudhaiv kutumbakam “, or global oneness. As such, our member also comes from multiple ethnicity/nationalities. While the dominance of current students (undergraduates and graduates), research fellows and senior academics make us one of the largest student-id and elected international bodies at Oxford, a good portion of membership constitutes our alumni.
We create a home away from home for Indian and related students. However, our efforts are not restricted to current students we also run event that can help new student settle comfortably at Oxford. Our existing members realize the challenges frequently faced during the transition to anew academic setting, city or country and as such, they play a huge role by acting as the friendly source of guidance to incoming students every year. The university offices students and we work alongside to ensure a smooth experience for Indians.Our activities include hosting a diverse range of events throughout an academic year. Recently, we have curated a scheme entitled “where our goal is to bring together influential leaders, students, and professionals to engage and connect thoughtfully over discussions on a vast range of subjects that are idea focused, foster learning and inspire conversations.
Under this program, we have attracted leaders such as, Dr Shashi Tharoor, Sourav Ganguly, Kailash Satyarthi Advocate Abha Sing, Dr Ajay Piramal, Radhanath Swami, Lord Karan Bilimoria, Lord Jitesh Gadhia, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Meenakshi Arora, Mahesh Jethmalani, to name a few, to examine and speak about issues ranging from politics to law etc. with a primary focus on India. we regularly host contemporary Indian debates and panel events. Our cultural events involve organizing dance, musical and theatre performance. In the past, we have facilitated individual performance by renowned Indian artists, such as Pt Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Mysore brothers, and festivals showing Indian classical arts. Last year, OIS had the opportunity to partner and celebrate the concluding highlight of the fruitful UK-India Year of culture.
Our social events are large celebrations of India festivals and national occasions, exciting Bollywood nights food festivals and social meets with broader south Asian base. These all provide an opportunity for students with each other and developed a supportive network. Further, we actively promote the favorite Indian sports, for instance, cricket, kabaddi, badminton, and football along with university sports clubs.
Cricket fever is witnessed during summers at Oxford, with representatives of various nations competing in an annual series Our players also participate in different sports in national competitions hosted by various Indian organizations in the UK. Our teams have performed excellently, at times claiming the series titles.
Several initiatives and the guidance of our senior advisors have added to the growth of our society as an inclusive platform, making OIS well recognized and applauded for its India related activities. Today, we extensively work together with many institutions within and outside Oxford.
Our major collaborations for speaker events are with the Asian Studies Centre at St. Anthony’s college for Sustainable Development at Somerville college and said business School. we often host our social, cultural or charitable events in partnership with other India related institutions, South Asian Societies, and many oxford collages. The support of these partners has allowed OIS to hold a great out-reach and increase the impact of its work.