A Passage to Oxford: Oxford University and its links to India


Date of Publication: 20 February 2018

The University of Oxford may be some 4,200 miles from Delhi, but that has done little to hinder the world-famous institution’s relationship with the nation of India. It was, in fact, a scholar from New College, Oxford who became the first Englishman on record to visit India in 1579. The first Indian students to attend the university arrived in 1871, and the bridge between Oxford and India has grown stronger ever since. Today, Oxford has 80 Indian academics and 380 Indian students studying degree courses. There are also over 1,500 Indian Oxford alumni who have made and are making an impact on the global stage, including:

  • Former prime ministers Manmohan Singh and Indira Gandhi
  • Cornelia Sorabji, India’s first female lawyer
  • Actress Soha Ali Khan
  • Cricketer Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi
  • Writers Amitav Ghosh and Vikram Seth

Oxford students have also been taught by some of the greatest Indian minds, including Nobel Peace Prize winner Amartya Sen, and former president Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. Today’s Indian Oxford academics are working on researching, innovating, and collaborating across a full spectrum of subject areas: the INDOX partnership practises cutting-edge cancer research; the Said Business School has run the India Business Forum for over ten years; and the Sealinks project is exploring the history and geography of the first people to sail the Indian Ocean. As the second fastest-growing nationality in Oxford’s international student population, Indian Oxford students (or “Oxonians”) can be found contributing to every element of university life. The Oxford Majlis Society, for example, is the university’s second oldest student society (founded 1896), and the oldest Asian student society in the world. The society has a typically strong Indian membership, and has hosted speakers such as Ravi Shankar in recent years. Indira Gandhi was a member of the Majlis Society whilst studying at Somerville College! So, what is attracting so many Indian students to Oxford? We think the answer is simple:

  • The opportunity to study what you are passionate about with world-leading experts
  • A style of learning that helps you develop and defend your own unique views
  • The ability to build skills to help you fulfil your goals for the future
  • The most exciting academic challenge the world can offer!

Oxford Summer Courses has enjoyed welcoming hundreds of Indian students to Oxford since 2010. Even though we are not part of the university itself, we have years of experience of its famous teaching style and traditions, and can understand why students the world over are so keen to experience what it has to offer. In 2018, we are bringing the authentic Oxford experience to India, with courses in a variety of subjects from Creative Writing to Medicine, all taught by Oxford experts. If you’d like to challenge yourself and get a taste of the world’s most famous university, why not join us in India this year?

Ready to explore our India course options? Learn more here: https://bridgemark1.wpengine.com/location/india/

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