The Politics of the Oxford Union


Date of Publication: 30 November 2014

Having shared with you some photos of the Oxford Union and some information about its illustrious history, I thought I would give you all the inside track on a part of the Oxford Union that you don’t see unless you’re at Oxford. Its internal politics:

The Oxford Union is known for the debates and speakers it has – as well as the debaters who, from the Union, represent Oxford in international competitions around the world.

What is less well known is the internal politics: To hold the illustrious office of ‘President of the Oxford Union’ you have to climb the greasiest of greasy poles in student politics. It isn’t tame and it is sometimes very nasty, but it truly makes the Oxford Union a training ground for the rough and tumble world of Westminster politics (or even international politics).

Those students that succeed in getting the hundreds of votes needed to win (without breaking the many rules for elections that the Union enforces) will drink and dine with CEOs, Presidents, Prime Ministers, International Businessmen and Financiers, Politicians, Authors, Musicians and Royalty. Not only that, but the experience of running the Union, and the prestige associated with it will give you the most impressive of CV points, invaluable in the world of work – whether that is politics or not.

The prize of being President of the Oxford Union is one worth fighting for. Your name will join that of Prime Ministers and Presidents who have held the position previously, and your chances of being an MP if you choose to enter UK politics are 1 in 3!

When you examine the Presidential photos which line the walls of the Union, you will see not just incredibly capable and promising people (many of whom are now internationally known), but people who have, against all the odds, secured the most coveted of elected positions in students politics, who have fought their way to the top of the pile, and won.

When you get a chance to visit the Oxford Union with us at Oxford Summer Courses, shown round by students, some of whom have been involved in the politics of the Union, and many of whom will have regularly attended talks and debates at it, you will get a true glimpse into and account of the side of the Oxford Union often not seen by those who just visit by themselves.

Read more about the history of Oxford here: Is history really around every corner in Oxford?

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