The Weidenfeld-Hoffmann Trust is a unique educational charity supporting global young leaders to participate in high level academic study, discussion and debate.

History of the Trust

George Weidenfeld, Lord Weidenfeld of Chelsea GBE, was a distinguished publisher and philanthropist. It was his passionate commitment to learning that inspired the foundation of both the unique Weidenfeld Scholarships and Leadership Programme and the Humanitas activities.

To mark the occasion of Lord Weidenfeld’s 95th Birthday an endowment fund for the Scholarships was launched in 2015. This initiative was kickstarted by Mr André Hoffmann with a generous philanthropic gift of £5 million. As a result, the Weidenfeld-Hoffmann Trust (WHT) was established the same year to focus on the development and expansion of the scholarships, alongside other important educational initiatives. In 2017, to celebrate the Trust’s tenth anniversary, Mr Hoffmann made a further gift of £9 million. This extraordinary provision has firmly embedded the Trust and its work with the University of Oxford.

The Trust aims to build on both Lord Weidenfeld’s and André Hoffmann’s commitment to education through its flagship Scholarships and Leadership Programme. To learn more about the life and achievements of Lord Weidenfeld please read our short biography here. A profile of Mr Hoffmann can be found here.

Weidenfeld-Hoffmann Scholarships & Leadership Programme

The WHT runs the Weidenfeld-Hoffmann Scholarships and Leadership Programme based at the University of Oxford. The Trust provides around thirty graduate scholarships a year for young leaders from developing and emerging countries to study at Oxford and participate in a specially created Leadership Programme which gives them the tools to return to their countries and make a difference in whichever sphere they can. You can read more about the aims of the Programme here.

Lord Weidenfeld believed, rightly, that Oxford is a place where ignorance, prejudice and narrowmindedness have no place. It is a community where there has long existed a real and deep-seated desire to pursue the knowledge and understanding that, through thought and action, will help make the world a better place for all its people.

Professor Louise Richardson, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford

Humanitas Programme

The WHT was also home to the Humanitas Programme, a network of Visiting Professorships run in partnership with the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. The Programme invited influential experts from around the world to take up short-term visiting professorships, speaking on a broad range of topics in the arts, humanities and social sciences. Humanitas offered a platform for experts who usually work outside academia to make a valuable contribution to the debate on the important issues facing society today through events which are free and accessible to all. Their lectures and conversations are also available online.

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