Weidenfeld-Hoffmann Scholar Abhishek Parajuli presents at TEDxOxford
WHT Scholar Abhishek Parajuli recently gave a talk on the impact of foreign aid at TEDxOxford. Drawing upon his MPhil research, Abhishek questioned whether or not the impact of foreign aid is always as positive as we hope. His thesis, that foreign aid can cause citizens to worry less about corruption, is controversial, but allows space for researchers and practitioners to design new and more effective mechanisms for distributing aid.
Louis Dreyfus Scholar Nidhi Singh presents at international Law Conferences
Weidenfeld-Hoffmann Trust Donald Trump Inaugural Debate and Q&A with Sir Trevor McDonald
The election of Donald Trump as President of the United States has been greeted with both astonishment and fear. Since his election Trump has come to symbolise a new brand of reactionary politics, one that breeds on economic frustration, resentment towards migrants and hostility towards minorities. In the age of Marine Le Penn and Geert Wilders, the election of Trump is seen as the harbinger of a spring of nationalism. Even more disconcerting are recent appointments to the Trump Cabinet and White House as these suggest that America no longer holds true to the values of life, liberty, and equality in the pursuit of happiness. Rather, Trump’s America is viewed as one that accepts misogyny, tolerates bigotry and neglects equality. The question that soon arises is should the world turn its back on Trump’s America?
This is the motion that will be debated at the upcoming Trump Inaugural Debate organized by the Weidenfeld-Hoffmann Scholarships and Leadership Programme. The Debate will be followed by a special Q&A with Sir Trevor McDonald on the topic of “Did the Media Get Trump Elected?”
Trevor McDonald has over 40 years of experience in the media and was the first black Briton to present a national news programme. Recently he has presented a number of documentaries on America, with a focus on incarceration and the death penalty. McDonald was knighted in 1999 for his services to British journalism.
To sign up for the event go to
Update: Please note that tickets are currently sold out. Join our waiting list to be notified when more tickets become available
WHT Michaelmas Newsletter now available
This term has seen the WHT enrol our 10th class of scholars, mark the remarkable life and contributions of Lord Weidenfeld and develop new and exciting aspects of our leadership programme, all while our alumni continue to achieve remarkable things around the world. To catch up on what we’ve been up to, and for an overview of our upcoming events, read our newsletter here.
Oxford-Weidenfeld and Hoffmann-Rausing/Abraham Scholar Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh (DPhil International Relations, 2013-18) has been shortlisted for the prestigious Tafelberg City Press Nonfiction Award. The biennial award is made to works dealing with the realities of South Africa. As a developmental award, it is given to works in the manuscript stage to encourage the progress of writings which provide an insight into South African issues.
Sizwe’s manuscript, Democracy and Delusion, will address ten of the major political issues facing South Africa and draw conclusions regarding the involvement of the government in the economy, the provision of free education and reforms to land ownership. Democracy and Delusion is slated for publication towards the end of 2016.
The Tafelberg City Press Nonfiction Award is one of South Africa’s leading literary prizes, with past winners including Don Pinnock – whose account of gang culture in Cape Town, Gang Town, was published this year – and Maria Phalime, author of Postmortem: The Doctor Who Walked Away, an account of the many challenges facing South African’s healthcare system.
Weidnefeld-Hoffmann Scholar Irina Fedorenko has recently been recognised by Enterprising Oxford as a leading young entrepreneur for her start-up, Bubblenut Wash. Alongside fellow WHT Scholars Manas Nanda and Maheen Iqbal, Irina founded the organic laundry powder company last year. Bubblenuts are a natural cleansing agent, harvested from trees in India. As a social enterprise, Bubblenut Wash deals directly with female suppliers of the nuts in villages, helping with female empowerment in rural areas. In addition, by turning trees into a productive economic resource, they contribute to enhancing environmental protection in India and give villagers an economic incentive to participate in protection programmes.
They are currently raising funds to expand their availability within the UK via crowdfunding.
WHT Projects Manager
Are you a project manager with demonstrable experience of co-ordinating several areas of responsibility and maintaining relationships with a range of colleagues and partners? Would you like to play a part in delivering one of Oxford’s unique and well-respected Scholarship Programmes?
The Weidenfeld-Hoffmann Trust (WHT) is looking for a well organised, efficient Projects Manager to join a small dynamic team in Oxford to work on the administration, delivery and strategic development of its activities.
Established in 2007, the Scholarships & Leadership Programme provides talented young graduates from developing and emerging economies with full scholarships to University of Oxford, alongside a specially created leadership training programme focusing on the skills they will need to become leaders in whatever fields they choose on a national and global scale. Full details of the programme can be found on our website: http://whtrust.org
The successful candidate will have strong and demonstrable experience of project management, including events and financial management. He or she will be able to work on their own initiative and enjoy being the hub of a small tight-knit team, providing support across a wide range of activity as required.
Salary: £28,000-£33,000 (depending on experience)
Hours: Full time, including some evening and weekend working for events and during busy periods. Overtime will not be paid, but time off in lieu can be taken upon agreement with the WHT Director.
Leave entitlement: 20 days plus bank holidays
Contract type: 12 months in first instance
How to apply: Please send your CV and a covering letter to email@example.com In your letter you should include details of your relevant experience and why you would be well-suited for the role, with reference to the job description and person specification. The subject line of your e-mail should read: Application for the position of Projects Manager.
Recruitment timetable: The deadline for applications is 12 noon on Friday 15 July 2016, with interviews taking place during w/c 18 July in Oxford.
2015 – 16 Hoffmann Lecture: A Circular Economy
Ken Webster – Head of Innovation, The Ellen MacArthur Foundation
Our existing linear ‘take, make and dispose’ economy is struggling. There are better narratives. Could a circular economy provide a key to prosperity in the future by leveraging the information technology revolution and our understanding of feedback rich systems? The aim is to create effective flows of energy, materials and information (especially money) and rebuild or regenerate natural and social capital. The potential is cheaper access to goods and services and an abundance of solutions to meet the desire for a better quality of life. Could the opposite also be true: increased scarcity and loss of autonomy?
The Hoffmann Lecture is given each year in recognition of the generosity and support of Mr André Hoffmann for the Weidenfeld Scholarships & Leadership Programme at University of Oxford.
This unique Programme cultivates the leaders of tomorrow by providing outstanding university graduates and young professionals from emerging and transitional economies with the opportunity to pursue fully-funded graduate studies at the University of Oxford, combined with a specially created programme of leadership development, long-term mentoring and networking.
Since its foundation in 2007, the Programme has supported 177 Weidenfeld Scholars originating from 53 countries and studying across 30 different academic departments at Oxford.
For more information, please visit www.whtrust.org
WHEN: Wednesday, 2 March 2016 from 17:30 to 18:30 (GMT)
WHERE: Saint Cross College – 61 St. Giles Oxford OX1 3LZ GB
Lord Weidenfeld’s funeral
Alexandra Henderson, CEO and Director of the Weidenfeld-Hoffmann Trust, recently attended Lord Weidenfeld’s funeral in Israel, and has shared her impressions of the day.
A small group of us close friends joined the family to witness George being taken to his last resting place on the Mount of Olives. A few years ago George had told me that his friend, Jacqui Safra, had suddenly announced that he had secured a very special present for him and Annabelle – burial plots for them both in Jerusalem. Although it seemed impossible that his body could be spirited there within forty eight hours, this is just what happened.
By Friday morning a group of around thirty had arrived from different corners of the world and we set off from Tel Aviv in a convoy of people carriers. It was a beautiful, sunny, warm day and as a newcomer to the country I was struck by the stark landscape that we drove through. Suddenly we found ourselves in a traffic jam winding our way around the hillside outside the walls of the city, tiny roads full of honking horns and impatient travellers whilst on each side, behind stone walls and gates was a sea of white. We stopped the traffic as we went up and down looking for the right gate. Eventually we saw a small group of people in sombre clothes and guessed we were at the right spot. We joined others who had come from Tel Aviv and then, just behind Annabelle, were two young men carrying the simple shroud which they put down, quite roughly, on a trolley feet away from the grave.
We gathered round and there followed a series of wonderful tributes: Israeli politicians joined former ambassadors, friends and relations – all highlighted how George had personally touched their lives: from friendship, to advice both personal and professional, from publishing their books (his mantra on meeting anyone was: ‘I am sure you have a book in you’), to memories of the legendary parties he gave. Above all, they reflected his interest in people: introducing people to each other, bringing people together for all his myriad projects, trying to build bridges wherever he could and all the time enjoying life to the full.
Looking around as we stood right amongst the hundreds of stone graves with olive trees and palm trees beyond and high up above us the ancient walls of the city, I couldn’t think of a more perfect place for George to be buried. The burial was a swift business – just placing the shroud in the ground, putting slabs of stone on top and adding bags of soil. It could not have fitted the words dust to dust more aptly.
We each added a clod of earth or a stone and took a last look at the beautiful surroundings. Before long we were spirited off to the King David hotel where Annabelle had arranged a welcome buffet and we did what George liked so much – we ate, we drank and we talked. We were only sad he wasn’t with us, as he would have enjoyed it all so much.
I have known George for over forty years but only got the chance to work with him in the last few, most recently to set up the Weidenfeld-Hoffmann Trust to oversee the scholarships and leadership programme for graduate students from emerging economies to study in Oxford, and the Humanitas programme of visiting fellowships in both Oxford and Cambridge. I shall miss the frequent phone calls, a rather breathless voice starting with: ‘I have just had a VERRRY interesting meeting/lunch…’ followed soon after by: ‘And what news do YOU have’. That last question urged me on and now it is up to me and my colleagues to keep that focus. We have laid the foundations, which, thanks to the great generosity of George’s friends, guarantees that there will be Weidenfeld-Hoffmann scholars in perpetuity, but we have much to do to increase the numbers and cement the leadership programme along with continuing our Humanitas events, which attract interest from across the world.
Lord Weidenfeld’s final resting place on the Mount of Olives
Lord Weidenfeld (1919 – 2016)
We at the Weidenfeld Hoffmann Trust were very saddened to hear the news of Lord Weidenfeld’s death. We have lost a great supporter of international education and debate. Through great personal effort, he gave scholars from across the world a unique opportunity to study in a world class institution at Oxford and thereby changed their lives. Their contributions, both to Oxford and to the countries they live in, will provide a lasting legacy of dialogue, discussion and, above all, peace. He was extremely proud of all of the scholars he supported, and we look forward to continuing to provide these opportunities in his memory.
Among many other projects, Lord Weidenfeld devised the Humanitas programme of visiting professorships to Oxford and Cambridge. Through his incredible network of friends and contacts, he gave the universities unparalleled access to the most interesting names in the field of Humanities – all have given generously of their time to lecture, take part in conversation and share their expertise with audiences in both universities and, now, online communities across the world.
Lord Weidenfeld with a group of past and present scholars