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.
Lord Weidenfeld’s Memorial Service
On September 24th, Oxford University hosted a memorial service for Lord Weidenfeld. Celebrating the unique contribution of Lord Weidenfeld to life at Oxford, the service featured tributes from academics and students, including three scholars from the Weidenfeld-Hoffmann Trust. Held in the splendid surroundings of the Sheldonian Theatre, the audience – including a number of Weidenfeld-Hoffmann alumni – enjoyed recollections of Lord Weidenfeld’s humour and warmth, his powerful desire to bring about positive change, and his commitment to education as a way to improve the world. The Weidenfeld-Hoffmann Trust have produced a short video of the service, which can be viewed below.
2015-16 Scholarships Report Published
The Weidenfeld-Hoffmann Scholarships and Leadership Programme
2015-16 Annual Report is now available to access online. Read about the events of the past academic year from the Moral Philosophy for Leadership Seminar through Practical Skills Training at Cumberland Lodge to the Annual Leadership Forum. You can explore how the scholars fared in Oxford and what they got up to, from pro bono projects to participating in the prestigious Ditchley Conferences.
The report also shows how the Programme has developed and what the WHT team has in store for next year to make sure that we keep moving forward.
Click HERE to download the report.
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.
Nidhi Singh selected as a speaker for the International Conference on Sustainable Development 2016
Nidhi Singh (MSc. Law and Finance, 2016/17), a Louis Dreyfus Weidenfeld-Hoffmann Scholar, has been selected to speak at ICSD 2016. Nidhi will speak alongside Dr. Achyuta Samanta, founder of the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS).
To fulfil the volunteering obligation expected of all Weidenfeld-Hoffmann Scholars, Nidhi volunteered to work with KISS in India. KISS is the largest free residential educational institution for indigenous children in India. Starting with only 125 children in 1993, KISS has since developed rapidly to its current state, providing education for 25,000 children in 2015 alone. KISS now has the ambitious goal of educating 2,000,000 poor indigenous children over the next decade. It was recently granted a special consultative status by UN-ECOSOC for its exemplary work done in the field of SDGs.
As a volunteer, Nidhi spent her last summer and Easter break in 2016 with KISS in India studying and helping them prepare a report on their work being done and as to how they are helping achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Nidhi has written about the SDGs in the past on our blog, and you can read her comments here. After her experiences, she co-authored a paper with Dr. Achyuta Samanta and Dwiti Vikramaditya (Senior Adviser to KISS), which was submitted to the UN ICSD for consideration. With only few selected invited speakers, the ICSD represents both a competitive and high-profile platform for discussions on sustainability, and the WHT is very proud that one of our scholars has been selected to participate in such a high-profile event.
You can find out more about KISS via their website. Further details about the International Conference on Sustainable Development can be found here. The conference will be held at Columbia University, New York on 21-22 September 2016, on the eve of the UN Summit on Sustainable Development. The ICSD will host leading academics, scientists and world leaders to discuss the forthcoming implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Senior Academic Fellow sought for Weidenfeld-Hoffmann Scholarships & Leadership Programme
Salary: dependent on experience
Hours: Part time – approx. 25% post
Contract type: one year renewable
Solid track record of academic/professional experience required
Closing date: 7th March 2016
Would you be interested in joining a dynamic young group of scholars and working with them on a leadership programme which runs alongside their graduate studies in Oxford?
The Weidenfeld-Hoffmann Trust (WHT) is an educational charity based in Oxford and working closely with the University. Established in 2007, the Scholarships & Leadership Programme provides talented young graduates from developing and emerging economies with full scholarships to the University of Oxford, alongside a tailor made leadership training programme focusing on skills needed to become leaders in whatever fields they choose on a national and global scale.
We are looking to appoint an Academic Fellow for the Scholarships & Leadership Programme. The role will begin in September 2016 but ideally the chosen candidate would have some input in the selection of the 2016-17 cohort of Scholars in April 2016.
Over the years since its inception this programme has become one of the most sought after scholarships in the University. For further information about the Programme, see our website: http://whtrust.org/
The ideal candidate for this post is someone who would enjoy interacting with an energetic and proactive group of scholars who relish the chance to widen their horizons and learn. The job could be combined with other work either at the University or outside opportunities. The role includes the following specific tasks:
- Coming up with texts and working on the overall timetable and staffing for the moral philosophy seminar which takes place at the end of September as part of the five day induction to the programme and to Oxford. There are three follow up sessions over three afternoons which also require similar input
- Delivering workshops through the rest of the academic year to help scholars with essay writing, exam preparations and any other aspects of their academic work which require extra input.
- Working with other members of WHT and the University to come up with a short list of applicants for future scholarships, attending the interview and helping with the final selection of candidates.
- Maximizing any contacts inside and outside the University to bring scholars into contact with business, and other leaders from whom they can learn and seek advice on their future careers
- Providing practical support to the scholars in twice a year one to one meetings and other informal ways and references once they reach the end of their time at Oxford.
To apply for this post, please send your CV and a covering letter to email@example.com. The subject line of your e-mail should read “Application for the position of Academic Fellow”
Interviews will take place on the week commencing 14th March in London/Oxford.
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