In its commitment to foster public-service oriented leaders, the Leadership Programme encourages first-year WHT Scholars to undertake a pro-bono project of their choice. Scholars are permitted to do this in Oxford, their home country or elsewhere, with the only requirement being that it involves engagement in unpaid public service. Many of our scholars embark on dynamic public service projects across the globe. Jade Weiner (2019 Weidenfeld-Hoffmann/Chevening) talks about her volunteering with local charities that aid the homeless community in Oxford. Read about other pro-bono projects here.
In its commitment to foster public-service oriented leaders, the Leadership Programme encourages first-year WHT Scholars to undertake a pro-bono project of their choice. Scholars are permitted to do this in Oxford, their home country or elsewhere, with the only requirement being that it involves engagement in unpaid public service. Many of our scholars embark on dynamic public service projects across the globe. Ana Lucía Díaz Azcunaga (2019 Weidenfeld-Hoffmann/Chevening) and Ramón Narváez Terrón (2019 Oxford-Hoffmann) looked at transitional justice in Mexico and collaborated with an organisation that uses Law as a tool for social change. Read about other pro-bono projects here.
Former WHT scholars always looked dreamy when telling us about the days at the Cumberland Lodge. “It’s really special”, they’d recall. When our bus drove through the bare trees of Windsor Great Park, on a sunny winter morning, we were quickly ushered into the lodge’s old Victorian library to find out why.
Interview and presentation skills were the first part of the programme. But in order to really get through to any public, we were encouraged to look deeper into ourselves. In order to connect, we had to get personal. We had to tell our stories. We had to convey our “personal truth”. It was the start of a journey where we laid bare aspects of our personalities and our aspirations, exposing each other to our colleagues, and even to ourselves. Read more “When Presentation Becomes a Quest for Personal Truth: A Retreat at the Cumberland Lodge”
When did it first occur to you to apply to Oxford? What were you doing then and what sort of changes were you seeking in deciding to apply for your masters in Nature, Society and Environmental Governance?
I had been leading two major projects: social enterprise to create employment opportunities for women in Nepal and a network of diverse women to create spaces for women and young girls to talk about tabooed issues related to bodies, gender and sexuality. The social enterprise, part of a larger non-profit called Himalayan Climate Initiative (HCI), wanted to realize a climate-smart world with creative and sustainable solutions. In order to develop green employment opportunities, I launched and operated stores to promote local green products made by women entrepreneurs. I trained, mentored and engaged youths in discourses to reimagine what development should look like in Nepal and led campaigns to reduce the consumption of disposable plastic bags. My activism and social entrepreneurial experience opened my eyes to larger cross-cutting issues, especially between women and the environment. To explore such interconnectedness, between social and environmental structures, and gain knowledge I can use to design policies and projects at the intersection of these domains, I decided to apply to the NSEG program. Read more “Seeking New Opportunities where Society and Nature Meet – Q&A with Bivishika Bhandari”
For many of us, our greatest childhood fantasies always involved candy stores and unlimited supplies of sweets. Our fantasies grew with us, but I never imagined that one so far-fetched as studying at the University of Oxford with a full scholarship would be realised. The Weidenfeld Hoffmann Trust (WHT) scholarship granted me a once in a lifetime opportunity to further my studies in an area I am passionate about, Water Science, Policy and Management, in a world-class university.
I had these thoughts on my mind the morning of Saturday the 2nd of November 2019, while, too excited to even feel the cold gushes against my cheeks, I was waiting for my very first ride to London to attend the Battle of Ideas Festival, an annual debating event held at the Barbican Centre in the heart of London.
At first, I thought my presence at the debates would be questioned; isn’t that for philosophy and art students? However, looking at the other WHT scholars I felt reassured. There were students from fields such as Social Science of the Internet, International Health and Tropical Medicine, Biodiversity and Conservation Management, Computer Science, Public Policy and Business Administration; an indication of the academic diversity within the cohort, one of the strong points of the WHT programme. Read more “What I learnt at the Battle of Ideas 2019”
The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn ̶ ̶ Alvin Toffler
This quote by Alvin Toffler was brought to life for me on the 10th of October 2019 when I attended the Essay Writing Skills workshop organized for the Weidenfeld-Hoffmann Trust (WHT) scholars. The workshop taught me new skills, revealed the flaws in my old habits and reminded me of good habits I had forgotten. In just an hour and half, I had the privilege, together with my fellow scholars, to learn, unlearn and relearn important skills and lessons about writing which I would have otherwise not known. Read more “Essay Writing Workshop: A Toolbox for Communication and Creativity”