University of Oxford
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The Oxford MBA: Diverse, inclusive, empowering

In an increasingly interconnected world, business leaders need more than just technical expertise and management skills to navigate its complexities; they require a nuanced understanding of diverse perspectives and the ability to harness the power of inclusivity. Recognising this, the University of Oxford — which was recently named the best university in the world for a record seventh consecutive year — makes it a point to recruit Master of Business Administration (MBA) hopefuls of all talents and from as many backgrounds as possible. From near and far, they converge at Saïd Business School, bringing with them unique experiences, histories, and insights.

“Diversity in our MBA programme fosters a more vibrant and inclusive educational setting, encouraging robust discussions and innovative problem-solving,” says MBA programme director Amy Major. “Layer on top 70+ nationalities from all around the world and that diversity of background makes for a truly unique experience.”

To Major and her team, an applicant’s success hinges largely on their belief mindset and “commitment to the process.” While meeting minimum academic requirements and showcasing professional experience are important, what truly sets candidates apart is their why: why they’re pursuing an Oxford MBA and why it’s crucial in their personal journey.

“There is no ‘fit’ to Oxford. Everyone is different and we embrace a richly diverse cohort,” she says. “I would urge anyone to cast off their self-doubt, speak to alumni and you’ll find that most never thought they would be ‘good enough.’”

Student Shafinaz Hossain stresses the importance of reaching out, citing her favourite quote from Harry Potter, “Help will always be given at Hogwarts to those who ask for it.” If she had it her way, all aspiring leaders would get to experience the power of an Oxford MBA. Immersed in a classroom environment alongside numerous female leaders, she heard stories of making subtle but powerful changes within organisations and communities. Witnessing their conduct and fearless expression of ideas kindled a fire in Hossain, helping her break out of her South Asian upbringing that highly valued obedience and conformity.

Inspired, she nominated herself and was selected as Co-Chair of the Oxford Women in Leadership Alliance, which aims to uplift female business students by hosting meaningful discussions and informative events. “I thoroughly enjoyed the process of creating a community,” says Hossain. “We have organised speed dating socials for getting to know each other, termly debates with the most stimulating topics around gender, inclusion and leadership, picnics, sending appreciation notes, various panel discussions, and much more.”

University of Oxford

Ninety-three percent of Oxford MBA students come from outside the US. Source: The University of Oxford

The Oxford MBA meets the needs of all students, including those with family responsibilities. Hence why women here feel comfortable bringing their kids to campus or managing their studies while approaching motherhood. The Laidlaw Scholarship is a prime example of the business school’s dedication to ensuring nothing comes between an ambitious woman and an Oxford MBA. Recognised as one of the most gender-balanced MBA programme in the world, its efforts have certainly proven effective.

“Because of this scholarship, I am able to immerse myself completely in my coursework and enjoy the full Saïd Business School and wider Oxford experience without the burden of constantly worrying about my financial constraints,” says student Lucy Nyamaah from Ghana. “When I found out that I had made the Dean’s list for the Michaelmas term, it was not lost on me that this scholarship made that possible.”

Oxford Saïd also provides scholarships to students from other minority groups, such as the Oxford Black Leaders Scholarships, the Reaching Out MBA LGBTQ+ Fellowships, Forté Fellowships for women, and a range of scholarships reserved for African applicants.


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Within or beyond classrooms, Oxford is a place that engages all students. A variety of clubs cater to many interests, allowing MBA students to explore and pursue their passions outside of traditional academic settings. The lineup includes: The Asia Club, Family Business Circle Club, India Club, Latin American Business Club, The Pride Club, and various others that revolve around the topics of Data, Fintech, Government Relations, Healthcare, Luxury Marketing, Real Estate, as well as Morality, Ethics and Business.

Designed to build a solid foundation in core business principles and their impact on society, the one-year Oxford MBA is not the only pathway that grants access to all mentioned offerings. The Oxford 1+1 MBA can, too. It pairs the classic MBA with a partnering master’s programme from another department in the university. There are currently more than 35 Oxford master’s degrees to choose from, ranging from the Blavatnik School of Government’s Master of Public Policy to the Nuffield Department of Medicine’s MSc in International Health and Tropical Medicine.

“I truly believe that anyone who wants to leave the world a better place than they found it would fit in an Oxford MBA,” says Hossain. Applications for the Oxford MBA and 1+1 MBA are open from 1 August. Click here to learn more about applications.

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