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What is the Oxford University Pakistan Society?

Find out about the history, diversity and activities of the OUPS in the UK

What is it?

If you’ve been accepted into Oxford, or you are thinking of applying to the university then it might be worth taking a look at the Oxford University Pakistan Society. The make-up of the society is simple; it is a versatile and well known group of former and current students who have been bought together by their love of Pakistan – whether they were born there or not.


The society strongly advocates the importance of promoting, preserving and celebrating the rich, diverse, and cultural prowess of Pakistan by offering as many people as possible an insight into the country’s life, history…and food! The society, which has been in place for many years, was designed to help students who were coming from Pakistan to study in the UK to feel more at home. The society is essentially there to enrich the Pakistani exchange experience, and therefore serves as a collaboration point between the local Oxford Pakistani community and those coming across from overseas.


The Oxford University Pakistan Society achieves the above by hosting vibrant events which are well organised and widely advertised across the university. Events might include buffet dinners (which, of course, prove to be extremely popular), mushairas with poets and topical lectures and cultural events. The society is often considered to be one of the most powerful and influential student-run Pakistani societies in the world.


What are its objectives?

The Oxford University Pakistan Society intends to promote fascinating Pakistani heritage and culture and provides a social platform for Pakistani students to get to know each other and form strong relationships. The society also aims to promote awareness of important Pakistani internal and foreign affairs whilst creating an environment in which students can have a back and forth debate.


The society is not simply the forefront of cultural exchange with students and societies from other countries, but is also an important organisation which aims to lead positive change in Pakistan and build the foundation for a forward thinking, progressive democratic Pakistan.


The society is also well known for its yearly Mushaira. Held in late February of each year, the Mushaira is one of the world’s largest gatherings of leading Urdu and Punjabi poets in the United Kingdom.


Who are its members?

Oxford University is no stranger to notable speakers. Throughout the University’s long life, it has housed some of the most famous people in the world; the Pakistan Society is no different.


The society has hosted speakers from all walks of life, including famous politicians, journalists, academics, sportspeople and celebrities – what’s more, these events are almost always free for members of the society and the public. One of the most fantastic aspects about the Pakistan Society is that it shows no clear political allegiance which means that guest speakers are welcomed from all walks of life.


Guest speakers have included: Pakistan’s former Foreign Minister, Shah Mehmood Quereshi, who is currently serving as the Vice Chairman and deputy parliamentary leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, whilst well known politician and two decade old cricketer Imran Khan has also been a guest lecturer. The society has also welcomed well known Urdu writers and poets such as Akbar Hyderabadi, Saqi Farooqi and Khalid Yusuf for their annual Mushaira event.

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Photo: Oxford University Pakistan Society Facebook page

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About Author

Armani is a final year English Literature and Creative Writing student at Newcastle University with a passion for writing. A few of Armani's main interests include politics, reading, football and Chelsea FC.


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