There have been students in Oxford for almost 1,000 years, and people doing business here – beside the “ford of the oxen” – for even longer, so history alone might well lead you to consider choosing the city for your MBA, Business degree or HND. But that would be to ignore the many other compelling reasons for doing so. Whatever your level of education, experience or ambition, there can be few educational centres in the whole world that offer as much for the serious student of business and management.
1. Great Institutions
Curiously, the University of Oxford didn’t launch a business school until 1965, almost 150 years after the world’s first such establishment was opened in Paris. But the university – and the city – are doing their best to make up for lost time. The Said Business School is now in the top 10 of Europe’s best MBA providers, while Green Templeton College also has an astronomically high reputation in the business studies world. Outside of Oxford University itself, Oxford Brookes University consistently ranks among the best new UK universities and offers very well respected business degrees and MBAs, while private higher education institutions such as Magna Carta College and Oxford Business College are magnets for students from all over the UK and throughout the rest of the world. Put simply, if you want to study business, in Oxford you’re spoiled for choice.
2. Great Companies
The city’s global reputation for excellence in education and research has inevitably seen it become a hub for innovative and dynamic businesses – which in turn make it a furtile area for well qualified job-hunters post-university. The enormous BMW/Mini plant in the east of the city garners most headlines, but the nearby Oxford Science Park is also home to more than 70 vibrant young companies, including TripAdvisor, Blue Earth Diagnostics, Sesui and more, creating a dynamic working culture that has few parallels in the UK.
3. Great Connections
Although with around 160,000 inhabitants, Oxford is by no means an enormous city, its location in the very heart of England makes it a transport hub par excellence. London is just 50 miles away (less than an hour by train), Heathrow airport even closer, Milton Keynes a stone’s throw away, Birmingham and Bristol within easy reach… It’s no wonder that so many business students come for the education and then stay for the location, whether it’s to take a job with one of the companies mentioned above or to launch a start-up of their own.
4. Great Events
With so many educational establishments, talented students and forward-looking companies all living alongside each other, it was always inevitable that these three interdependent groups would find ways of connecting. So whether it’s thought-provoking lectures given by business leaders, well-attended careers fairs, or day-long events for new start-ups and social entrepreneurs, there’s never any shortage of platforms for collaborating, sharing new ideas and networking.
5. Great Entrepreneurial Spirit
Perhaps it’s something in the local air, or maybe the Thames water, but few cities are able to match Oxford for positive vibes and can-do attitude. It’s not just seen in the IT industry start-ups or the young Science Park companies, but also the host of independently owned shops, restaurants, micro-breweries, cafes, market stalls, arts spaces and studios. If you’ve studied business and have a good idea up your sleeve, there can be few better places to get the ball rolling.