It goes without saying that the principal reasons for studying at Oxford Business College are to get a great education in a business-related discipline and secure a qualification that will help you progress in your chosen career. But outside of the classroom, too, there are scores of perhaps less obvious benefits to joining the College that are well worth highlighting.
For example, did you know that students at OBC have the right to become members of the Oxford Union? Now, if you’ve heard of this organisation at all it is probably in the context of a debating chamber where future Prime Ministers make their first forays into public speaking. And while that is still partly true – with past student presidents including everyone from Boris Johnson to Benazir Bhutto – there is much more to the Union than that.
For OBC students, in fact, the main argument for joining might be the right to apply for tickets to see the simply incredible array of speakers that are invited to speak during every Oxford University term. A glance at the society’s YouTube channel will give you an idea of the range of personalities that come to Oxford for the privilege for speaking in front of Union members. From politicians to Game of Thrones stars (see below), Nobel Prize-winning scientists to sports legends, it’s almost easier to list the people who haven’t appeared at the Oxford Union than those who have. In just the last month, for example, speakers have included the Prime Ministers of Nepal and Barbados, Bollywood icon Anupam Kher, former South Africa cricket captain Graeme Smith, Barack Obama’s speechwriter Cody Keenan, Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser John Bolton and more besides.
The Oxford Union, which actually exists separately from Oxford University, occupies a group of historic buildings just two minutes’ walk from Oxford Business College. If you became a member you would be entitled to enjoy the atmospheric facilities, which range from the famous Old Library with its Pre-Raphaelite murals to the cheerful subsidised bar. There’s even a snooker room, with several full-size tables. Needless to say, the Union has been used as a backdrop in countless films and TV shows as there aren’t many places that say “Oxford” more clearly than this.
Students at Oxford Business College can take out what is called “Temporary Membership” of the Oxford Union at a cost of between £135 for one term to £270 for a year. This entitles you to attend all the debates and speaker events for free (and bring a guest to all but the most popular) and make use of the facilities outlined above. It’s genuinely a perk of being a student in Oxford that few other cities around the world, let alone in the UK, can match.