Oxford Saïd receives new funding for the 1+1 MBA scholarships from the Pershing Square Foundation

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Saïd Business School, University of Oxford has announced a £3.7m endowment from the Pershing Square Foundation allowing future leaders to gain an MSc degree from any of Oxford’s 28 specialised programmes as well as an Oxford MBA

The 2014-16 Pershing Square Scholars with Dean Tufano

Our goal with this programme was to encourage social entrepreneurs by giving them business tools

£3.7 Million Endowment will Fully Fund Two-Year Programme at Saïd Business School

  • Five scholarships will provide funding for tuition and living expenses during both years of study on Oxford Saïd’s unique 1+1 MBA.
  • Programme will allow future leaders to gain a Master of Science degree from any of Oxford’s 28 specialised Master’s Degree programmes as well as complete an MBA (Masters of Business Administration) at Saïd Business School.
  • Original endowment from the Pershing Square Foundation of £4.5m and matched funding from the University of Oxford takes the total scholarship fund to £13.4m.
  • Unique programme includes mentoring by many of the world’s most illustrious innovators including: Sir Ronald Cohen, Cheryl Dorsey, Paul Farmer, Wendy Kopp, and Linda Rottenberg.

Calling for applications from the students around the world who wish to make a difference as social entrepreneurs, The Pershing Square Foundation (“the Foundation”) today announced it would expand its Oxford Pershing Square Graduate Scholarship which supports talented individuals who demonstrate the motivation and commitment to finding sustainable and scalable solutions to global challenges. The Foundation announced an additional commitment of £3.7 million that will fund five two-year scholarships to the Oxford 1+1 MBA at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford. First established in 2014, the scholarship enables future leaders to pursue one of 28 specialised Master’s degrees from any of thirteen Oxford University departments, followed by the one-year Oxford MBA.

‘Our goal with this programme was always to encourage social entrepreneurs by giving them the business tools and training to address important world problems,’ said Bill Ackman, founder and CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management, L.P., and co-founder and trustee of The Pershing Square Foundation. ‘Big problems need big thinkers and courageous entrepreneurs. By expanding our support to students for both their MSc and MBA, we hope to draw upon a broader range of entrepreneurial young people as we work to identify young leaders who wish to make a difference in the world.’

‘The most interesting business careers and the most challenging issues in the world require leaders to have depth and breadth of understanding and expertise. The Pershing Square Foundation’s gift will allow five exceptional future leaders each year to gain deep knowledge and action-orientated business skills while being mentored by one of the most illustrious leaders in their fields,’ said Peter Tufano, Dean of Oxford Saïd. ‘This customised, fully funded, two-year path eclipses all others. It’s simply a chance of a lifetime to help shape and develop amazing individuals who can go on to make an outstanding impact on the world.’

Two cohorts of Oxford Pershing Square Scholars have already joined the 1+1 MBA, the first in September 2014 and the second in September 2015. From providing clean water to communities across Africa, to completing research into drug therapies for cardiac disease; from developing a model for critical and creative learning in primary schools to improving sanitation in India; from protecting consumer privacy through strategies for ethical advertising to founding a healthcare clinic in Cameroon; the Scholars’ interests and established records of creating social change in communities are truly diverse.

‘The MSc Child Development and Education, followed by the MBA provides a rare opportunity to focus on solving the real world challenge of early years education,’ said Tarun Varma, Oxford Pershing Square Scholar 2015/16. ‘Oxford Saïd and The Pershing Square Foundation have nurtured my dream to have a high impact career in education and pushed me to think big as I seek to address long term change. I know my two years here are seminal to what will follow.’

‘The new opportunity that this generous funding provides will help ambitious young people to join the Oxford 1+1 MBA. The Pershing Square Scholarship creates an opportunity on par with the Rhodes Scholarship for the brightest students from around the globe to study at this prestigious university,’ added Tufano.

In addition to participating in an outstanding academic programme at a leading university, Pershing Square Scholars benefit from opportunities for mentorship and networking with inspirational individuals and organisations that are part of The Foundation’s community. Additionally, The Foundation hosts the scholars in New York City, where they participate in meetings and workshops with leading innovators and change makers. More information on the Scholarship and current Scholars is available here.

The deadline for applications to the Oxford Pershing Square Scholarship is 18 March 2016. Applications deadlines for the one year MSc programmes at the University of Oxford are 22 January 2016 and 11 March 2016. Application deadlines for the Oxford 1+1 MBA are 18 March, 6 May and 10 June.

For further information or to speak with Professor Tufano, please contact the press office:

Josie Powell, Senior Press Officer, Saïd Business School
Mobile +44 (0)7711 387215; Tel: +44 (0) 1865 288403
Email: josie.powell(at)sbs(dot)ox(dot)ac(dot)uk or pressoffice(at)sbs(dot)ox(dot)ac(dot)uk

Lauren Condoluci, The Pershing Square Foundation
Tel: +1 212.843.8493
Email: LCondoluci(at)rubenstein(dot)com

Notes for Editors

About Saïd Business School

Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford blends the best of new and old. We are a vibrant and innovative business school, but yet deeply embedded in an 800 year old world-class university. We create programmes and ideas that have global impact. We educate people for successful business careers, and as a community seek to tackle world-scale problems. We deliver cutting-edge programmes and ground-breaking research that transform individuals, organisations, business practice, and society. We seek to be a world-class business school community, embedded in a world-class University, tackling world-scale problems.

About the Oxford 1+1 MBA


About The Pershing Square Foundation

The Pershing Square Foundation is a private family foundation, based in New York, founded in December 2006 by Karen and Bill Ackman. The Foundation has committed more than $375 million in grants and social investments to support exceptional leaders and innovative organisations that tackle important social issues and deliver scalable and sustainable impact. Bill is the CEO and portfolio manager of Pershing Square Capital Management, L.P. For more information visit: http://www.pershingsquarefoundation.org.


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Josie Powell
University of Oxford
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