Indian students welcome Prince William to Oxford University

By: | Published: May 12, 2016 7:04 PM

Two Indian students studying at Oxford University's Blavatnik School of Government took a central role in welcoming Britain's Prince William who inaugurated the institute's new building.

Two Indian students studying at Oxford University’s Blavatnik School of Government took a central role in welcoming Britain’s Prince William who inaugurated the institute’s new building.

Dinesh Kapur, a former national youth soccer player from India who is studying the one-year Master of Public Policy (MPP) at the school, gave a formal address yesterday at the inauguration by the Duke of Cambridge.

“Your Royal Highness, you have just returned from my beloved country, India, where you were greeted with love, respect and, I may say, fanfare. That reception, to echo your sentiments, speaks to the unique and special relationship between the UK and India,” Kapur said.

“And as I see it, the Blavatnik School is an institution that will further deepen this country’s ties, not just with India, but also with countries all over the world,” Kapur said.

Susan Thomas, originally from Kerala, also greeted the 33-year-old second in line to Britain’s throne and discussed his recent visit to India.

Thomas is into her 15th year working with the Government of India as the Additional Commissioner of Income Tax in Bangalore and is on sabbatical to study gender issues and good governance in India, the university said.

Kapur, on the other hand, has four years’ experience working with the Government of India on the National Smart Cities Mission, renewable energy projects, carbon credits advisory, energy efficiency and India’s national communication to UNFCCC.

He read for an MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development from the University of Cambridge and worked with Premier League clubs to explore their capacity for leading urban sustainability.

He has also served as one of British Council’s International Climate Champions and was identified among India’s Brightest Young Climate Leaders in 2010.

The Blavatnik School of Government is the UK’s first school of government and currently has 117 MPP students from 54 countries and territories, as well as nine students studying for a doctorate (DPhil) in Public Policy.

Based on financial need, around 80 per cent of the school’s students receive some form of financial support, with over half of them receiving full funding to meet tuition fees and living costs.

The new school offers the MPP as an intensive one-year graduate degree with lectures and seminars as well as practical workshops and professional skills sessions taught by external experts.

The new building inaugurated by Prince William on Walton Street is designed by internationally renowned Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron.

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