This year was particularly varied, with 10 countries represented and delegates from as far afield as El Salvador, drawn from multiple industries across the private, public and NGO sectors. Our keynote speakers this year also brought a broad external perspective and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Sir John Armitt, Carl-Peter Forster, Sir John Vickers, Andrew McLaughlin, Robin Bew and Heather McGregor for their participation, all of whom greatly enriched the course content, and brought the theory alive with their unique viewpoint and insight.
The course began with a typical English summer evening as the heavens opened and drenched our opening nigh barbecue, however despite the deluge the course began with plenty of energy as an ice breaker tested the delegates artistic and creative skills as they represented their syndicates.
Fortunately for the remainder of the course the weather was more forgiving enabling the delegates to complement their tuition of micro and macro economic theory with a few activities that illustrated Oxford’s rich culture. These included a lively and highly-competitive croquet tournament, punting on the river (an activity for which a few of us now have considerable newfound respect!), and a particularly memorable evening watching Shakespeare’s ‘As You Like It’ in the grounds of Wadham College.
The OUBEP debate this year provided an opportunity for a spirited exchange on the economic pro’s and con’s of an independent Scotland while testing the learnings and economic thinking of the delegates with a real-world scenario.
Finally, the course closed with a competitive element as the syndicates competed against one another on a life size Monopoly board for prime Oxford real estate.
Looking back, it is remarkable just how much was compressed into a single fortnight, both academically and culturally, however it is this, combined with the energy and enthusiasm of the delegates that made the programme such a rewarding and fun experience, and gave each of us some wonderful memories.