Global Leadership Summer School

A week-long version of our flagship programme (Global Leadership Initiative), helping Oxford postgraduates to grow as leaders of character and purpose.

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Multidisciplinary curriculum

Take a deep dive into the classics and contemporary texts spanning a wide range of disciplines.

Learning communities

Engage with a diverse group of postgraduate students, guest speakers, and senior leaders. Build meaningful connections across Oxford and beyond.

Leadership development

Develop a deep sense of purpose and become the best version of yourself. Take practical actions to begin a lifetime journey of leading with character.

Programme overview

The aim of the Global Leadership Summer School (GLSS) is to develop your intellectual and practical understanding of what makes for good leadership in your context and put the learnings into practice as you go on your own leadership journey after graduating from Oxford. The week-long programme will help you to grow as a leader who is both effective and ethical, who furthers the good of society and enables others to flourish.

Any postgraduate student enrolled in a full-time programme at the University of Oxford can apply to participate in the GLSS. Throughout the programme, you will engage in structured reflections, dialogues, and exercises to apply the leadership lessons in your own context. In the end, you will walk away with a new understanding of who you are and how you lead.

Please note that we are conducting research on the impact of the GLSS. By applying to the programme you will be signing up as a research participant.

Application launch: 1 April 2022

Attend our information sessions, either online or in-person, to learn more.

Early decision deadline: 1 May 2022

Submit the application early to show your commitment and receive an earlier decision.

Regular decision deadline: 22 May 2022

Last chance to be a part of the summer school.

Decision announcement: 5 June 2022

All applicants will receive the outcomes of their applications by this date.

Summer School: 27 June 2022 - 1 July 2022

Accepted applicants will join the OCP team for a week-long programme in Worcester College.

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What we focus on

Practical Wisdom

We help participants develop the knowledge and experience to make appropriate judgements that contribute to flourishing and the common good.

Honesty

We encourage participants to behave in a truthful and sincere manner, giving others good reason to trust them as leaders.

Humility

We emphasise the power of humility – recognising one’s true self and so being able to appreciate others, being open to new ideas, and being willing to revise one’s own positions.

Service

We inspire participants to be appropriately other-oriented, rather than merely self-focused in their career goals and actions.

Purpose

We focus on leading with purpose and cultivating a sense of calling that integrates aspiration with action.

Gratitude

We recognise that we are not solely responsible for all we have received and enjoyed, giving appropriate acknowledgment and recognition to others.

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Location and time


The Global Leadership Summer School will take place at the Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre, Worcester College, starting from 27th June to 1st July 2022 (9:30 am to 4:30 pm, for a total of 5 days).

All activities will take place at the college with the exception of 29th June when we will take the participants to a day-long retreat at the Ditton Manor in Royal Berkshire. Tea/coffee and lunch will be provided every day.

Please see an indicative programme plan for the week below. You can also download the full schedule here.

Day 1: Reimagining leadership

Day 2: Leading yourself

Day 3: Leading communities

Day 4: Leading systems change

Day 5: Leadership for flourishing


All expenses related to the programme are covered. Participants will be expected to commit to the full programme and contribute their energy, experience, and insight.

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Application


The application process is designed to help you reflect on what leadership means to you and how you would like to develop as a leader in the years ahead. You will be asked to provide your contact and course details, share a link to your current CV, and respond to the following short-answer questions.

  • Whom would you identify as a good leader? Why?
  • What do you think character is?
  • How does character contribute to good leadership?
  • Describe a recent experience of leading or following. How did it go? What did you learn from it?
  • What are your career and personal aspirations for the future?
  • What do you hope to contribute to the Summer School and how do you hope to benefit from participating?

These questions are your chance to speak directly to us, showcasing your commitment to leadership development and to your active engagement with the GLSS in particular. We encourage you to become familiar with our vision, research and programmes, and to use as much of the 150-word limit as possible for each question.

We recommend that you reflect on the questions and draft your answers before finally submitting your application here.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Who is eligible to apply to GLSS?

Any current University of Oxford postgraduate student (Masters or DPhil) is eligible to apply. We welcome applicants from all academic disciplines if they are interested in one of the three broad career trajectories we cover in our learning communities: business and entrepreneurship, technology and innovation, and law and public policy.

2. What do you mean by “Learning Communities"?

We will accept a total of 60 students in the summer school and divide them into three smaller groups (20 students in each) as described above. Most of the GLSS sessions and workshops will take place within these groups which are called learning communities. Some occasional activities, meals, and social events will bring the full cohort together, though most of your time will be spent within your learning community.

3. Is there a fee associated with GLSS?

The programme is fully funded by the John Templeton Foundation and participants don't need to pay any fee. However, you MUST commit to participating in the entire programme.

4. What is the time commitment?

The programme will run for five days (27th June-1st July). Sessions will start in the morning (9:30am) and end in the afternoon (4:30pm). On 29th June, we will organise a retreat outside Oxford, which means you will get back to Oxford around 6pm. You will be expected to go through some reading materials before attending the sessions. In general, we don't expect the overall preparation time to exceed one hour/day.

5. Can I speak to a member of the team and/or current students to learn more?

We will organise a few online and in-person information sessions where you can chat with our team and current students to learn more about our approach to leadership. In the meanwhile, if you have any specific questions, please write to us at gli@oxfordcharacter.org.