This term sees new students from an unprecedented range of backgrounds studying at OCHS. Each is bringing new interests, aims, and perspectives to the life of the Centre while qualifying for their Oxford degrees.
Every year existing OCHS students graduate to higher degrees or become full alumni of the Centre, teaching and publishing internationally in the field of Hindu Studies. And every year a new batch of undergraduate and masters students arrive from around the world. In October six new students began their studies here, each with a different story.
Bhavisha Tailor had already been a student of the OCHS Continuing Education Department, attending courses in Harrow. It was this that persuaded her to leave her job and return to university full-time to study her own culture in greater depth. "I was working in finance, and I took a part-time course in Hindu Studies that was being run by the OCHS in London," she explained. "I wanted to go on to further study, and Oxford just seemed like a natural progression."
Now reading for an M.St in the Study of Religions at Mansfield College, Oxford, Saddhu Paramtattvadas is another student who had been studying Hinduism in London before he came to the centre, but his story is a very different one. He already has a MA in Sanskrit from Karnataka State University and further qualifications in Sanskrit and Indian Philosophy. But he felt the need to explore his tradition in a new way, learning about other religions and other perspectives. "I wanted to come and study Hinduism because it was an opportunity for me to put my own faith under the scrutiny of scholarship, and to come back and reflect upon that and make a more articulate and meaningful contribution to the world" he said.
Trent Moyer has arrived at Hertford College, Oxford, as a visiting student after taking time away from his degree in Religion and Political Change at Virginia's George Mason University. Here in Oxford he will study Hinduism and Buddhism with Oxford's array of top names in the field.
Already holding Sanskrit degrees from the Universities of Delhi and Pune, Mrinal Kaul is now studying for a M.St in Oriental Studies at St Cross College, Oxford, with a specialization in Kashmiri Shaivism.
We also welcome Reshma Maharaj, who has come all the way from Trinidad to study for her degree at Oxford.
The OCHS is very pleased to welcome its class of 2006-7, and looks forward to a rich and stimulating year.
We wish our friends and supporters the same.