History

Oxford’s oldest executive education programme

Established in 1952, OUBEP is Oxford’s oldest executive education programme.

It was founded by a group of business leaders during the period following the Second World War – a time of immense political, economic and societal change - "...to bring the ‘leaders of tomorrow’ from the public and private sectors together, to better understand modern economic thinking, and therefore the bigger picture in which they would one day operate." It was also envisioned that this cohort would help each other to understand the goals, challenges and priorities of different sectors, which would ultimately benefit the general economy and society.

The original OUBEP constitution declared that it would convene delegates “selected by their firms for their ability and promise, at a time when they have had some years of actual experience of industry” allowing them to be “relieved from their regular routine, to have time to think about what they are doing and why they are doing it, comparing notes with others in comparable positions in other companies and other industries.” The initial course curriculum, facilitated by Oxford academics, was designed to help delegates to become “more receptive to new ideas, more flexible in their outlook on current and future problems, and more resourceful in finding solutions for them.”

Over the last 65+ years, OUBEP has evolved and adapted to meet the requirements of the modern world. However, to this day it maintains its foundational intent to bring together a gathering of bright minds to better understand and discuss the impact of the global economy, and to ultimately to benefit business and society