Oxford Union Michaelmas Termcard: 2nd Release


Politicians dominate our second release of the Oxford Union’s Michaelmas Termcard. Alastair Campbell, the Prime Minister of Belgium and Baroness Shami Chakribati will speak in 1st, 6th and 7th Weeks respectively. Days before the US Election, the Union will play host to the debate, “This House Believes The US Presidential Race Reveals a Broken Two Party System”, featuring Senator Larry Pressler and Tony Parker.

Mental health will be addressed in a new panel format attended by Stephen K Amos and Dr Linda Papadopoulos. A panel on ‘voluntourism’ in 2nd Week will feature the creator of the ‘Gap Yah’ video.

Sporting and fashion fans will be pleased by appearances by Gary Neville and Mary Portas – and Timothy Spall, Sir Ridley Scott and Oliver and James Phelps (aka the Weasley Twins) top the line-up from the world of drama.

Like The Oxford Student on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @TheOxStu to be the first to know who will be coming to Oxford this term. Our first issue of Michaelmas Term will be available from JCRs tomorrow – see tomorrow’s front page on our social media platforms shortly.


 This House Believes Big Pharma Prioritises Profits Over Patients – Thursday 20th October (2nd Week), 8.30pm.


Sir Richard Thompson KCVO – Former physician to the Queen, he was President of the Royal College of Physicians in London. He specialises in nutritional gastroenterology.

Mark Baum – Founder and CEO of Imprimis Pharmaceuticals, the company that undercut Shkreli in the price hike controversy. He has also served as President and CEO of Access Power Inc.


James Greenwood ­­– A former representative of Pennsylvania’s 8th Congressional District for six terms in the U.S. House of Representative, he became President and CEO of the Biotechnology Industry Organization in 2004.

Dr Ken Powell – Chairman of ReViral, a UK biotech company, he also founded Arrow Therapeutics, which was acquired by AstraZeneca for $150 million.

richard thompson proposition    mark baum proposition pharma

jim greenwood opposition pharma   dr ken powell opposition


This House Believes The US Presidential Race Reveals a Broken Two Party System – Thursday 3rd November (4th Week), 8.30pm.


Senator Larry Pressler – A Rhodes Scholar, he served in the House of Representatives and the US Senate as a Republican from 1975 until 1996. He has declared his support for Hillary Clinton.

Jill Abramson – An established author and commentator, she was the first female Executive Editor at The New York Times. Forbes has named her the fifth most powerful woman in the world.


Tony Parker – Serving his third term as Treasurer of the Republican National Committee, he also served on President George Bush’s national finance team. He is a Vietnam War veteran.

Congressman Jim McDermott – Now serving his twelfth term in the House of Representatives, he was formerly Chairman of the House Ethics Committee.

senator larry pressler   jill abramson

tony parker  congressman jim McDermott



Voluntourism: a CV Boost or a Burden on Communities? – Tuesday 18th October (2nd Week), 8pm.

For many, the benefits of voluntourism have been skewed in favour of ‘life changing experiences’ for wealthy individuals at the expense of vulnerable communities. Here we assess the overall ramifications of a global industry reportedly worth £130 million.

Matt Lacey – Creator of the YouTube video, ‘Gap Yah’

Penny Lawrence – Deputy CEO of Oxfam

Louis Cole – YouTube travel vlogger with 1.8 million subscribers

Dr Philip Goodwin – CEO of Voluntary Services Overseas

matt lacey   penny lawrence

louis cole   dr philip goodwin


The Student Mental Health Crisis: What Next? – Tuesday 25th October (3rd Week), 8pm.

25% of adults suffer from mental health conditions; this figure doubles among Oxford students. Many believe that drastic action is needed to respond to this crisis in care, engaging with both the general stigma and failing institutions.

Stephen K Amos – Stand-up comedian and patron of mental health charity Time to Change.

Dr Linda Papadopoulos – TV psychologist and academic.

Dr Nicola Byrom –Founding chair of the charity Student Minds.

Julie Fast ­– International bestseller, writing on bipolar disorder and depression.

Liz Fraser – Director of Headcase, Oxbridge graduate.

stephen k amos   dr linda papadopoulous   dr nicola byromjulia fast  liz fraser



Alastair Campbell – Tuesday 11th October (1st Week), 5pm.

alastair campbell

British broadcaster, journalist and author, Alastair Campbell rose to prominence as Tony Blair’s Director and Strategy of Operations, or ‘spin doctor,’ from 2000-2003. An architect of New Labour, He played a large role in the preparation and release of the Iraq Dossier. In recent years, he has penned a number of books on recent British political history, and released a series of books on his life memoirs.

This event falls inside the Oxford Union’s open period during which new students who are not yet members may attend.

James Gorman – Wednesday 12th October (1st Week), 5pm.

james gorman - FT credit (on flickr some rights reserved)

Appointed CEO of Morgan Stanley in 2010 and Chairman in 2012, James Gorman previously served as Co-President of Morgan Stanley and joined the Firm in 2006 as President and Chief Operating Officer of the Global Wealth Management Group. Before joining Morgan Stanley, he held a succession of executive positions at Merrill Lynch. Prior to this, he was a senior partner of McKinsey & Co. and began his career as an attorney in Melbourne, Australia.

Oliver and James Phelps – The Weasley Twins – Wednesday 12th October (1st Week), 8pm.

oliver james phelps

Identical twin British actors best known for playing Fred and George Weasley in the Harry Potter film series, Oliver and James Phelps have also worked as runners on a variety of other films, and are supporters of the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Mary Portas –  Wednesday 19th October (2nd Week), 5pm.

mary portas

An icon of the fashion and retail industries, Mary Portas is renowned for transforming Harvey Nichols into the leading modern fashion brand it is today. She has worked for a number of retail giants, including John Lewis, Harrods, and Topshop. She also hosted her own television series, Mary Portas: Secret Shopper, in which she reveals her own tips for getting the best out of the consumer services industry.

E. Goodluck Jonathan – Former President of Nigeria – Monday 24th October (3rd Week), 5pm.

goodluck johnathan

At the end of a tenure lasting from 2010 until 2015, Goodluck Jonathan presided over the first democratic change of government in Nigeria’s history when he lost the presidential election to Muhammadu Buhari. As the leader of Africa’s biggest economy, he oversaw a period of unprecedented growth and development, including the implementation of a state-supported electricity supply. His Presidency was not without controversy, having earned criticism for corruption and intolerance, especially following the 2014 Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act.

Tony Schwartz – Friday 28th October 2016 (3rd Week), 8.30pm.


Announcing his candidacy for the Republican nomination back in June 2015, Donald Trump stated, “We need a leader that wrote The Art of the Deal”. Tony Schwartz was the ghostwriter of the book Trump calls “his proudest achievement”. Schwartz has been vocal about his regrets in working on the piece, but, having worked intimately with Trump, provides a fascinating perspective into the personality and idiosyncracies of the Republican nominee.

Jack Garratt – Wednesday 2nd November (4th Week), 8pm.

jack garratt

One of the rising stars of the British music industry, Jack Garratt is a singer, songwriter and mulitiinstrumentalist who rose to prominence following the success of his debut album Phase. He has spoken about the importance of passion and integrity in his song writing process.

Gary Neville – Monday 14th November (6th Week), 1pm.

gary neville

One of the most decorated English footballers of all time, Gary Neville won a total of 20 trophies in 602 appearances at Manchester United, where he spent his entire career. Upon retiring in 2011, he was United’s second longest serving player in the squad. In 2014, along with ‘Class of ’92’ legends: Ryan Giggs, Phil Neville, Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes, he purchased Salford City with the aim of promoting the club into The English Football League. Their journey was documented by the BBC.

Vladimir Ashkenazy – Wednesday 16th November (6th Week), 5.30pm.


A former student of the Moscow Conservatory, Vladimir Ashkenazy is one of the most renowned pianists of his generation. Previously Chief Conductor of the Czech Philharmonic, and Music Director of NHK Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo. From 2009 to 2013 he served as Principal Conductor to the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. He is currently the Music Director of the European Union Youth Orchestra.

Charles Michel – Prime Minister of Belgium – Wednesday 16th November (6th Week), Time TBC.

charles michel

The son of prominent politician Louis Michel, Charles Michel held the position of Minister of Home Affairs in the Walloon Government and Minister of Development Cooperation before being elected to his current role. He became the youngest minister in Belgium’s history in 2000 at the age of 25. His Premiership has coincided with a difficult time in the country’s history, which has seen large scale anti-austerity protests and terror attacks in Brussels. His policies have placed an emphasis on socio-economic reform, focussing on increased business competition and job growth. In July he warned that the EU would not allow the UK access to the single market after Brexit, and has been vocal about EU compositional reform.

Baroness Shami Chakribati – Wednesday 23rd November (7th Week), 8pm.

baroness shami chakrabarti

Former Director of Liberty, she has previously worked as a barrister for the Home Office, and was also a panel member at the Leveson Inquiry. In 2016, she chaired the inquiry into antisemitism within the Labour Party. She was the sole person elevated to the House of Lords by Jeremy Corbyn alongside David Cameron’s resignation honours.

Jodi Picoult – Monday 28th November (8th Week), 4pm.

Best-selling author Jodi Picoult discusses her new novel, "The Storyteller", as the 2013 Harry Middleton Lecturer on March 19, 2013 at the LBJ Presidential Library. She is the author of 19 novels, the last seven of which have debuted at number one on the New York Times bestseller list. Photo by Lauren Gerson.

With 23 novels to her name, Jodi Picoult is widely known for best-seller, My Sister’s Keeper. In 2003 she was awarded the New England Bookseller Award for Fiction, and she serves on the advisory board of VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, whose goal it is to foster transparency around gender and racial equality issues in contemporary literary culture. Her new novel Small Great Things tackles power, privilege, and prejudice.

Timothy Spall OBE – Date & Time TBC

timothy spall

Having portrayed the conniving and snivelling Wormtail, Timothy Spall is a household name principally because of his performances in the Harry Potter films. He trained at the National Youth Theatre and RADA and initially gained success in theatre before moving into TV and film. Recently, he has come to global prominence for his role as Winston Churchill in The King’s Speech. He is a patron of ChildHope, an international charity supporting street and working children.

Sir Ridley Scott – Date & Time TBC.

sir ridley scott

English film director and producer Sir Ridley Scott is celebrated for films including Bladerunner, Gladiator and, most recently, The Martian. He was made a Knight Bachelor in the 2003 New Year Honours. In 1995, he and his brother received the BAFTA Award for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema, and he has been nominated for three Academy Awards for Best Director. His 1984 Apple Macintosh commercial was seen as a watershed event in advertising, and in 2015 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Royal College of Art in London.

The remainder of the Oxford Union’s debates, speakers and panels will be announced tomorrow – follow and like The Oxford Student to be the first to know who’s coming.

Pick up a copy of The Oxford Student tomorrow from your college JCR or at Freshers Fair.

Official Oxford Union termcards will be delivered to colleges later this week. The full Michaelmas termcard will be available on The Oxford Student website from Wednesday.

To join the Oxford Union, click here.


Sign up for the newsletter!

Want to contribute? Join our contributors’ group here or email us – click here for contact details