The Oxford Pakistan Programme and WildCRU Diploma collaborate


The Oxford Pakistan Programme (OPP) has teamed up with WildCRU to offer funding for postgraduate study and training on wildlife conservation practices to talented Pakistani origin conservationists. The OPP and WildCRU’s joint initiative will see an OPP-WildCRU Scholar supported at Oxford each year.

The inaugural OPP-WildCRU Scholar, Bilal Mustafa joined the 2023 cohort of WildCRU’s Postgraduate Diploma in International Wildlife Conservation Practice, taught as a partnership between Biology and Continuing Education departments, with close links to Lady Margaret Hall. Bilal combines his vast knowledge and enthusiasm with valuable scholar skills. From his many visits to libraries in Pakistan and the UK he has amassed an impressive collection of historical pictures and records of gharial crocodiles in Pakistan, documenting their demise but also their extraordinary recent reappearance in the Indus River basin.

As the recipient of the OPP Zaman Scholarship, established with the generous support of Dr Tariq Zaman, Bilal joins the OPP scholars cohort for 2023-24. OPP scholars represent a diverse breadth of disciplines, backgrounds and talents and will now also include biodiversity and conservation studies. OPP said, “It is our hope that Bilal and future OPP-WildCRU Scholars go on to become leaders in biodiversity conservation through academic excellence and the spirit of public service. We look forward to Bilal’s contribution to protect Pakistan’s exceptional wildlife and wild spaces, while working closely with the communities that live close to wildlife.”

Bilal is committed to deepening the OPP and WildCRU’s links with Pakistan, supporting efforts to establish a lecture series in Oxford on wildlife conservation in Pakistan as well as additional support for related research in Oxford.