QMC at Heart of Prestigious McWhirter Conference at Oxford University

As part of its commitment to academic excellence, current and former Queen Mary’s College students, staff, and governors had a big presence at the prestigious McWhirter Conference in Oxford on 13-14th March. Two student delegates, the conference Chair, a guest speaker, and a seminar group leader all hailed from Queen Mary’s College. Together with over 80 students from across the country, QMC students Becca Holland (pictured centre left) and Oliver Barnes (centre right) explored whether or not economic wealth really creates ‘social wellbeing’ and happiness.


This national conference was chaired by QMC’s own Head of History, Philosophy and Politics, Tom Featherstone (pictured left). Former QMC Chair of Governors Saffron Cordery (pictured right) gave a phenomenal lecture on the NHS’s role in promoting social wellbeing and the challenges the NHS faces. Indeed, both Tom and Saffron are ex-QMC students! To complete the QMC quintet, former College Principal Stephen Sheedy (not pictured) led a seminar group exploring the issues thoughtfully and in-depth.


Becca said the conference was a “great opportunity to experience life inside an Oxford College – staying overnight, taking part in a formal dinner, and experiencing lectures and discussions. It helped me realise that I could apply to Oxbridge.” Similarly, Oliver enjoyed the “unique experience” as he “met a range of people from across the country to discuss cutting edge issues.” Oliver describes feeling “privileged to be a part of it.” QMC Principal Ali Foss said “we are proud of QMC’s ongoing involvement with the McWhirter conferences. They provide our young people with an exceptional insight into academia.”


Tom Featherstone remarked that “it is a great pleasure to chair the McWhirter conferences this year in Oxford and last year in Cambridge. At both events I have been so proud of the impressive involvement and contributions of QMC students. I am delighted by the strength of QMC’s association with this remarkable thought-provoking conference.” Tom also plans to create a similar annual conference at QMC itself, so that all History, Philosophy and Politics students can take part.


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