Our history

Saïd Business School was founded in 1996, thanks to a generous donation from businessman and philanthropist, Wafic Saïd.  Since then it has evolved to be one of the elite business schools of the world, embedded in the world’s top University, and aspiring to be a model of purposeful leadership.  The school has a well-deserved reputation for excellence in a number of areas, including finance, entrepreneurship, social innovation, major programme management, digital marketing, tax and more.

The history of business at Oxford stretches back to 1965 when the Oxford Centre for Management Studies, later Templeton College and now Green-Templeton College, was founded.

Peter Tufano, HRH Prince of Wales, Wafic Saïd

In 1988, a committee chaired by Sir Claus Moser recommended that the University create a new School of Management Studies and in 1990 the University passed a resolution establishing the School. The first Director was Dr Clark Brundin who had previously been Vice-Chancellor of Warwick University and he, together with a number of newly appointed faculty and staff members, including the first professor, Colin Mayer, helped to establish the embryonic School.

A joint undergraduate degree in economics and management was launched in 1994 and in 1996 Saïd Business School opened its doors to its first MBA students in the Radcliffe Infirmary while it was still a fully operating hospital in the centre of Oxford.

Today we offer 11 degree programmes, a full suite of in-person Open Enrolment courses, a growing selection of online Open Enrolment courses, and we work with scores of companies and governments.  We currently work from two main sites, Park End Street and Egrove Park.

Our city centre, Park End Street building was constructed on the site of the Oxford Rewley Road Railway Station. It opened in 2001 as the result of a £23 million benefaction from businessman and philanthropist Wafic Saïd.

In 2012, we opened the Thatcher Business Education Centre at our Park End site, thanks to the continued generosity of Mr. Saïd and the Saïd Foundation. 

Wafic Saïd Breaking Ground at Park End Street

The state-of-art design of Park End Street is the work of leading architects, Jeremy Dixon and Edward Jones, also responsible for the Royal Opera House in London.

While modern in materials and approach, the design draws upon academic tradition, with a classical outdoor amphitheatre, columns and cloisters, oak-panelled, horseshoe style lecture theatres, two large outdoor garden spaces, and a contemporary interpretation of the traditional Oxford dreaming spires.

In 2017, we opened the Oxford Foundry, a few hundred metres from the School, in a former ice factory turned nightclub. The Foundry is open to all students and recent alumni of Oxford, and supports young entrepreneurs. While not formally part of the School, by supporting all Oxford entrepreneurs, the Foundry allows us to make a substantial contribution to the University from which we benefit greatly.

Our plans are to open the Global Leadership Centre in the former Osney Power Station in approximately 2021. The Global Leadership Centre will become the centre for our teaching of executives of leading organizations.

Park End Street West Wing

Deans of Saïd Business School

Dr. Clark Brundin (School of Management Studies) (1992-1995)

Prof. John Kay (1996-1998)

Prof. Anthony Hopwood (1999-2006)

Prof. Colin Mayer (2006- 2011)

Prof. Peter Tufano (2011-current)