Oxford and Wrocław in Poland have become twin cities.
Councillor Sajjad Malik, Deputy Lord Mayor of Oxford, and Rafał Dutkiewicz, President of Wrocław– signed the agreement earlier this week (3/10).
Oxford last twinned with a city in 1995 - the city of Perm in Russia - making Wrocław the first twinning agreement in 23 years.
Wrocław is the fourth largest city in Poland and is situated in the west of the country. It is a university city with a student population of over 130,000.
Oxford is now twinned with six cities. Wrocław joins Bonn in Germany, Leiden in the Netherlands, Grenoble in France, Leon in Nicaragua, and Perm.
Councillor Sajjad Malik was joined by Mrs Jamila Claire Malik; Councillor Mary Clarkson, Board Member of Culture and City Centre; Paul Inman, Pro Vice Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University; Paula Redway, Cultural Development Manager at Oxford City Council; and Ewa Głuza, chair of Oxford-Polish Association.
It follows a visit in June from the Chair of Wroclaw City Council, Mr Jacek Ossowski, who met with representatives from the City Council, University of Oxford, and Oxford Brookes University, as well as cultural and community organisations, to discuss a twinning agreement.
Oxford is currently home to two very active Polish organisations – the Oxford Polish Association and the Oxford University Polish Society – as well as a Polish Saturday school, place of worship, restaurants and a network of shops.
After English, Polish is one the most widely-spoken languages in Oxford.
Twin city links give citizens the chance to engage with other cultures and ways of life, and make these experiences more accessible through established contacts and networks in the linked cities.
Councillor Sajjad Malik, Deputy Lord Mayor of Oxford, said: “It is a historic moment for both cities to be twining and hopefully this will be as successful as our others. We hope that this will help encourage cultural exchange, sports opportunities, and will help to encourage tourists from Wrocław to visit Oxford.”
To find out more about the Oxford twin city links to go www.oxfordtwincitylinks.com