Back Back

Academic scoops gem of an award for contribution to Sikh Studies

Academic scoops gem of an award for contribution to Sikh Studies

The University of Wolverhampton’s Centre for Sikh and Panjabi Studies was celebrated at a high-profile event at the House of Lords recently. 

The celebration event was organised by the British Sikh Association to mark the 552nd Gurpurab of Guru Nanak, the 1st Guru of the Sikhs. 

Dr Opinderjit Kaur Takhar MBE, Director of the University’s Centre for Sikh and Panjabi Studies, was presented with the Sikh Jewel Award for ‘bringing honour to the community and country with her commitment and contribution’ by The Right Honourable Ben Wallace MP, British Defence Secretary. The Chancellor of the University, The Right Honourable Lord Swraj Paul, and the Vice Chancellor, Professor Geoff Layer were also present at the event.  

Dr Takhar is also Associate Professor of Sikh Studies in the University’s School of Humanities and an internationally recognised researcher who has published extensively on the Sikh and Panjabi community. 

Dr Takhar said: “I was absolutely delighted to receive this award from the British Sikh Association - a huge thank you goes out to Right Honourable Ben Wallace MP for presenting me with this award. 

“I am committed to bringing faith communities together whilst at the same time raising the profile of the Sikh community. 

“Working at the University of Opportunity, it is essential that we all make a valid contribution to promoting equality and diversity and I hope that my research is enriching the lives of our students as well as our communities.” 

A Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Dr Takhar is also an Editorial Board member for Journal for Understanding Sikhism and on the editorial board of the Journal, Sikh Formations. She was awarded as ‘Inspirational Woman of the Year 2020’ by Asian Today and as ‘Influencer of the Year 2019’ at the British Indian Awards. 

Dr Takhar has presented her research in universities across the world, she has produced textbooks and a teacher’s guide for the OCR GCSE syllabus on Philosophy and Ethics, used in secondary schools across Britain and she has written numerous educational resources for RE Today Publications, a national resource for teaching Religious Education across schools and colleges in the UK. Her 2005 book on Sikh Identity is used as a key text in universities across the world. 

She is a regular participant on discussion programmes and panels on Sikh media channels. She has regularly contributed to the British Sikh Report, as well as the UK Sikh Survey, and is also one of the authors of the Sikh Manifesto, produced by the Sikh Network (UK) in preparation for the 2015 British Parliament elections. 

The Centre for Sikh and Panjabi Studies, which is the first of its kind in the UK, offers PhDs and Master’s level courses in Sikh studies, as well as continuing professional development (CPD) courses for teachers and managers of diverse workforces such as national and local government, the NHS and the emergency services. 

Anyone looking to study at the University of Wolverhampton should register for one of our forthcoming Open Days. 


For more information please contact the Corporate Communications Team.

Share this release

Related Stories