Malala Yousafzai is going to Oxford University, will study economics & philosophy

The Nobel Peace Prize ceremony

It feels like we could use some good news this week. So let’s have a little positivity: Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai is going to college! YAY!! Malala and her immediate family have been living in the UK for much of the past five years – she was shot by the Taliban in 2012, and flown to England for medical treatment. If she goes back to Pakistan to live, work or get an education, the Taliban will likely hunt her down and try to kill her again. Which is probably why she applied to British universities, one would assume. I don’t know if she actually applied to multiple universities, but she announced today that she will be attending Oxford:

Can you even imagine going through everything Malala has gone through and still believing in the “system” enough to apply to college? I doubt Malala will have a typical college experience, but I bet she’ll make a lot of friends and have a really great time. Then again, I double majored in economics and philosophy too and I f–king hated it. Philosophy wasn’t bad, actually, it’s just sort of a useless major (come at me, bro). Looking back, I really should have majored in political science and/or history. It sounds like Malala is keeping her options open – and I hope that as soon as she takes a few econ classes, she realizes that she should go all-in with political science. That’s her strength!

The Nobel Peace Prize concert

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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51 Responses to “Malala Yousafzai is going to Oxford University, will study economics & philosophy”

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  1. OhDear says:

    Awesome for and congrats to her!

  2. Miss Grace Jones says:

    Masha’allah so proud of her.

  3. HK9 says:

    Yasssss! This made my day. Good for her. 🙂

    • Megan says:

      Mine, too. I love this girl. She is such an inspiration. I wish her all the very best in pursuing her dreams.

  4. Aims says:

    We’re living in a time that’s pretty dark . It’s encouraging to see that this young woman is thriving. She’s an example of the human spirit and we need more stories like this. I have no doubt she’s going to do well.

    • MissMarierose says:

      I came here to say the same thing. I follow her on Twitter and it was such good news and such a ray of light in these dark times that I actually started crying tears of joy for this wonderful young woman.
      She’s amazing.

  5. Cleo says:

    So happy to read this!

  6. India Andrews says:

    Awesome! 👍

  7. LAK says:

    PPE is the standard uni course for people with political ambitions, especially at Oxbridge. Benazir Bhutto studied PPE too.

    • Brittney B. says:

      I want to someday live in a world with a President or Prime Minister Yousafzai.

    • 1979 says:

      The same college no less. I am delighted for her and her family.

    • Sixer says:

      I was just going to point that out, LAK. Oxbridge PPE is the route to a political career in the UK. Interesting she’s chosen that.

      So, it’s either domestic politics or international diplomacy/advocacy/UN for Malala. Good for her.

    • Asiyah says:

      She can definitely be the next Bhutto. Love this.

      • anon1 says:

        she ain’t going back to Pakistan. She wants to influence the world and implement her agenda and being a British pm gives her more resources and power to do so. She’s preparing for a political role in the U.K.

  8. Kate says:

    This is heartwarming! So proud of her and her spirit!

  9. Aang says:

    What an example of perseverance.

  10. Zondie says:

    Wishing her all the best!!!

  11. Amelie says:

    That’s awesome for her! She’s so intelligent and poised. I feel like she’s our generation’s… I don’t know who to even compare her to, she’s in her own category by herself.

    Also I really don’t understand majoring in philosophy either. What else can you do with this kind of major apart from become a philosophy professor?

    • Brittney B. says:

      The whole program is *called* Philosophy, Politics & Economics. She’s not pursuing three separate areas of concentration; she’s enrolling in a single, esteemed political science program.

    • Aang says:

      It teaches you how to think and form an argument based on reason and facts instead of emotion or logical fallacy. The development of liberal (small l) thought is fascinating. And the differences between western individualism and eastern communalism is a good way to study the issues playing out in major economies, especially for someone from a place where those two meet. It’s good paired with political science or law.

    • Merlin'sWife says:

      Well you can do your undergrad in philosophy and then do post-graduate studies in something else. I had a friend who majored in philosophy and then went on to law school.

    • Megan says:

      We recently hired a PhD in philosophy as part of our digital strategy team. His degree is what caught my eye. As I suspected, his ability to think outside the box and develop creative solutions is incredible. I wish we had ten more people like him.

    • Sixer says:

      Here’s the Wiki article on this degree:,_Politics_and_Economics

      Not philosophy as you’re thinking of it. Probably a third of our current cabinet has an Oxbridge PPE. It’s the degree of the British political establishment. But has been coming under a bit of criticism lately for having outdated content in terms of Western-centrism.

  12. Biffy says:

    No course of study that helps you to think more deeply, critically, and fairly could possibly be useless. Those are skills that philosophy teaches, along with many others.

  13. Amy says:

    Well done Malala!

    She can’t and won’t drop Philosophy if she wants to do a PPE degree. I think the US system is very different to the UK; here we don’t have that much flexibility when it comes to dropping ‘majors’. You sort of choose the degree you are studying when you apply and you stick to that, unless you drop out and reapply (though not always, I know some unis with some programmes can be more flexible). A PPE degree kind of stands on its own though, especially Oxford with its setup.

    PPE is really well known in the UK as the degree of choice for future politicians, especially at Oxford. It’s got a really good rep, I think more reputable than a straight politics course.

  14. Monsy says:


  15. lala says:

    she fills me with pride! the future is female!!

  16. Alice says:

    It’s a single course of PPE often done. H those interested in politics, not one she’ll have to narrow down later. Quite common here in the U.K.; I think it’s different in the USA.

  17. SandyC says:

    I expect great things from Malala. An inspiration to all of us!

  18. TheOtherOne says:

    Congratulations. I wish Malala all the best!!!

  19. Chaine says:

    Good for her! it is nice to see some shred of positive news today.

  20. Nicole says:

    Love her. Nothing better than a bunch of terrorist being afraid of a teenage girl and her courage. You go Malala!

  21. Crackfox says:

    She is about to f*ck sh*t up and I mean that in the BEST WAY EVAR!

    Way to say F-U to the Taliban. This makes me soooo hype!

  22. Jess says:

    Congratulations to Oxford! lol But seriously, any college would be so freaking lucky to have Malala as a student 🙂 I hope she has a wonderful, safe, joyful, fulfilling college experience!!

  23. Jennifer says:

    My husband’s a Fellow at an Oxford college. They’re very wisely not releasing any word about which college she’s been accepted into, but we’re hoping desperately that it’s one with a strong history of female participation and women’s rights (Somerville or St Hilda’s, maybe) and not one full of entitled pricks (aHEM, Christchurch).

    Although that could be good too, because if she’s fought the Taliban, I would pay a lot of money to see her withering glare at some white dude trying to argue with her about gender equality at dinner.

  24. adastraperaspera says:

    Amazing role model! And yeah, sorry Taliban, another woman you can’t control. You’re probably losing count. Get used to it!

  25. mayamae says:

    All the best wishes for this remarkable young woman!

  26. nicegirl says:

    Congratulations to our amazing lady Malala!! I am so happy to hear this news and happy for Malala, her family and friends. I also sure needed to hear some good news today, and this makes it. This is wonderful.

    IN YOUR FACE TALIBAN. You are not keeping Malala from getting educated.

    YOU GO, Malala!

  27. Neo says:

    Congratulations to Oxford. They’re lucky to have her.

  28. OTHER RENEE says:

    Good for her! Kaiser, why did you continue to study something you hated so much? My daughter changed her major three times and graduated on time. Surely that can’t have been the issue?

  29. IndifferentCat says:

    She’s studying PPE. Please correct the headline.

  30. Vaya says:

    Way to go, Malala!

    And great career advice, Kaiser.

  31. howmuchcanakoalabear says:

    In a world where most of the news breaks contain reports that are at best, disheartening – this was a real bright spot in my day.

    You go girl – lead the way.

  32. A.Key says:

    Way the go, wish the media would talk about people like her more. A true role model here.

  33. Trashaddict says:

    Thank you Celebitchy. More Malalas, less Kartrashians!