At 15, Malala was shot for going to school. Now she’s getting the Oxford degree that produces world leaders

To the future.
To the future.
Image: Reuters/Darren Staples
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Malala Yousafzai, a straight “A” student, had her pick of colleges to choose from. While she was tempted by the California sunshine, Malala confirmed she would be attending the University of Oxford to study the degree that has a habit of producing world leaders.

Malala will be studying “Philosophy, Politics and, Economics”(PPE) at Oxford—a degree that has gone on to produce three British prime ministers, three Pakistani prime ministers, and three prime ministers from Australia, as well as other world leaders from Thailand, Ghana, and Peru.

In the UK, it’s been described as the degree that “runs Britain.” No other university, course, or private school pervades the British elite in the same way, according to a report by The Guardian. This was highlighted during a single day of campaigning in the 2015 general election, when the leader of the opposition, Ed Miliband (who studied PPE at Oxford), released his party’s manifesto. It was analyzed by the BBC’s then political editor, Oxford PPE graduate Nick Robinson, examined by the director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, Oxford PPE graduate Paul Johnson, criticized by the sitting prime minister, Oxford PPE graduate David Cameron, and defended by Labour shadow chancellor, Oxford PPE graduate Ed Balls. In 2015, no fewer than six members of the cabinet, including the foreign secretary and chief secretary to the treasury, were Oxford PPE graduates

The course is not only a favorite among British political elites. Other graduates include British Pakistani actor and rapper Riz Ahmed, Gawker Media founder Nick Denton, and media mogul Rupert Murdoch.

Still, Malala holds her own among these heavy weights. After surviving an attack by the Taliban in 2012, Malala went on to become the world’s youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize winner. She has since become a powerful advocate for girls’ education.