Malala Yousafzai, the world’s youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner, has been awarded an honorary fellowship by Oxford University’s Linacre College. The announcement was made on April 18, making her the first Pakistani to receive this honour. The award is a recognition of Malala’s remarkable work in support of women’s education, particularly for those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
A Commitment to Inclusivity
Established in 1962, Linacre College is committed to promoting inclusivity and providing opportunities to students facing financial constraints in accessing higher education. In memory of its founder, physician Thomas Linacre, the college’s mission was to offer scholarships to students from developing countries. It has since expanded its efforts to ensure access for all deserving students, regardless of socio-economic background. Through scholarship programs, bursaries, and support initiatives, Linacre College fosters an inclusive community of scholars who can contribute to society through their academic pursuits.
Fond Memories of Linacre College
Speaking at the ceremony, Malala shared her fond memories of visiting her friends at Linacre College. She also praised the impact of the Oxford Pakistan Programme (OPP), stating that the dream of the OPP has now come to fruition, transforming the lives of students and serving as a beacon of hope for students in Pakistan.
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Dr. Nick Brown, the principal of Linacre College, praised Malala’s efforts in empowering women through her unwavering commitment to education. He highlighted that the strong relationship between Linacre College and the OPP was further strengthened by the awarding of an honorary fellowship to Malala, a long-standing supporter of the OPP.
Malala’s Father Expresses Joy
Malala’s father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, expressed his joy at his daughter’s achievement. He said, “It is a huge honour for my daughter to receive this recognition. I could see the joy on Malala’s face when she received the honour, and as a proud father, I am extremely happy for her. I know that she will use this opportunity to further expand her work and collaborate with others to find solutions to the challenges in access to education for girls.”
OPP Activities in the Past Year
Dr. Talha Jamal Pirzada, a Linacre College fellow and co-founder of the OPP, provided an overview of the OPP’s activities in the past year in promoting education and fostering collaboration between Oxford and Pakistan. He added that the OPP has become a beacon of hope for thousands of Pakistani students aspiring to pursue higher education at top institutions worldwide.
Investing in the Education of Young Girls and Women
Dr. Pirzada highlighted the transformative power of education in shaping lives, communities, and nations. He reiterated the OPP’s commitment to investing in the education of young girls and women, particularly in STEM subjects. This investment is essential to build a prosperous and equitable future for generations to come, as women’s education is a critical factor in achieving sustainable development and reducing poverty. By promoting education and fostering collaboration between Oxford and Pakistan, the OPP is working towards creating a more equitable and just world, where all individuals have access to the resources and opportunities necessary to realise their full potential.
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The awarding of an honorary fellowship to Malala Yousafzai by Oxford University’s Linacre College is a recognition of her extraordinary work in support of women’s education, particularly for those from disadvantaged backgrounds. The strong relationship between Linacre College and the Oxford Pakistan Programme was further strengthened by this award. Malala’s achievement is a source of joy and pride for her father and serves as an inspiration to thousands of Pakistani students aspiring to pursue higher education at top institutions worldwide.