Human rights activist Malala Yousafzai is celebrating the completion of her degree at the University of Oxford this weekend. Her graduation comes eight years after Yousafzai survived being shot by the Pakistani Taliban.
Yousafzai shared a photo of herself covered in cake and confetti — a tradition for Oxford students on the last day of their exams called “trashing.” With universities closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, she marked the achievement with a small celebration at home with her family.
Malala became an iconic figure in 2012 when she was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman as she rode the bus to school — targeted for campaigning for girl’s education rights. At the time, she was writing an anonymous blog for BBC News about life in Pakistan under the Taliban.
“Hard to express my joy and gratitude right now as I completed my Philosophy, Politics and Economics degree at Oxford,” the 22-year-old Nobel Peace Prize laureate tweeted Thursday night. “I don’t know what’s ahead. For now, it will be Netflix, reading, and sleep.”
Yousafzai began studying at Oxford in October 2017, after being formally accepted by one of its colleges, Lady Margaret Hall, where Pakistan’s first female prime minister, Benazir Bhutto, studied in the 1970s.
After being shot she recovered at an intensive care unit in Birmingham, England, where she continued her education after her family relocated there permanently.
In 2014, at age 17, she became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for her education advocacy. She continues to advocate for girls’ education through her nonprofit, the Malala Fund.
The news was greeted from congratulatory notes from an array of celebrities, including the former presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, himself an Oxford grad. “Congratulations @Malala!” tweeted Buttigieg. “You had already achieved more than most do in a lifetime before you even began at Oxford, but completing PPE exams is no small thing and will serve you well as you continue to inspire and lead.”
The singer Shakira tweeted, “I’m so happy for you @Malala! This is an incredible achievement. I’m so excited to see what you do next but until then, enjoy some me (“you”) time!”
Priyanka Chopra Jonas also congratulated on her graduation by posting a picture of herself along with Malala. She captioned it: “Happy Graduation, @malala! Your philosophy, political, and economic degree from Oxford is such an achievement. I’m so proud!”
She has not specified what she plans for her future, but a career in politics is certainly an option. She has cited Benazir Bhutto, Pakistan’s first female prime minister, as one of her personal role models, and followed in her footsteps by earning the same degree from Oxford’s Lady Margaret Hall college.
On Instagram Stories, she wrote that she is “currently unemployed” and asked for Netflix recommendations.