Honorary degree for Malala Yousafzai

Education campaigner Malala Yousafzai has been awarded an honorary degree by the University.

Malala Yousafzai receives honorary degree

She received the degree of Master of Arts, in recognition of her efforts to improve educational opportunities for children around the world.

Sixteen-year-old Malala survived an assassination attempt by members of the Taliban in October 2012.

Since then, she has attracted praise and admiration from around the world for her determined campaigning.

The award was presented by University Principal and Vice Chancellor, Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea. Honorary MAs are traditionally awarded by the University’s Senatus Academicus to recognise students who have excelled during their studies.

It was a privilege to welcome Malala to Edinburgh and to present her with an honorary degree. Her courage and determination to achieve the basic human right of education is inspiring.

Professor Sir Timothy O’SheaPrincipal, the University of Edinburgh

Global human rights

Malala received her degree at the inaugural meeting of the Global Citizenship Commission.

Chaired by former Prime Minister Gordon Brown MP, who is also a graduate and former Rector of Edinburgh, the Commission saw distinguished leaders gather in the University’s McEwan Hall to re-examine the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), adopted by the United Nations in 1948.

The Commission was organised in conjunction with New York University, where Mr Brown is a Global Fellow, and was supported by the Carnegie UK Trust.

Among those attending were John Kufuor, former President of Ghana and philosopher K Anthony Appiah.

Shared values

The University has a number of staff and students working in fields related to the aims of the Commission.

These include members of the Global Justice Academy (GJA), one of four Global Academies at Edinburgh committed to bringing together people from a wide range of disciplines in order to better address complex problems around the world.

The GJA works with students, through its Human Rights Courses, to encourage greater understanding of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and will support students, staff and the wider public to make submissions to future meetings of the Global Citizenship Commission.

Photography courtesy Douglas Robertson.