Malia has been leading policy change in the UK education sector for more than a decade.
Malia grew up in Algeria, and fled her home in Constantine alongside her family during the Algerian Civil War. She moved to Birmingham, England, where she attended school. While there, Malia began campaigning on social and political issues. She went on to attend the University of Birmingham, where she read cultural studies with French, followed by an MPhil in post-colonial theory. While studying for her MPhil, she began to engage further in student politics and was elected the President of the National Union of Students (NUS) at the National Conference in April 2016, becoming the first woman of colour and Muslim leader of the NUS.
During her time in student politics, Malia co-launched the '#Liberate my Degree' campaign, which simultaneously addressed the ways in which students from liberation groups suffer discrimination in education, as well as the underrepresentation of these groups in both academic life and the curriculum.
The campaign took her to the United Nations (UN) in Geneva, as part of a UK delegation, who testified to the UN about the damaging consequences of the
In 2017, she led a voter registration campaign among young people; that election year saw a 72% voter turn out in the 18-25s demographic. Malia has also contributed extensively to the Universities UK Taskforce Report, examining violence against women, harassment and hate crime affecting university students.
She writes extensively on political and public policy, identity, gender and social issues. She is also a public speaker, having attended conferences and speaking engagements globally.
Malia was awarded Media Diversified's '#EightWomen' prize in 2014 and the 'Good Citizen' prize at the Muslim News Awards in 2017.