How a PPE degree may change the world

Posted on: 28 May 2015

King’s Ely sixth former Yuki Kimura is poised to study Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE) at Oxford – dubbed the surest ticket to the top for a life in the corridors of power. Yuki reveals her motivation for applying for the degree ...

I came upon PPE for the first time when I was 14 having read ‘Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do’ by political philosopher Michael Sandel, who was a graduate of PPE at Balliol College, Oxford. He asks questions like: Is torture ever justified? Would you steal a drug that your child needs to survive? Is it sometimes wrong to tell the truth? How much is one human life worth?

The book sparked a fascination within me about the ethical questions we confront in our everyday lives. My fascination with global humanitarian issues began with my personal experiences of poverty and social injustice as a child growing up in Shanghai. My family moved to the city when I was seven years old. In Shanghai I came to know two things in particular.

Firstly, walking past street children every day made me conscious about the huge problem of poverty, which led to my passion of global humanitarian issues in general.

Secondly, I was there in Shanghai when a huge anti-Japan protest took place in 2004, which exposed me to the anger and the hatred of the citizens. I remember being extremely distressed by the huge divide between the two countries that I had come to love. These experiences fuelled my concern for international relations and at that time became inspired by the work of the United Nations.

Though four years on, however, I am now aware of the difficulties and the flaws of the UN, hence would also love to gain experience in NGOs engaging in promoting social welfare. For me PPE will be the essential backbone for me to take a step towards promoting cooperation and co-existence among nations. I’m also looking forward to being inspired by wonderful people and to meet many others who are passionate about the same subjects as me. I believe Oxford will expose me to so many different cultures and ideologies, not just from the academic rigour but also by interacting with students from all over the world. I hope to look for a new way that Japan will be able to contribute to global peace in the future.

I would like to be part of Japan building a stronger direct bond between European countries. I feel Japan has been heavily dependent on building relations with Europe through America, to create a mutual understanding between them to work together, of course with all other continents, for a peaceful world, which I hope can start in Oxford.

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