When the news is filled with stories that can depress even the most optimistic person, Impact Features writers are searching for the stories that will make you smile.

When was the last time you read a positive headline about students? I certainly can’t remember the last time I saw students in the news for anything other than reports on GCSE average grades or the crushing impact of tuition loans. And yet, all over the world students are speaking out for others their age, to make life easier for those who seem to bear such a large burden for such a young age. This is the kind of news I want to hear about.

United Kingdom

Students across the UK are campaigning to improve student mental health services. The Transitions campaign is one of many which currently calls on the Department of Health to address specific needs of young people at university to stop people ‘falling through the gaps’. Many students have shared their stories in the hope that the government will make changes to improve the lives of others.


Over Christmas, students marched in 120 locations in the US demanding free college education. College tuition has long been a point of contention, and since Bernie Sanders’ campaign, has been a focal point for the young minds of America. The group has gained the attention of National Nurses United and Energy Action Coalition, who have both shown their support for the cause.

“Chants have included the likes of ‘education is a right not just for the rich and white'”

This accelerating movement stemmed in Boston where a couple of students were inspired by a speech by the candidate, and created a Facebook page and website to organise the protest. Demonstrators are campaigning for change for students taking on crippling debts. Chants have included the likes of “education is a right not just for the rich and white”.

Sanders stated, “If a million young people march on Washington [and tell] the Republican leadership, “We know what’s going on, and you better vote to deal with student debt… You better vote to make colleges free”, that’s when it will happen.” Words from significant politicians and shouts from the voices of students everywhere call for someone to listen.


The student voice is not merely a Western phenomenon. In February, students in India spoke out about the arrest of a fellow student. Kanhaiya Kumar was arrested at Jawaharlal Nehru University after a demonstration involving anti-India slogans. Young people at the campus have protested about the arrest of the student leader on sedition charges.

The voice of the student clearly has a role in shaping government, politics and everyday life. The student voice is becoming increasingly louder globally; it is empowering to realise the impact that we can all have.

Beth Webb-Strong

Featured image: Howard Lake via Flickr

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