8 Most Common Reasons for Student Protests & Examples

Students are often among those who are the first to protest. They are very sensitive to the imperfections and unfairness of the world, and they are willing to fight them.

Every individual has a right to protest, and schools must respect this right. It’s critically important that the youth has an active position, and society often relies on it. Preventing students from getting involved in the movement may badly reflect on the university’s image. That’s why schools often try to get involved in the protest but never prevent learners from expressing their ideas.

History knows lots of influential student protests. Some of them grew into national movements and led to major political and socioeconomic changes. Such examples are being studied at schools and often become the main topics for online essay service EssayHub specialists. Others changed the path for entire countries, predetermining their new course.

In this article, we are going to talk about the major reasons for student unrest to know what triggers them the most.

1. Discrimination

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Students are usually intolerable to discrimination of any kind. They are ready to fight any form of oppression because most of them were born and raised in multicultural societies. They do not divide people by their race, skin color, gender, or self-identification.

Moreover, they demand inclusion and equity, and they mean it. There is no other social group that’d fight for DE&I that much as students do now. For example, the Concordia community has recently protested against racism and discrimination on campus.

2. University Policy

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If students spot changes in university policies that directly impact their status and rights, they protest without hesitation. For many, any shift in university policies that somehow affects learners’ rights, freedoms, and status is unacceptable.

Students are young and impulsive; that’s why they are triggered to protest so easily. They can quickly detect if the “system” is cheating them, and they immediately respond. If you need to write about such protests, you’d better address an essay review service to choose the best company to work with. This particular topic requires more information to write a killer essay.

3. Police Violence

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Young people often got involved in various situations with the police. However, student society monitors such cases closely to ensure every individual is treated with dignity by the police. That does not mean that students try to avoid punishment for unlawful actions. They just demand that their rights and freedoms be fully observed if this is the case.

Student society is always ready to join the battle to make police follow the protocol and act rightfully when its representative is arrested. However, such protests often end up being massive, involving several schools as an act of solidarity.

Students were the first to respond to police violence against George Floyd. His case is a mixture of discrimination and police violence, but students have taken the lead in this fight.

4. State-Level Educational Reforms

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Protests against higher education reforms often involve learners from different schools. They occur when students spot unfairness in budgeting or resource allocation. In such cases, students immediately demand the authorities review their policy concerning the reform.

In 2015, the Netherlands community gathered to express their dissatisfaction with the idea of converting student grants into loans. European student unions also condemned the move. This protest resulted in a scandal that made policymakers reconsider the idea.

5. Socioeconomic Situation

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As representatives of the younger generation, students are very sensitive to their country’s socioeconomic course. Not every young person is open to travel or relocation. Many of them want to remain in their country and contribute to its development.

That’s why students often overreact to any form of injustice in the socioeconomic course of the country. They are the first to respond to extremely low minimum wages, unfair medical insurance, or growing gas prices.

6. Politics

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Students also engage in politics if they see their country is moving in the wrong direction. As a youth, they know what country they want to live in and how they see their personal and collective development.

One of the most well-known student protests in the world occurred in 2013 in Ukraine. Students demanded their then-incumbent President sign the association agreement with the EU. He, instead, wanted to pause the process to make a trade-off between the Eastern and Western major powers. Those events led to a full-size war on the European continent eight years later.

Also, student protests in Tunisia and Algeria led to the Arab Spring in 2011.

7. Environmental Issues

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Students are often very active when it comes to fighting for environmental protection. They are the representatives of the younger generation who want a better, more sustainable future for themselves and their future children. They are aware of climate change, global warming, and the greenhouse effect. So, they often protest against any initiative that can potentially worsen the situation in their region.

One of the most famous student eco protests in 2024 took place in Switzerland, where students and other activists held streets to demand social and climate justice.

8. Bullying and Other Internal Issues

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Also, one of the popular reasons why students unite in their fight for justice is their intolerance of any form of bullying. Unfortunately, it is still common in campus and university environments, but nowadays, many more people are aware of the detrimental effect of this issue on the whole community.

Such protests are usually very localized. As soon as bullying becomes a new norm in a school or university, students are the first to respond. Such protests occur in different schools across the US and keep being the most effective way to defend those who suffer unjustly.


Students have a high sense of justice and are ready to fight for it. They feel they are responsible for social change and the well-being of everyone around them. Thus, each learner does their best to ensure their rights and freedoms are observed. Students do not fight for themselves; they do it for their community and the entire world.