Going Social: Young, Gifted and Blocked

Let Us Learn is a campaign advocating for and run by young people who were born overseas but have called the UK home since childhood; who have been educated in the British schooling system and yet when they reach university age, apply, only to discover they face international fees and are not eligible for student loans. 

Education PR

In this well executed campaign video, the young, educationally ambitious activists outline their situations.

“I’m from Hackney, east London,” began one aspiring student.

“It’s always been that fundamental thing, you go to secondary school, you go to college, you go to uni,” outlined another.

Students apply and secure their places, it’s not usually until applying for their student finance when they experience the shocking discovery they are in a different situation to their classmates.

“I was born in Nigeria and moved to London when I was four years old. Despite me being in this country for 14 years I qualify as an international student. It was at that point that the walls kind of crumbled down.”

The young peoples’ ambitions range from working in climate change to politics, drama or scientific research.

“I’m someone that’s lived here since I was nine and I can’t carry on doing what I love to do. All my fellow classmates are progressing to university.”

It is not surprising how the campaign has been playing out on social media, with the young campaigners naturally versed in it. Let Us Learn even publicise an account on Snapchat, not a platform you see used in this type of campaigning.

The message has been spread attached to the hashtag #younggiftedandblocked which has been engaged with and endorsed by the likes of MP David Lammy and Open University’s chancellor Baroness Martha Lane Fox.

Perhaps a sign of which social channels are and are not in favour for this generation, Let Us Learn does have a Facebook page, althoughit is liked by just 400 people. Their active Twitter account on the other hand has over 1,750 followers.

The platforms have been engaging with the current mainstream media conversation on unfair treatment of migrants in the UK in the wake of the Windrush scandal, sharing a plethora of articles and debates on the subject.

Their campaigns so far also play out well on the platforms, as they have had a visual and captivating nature, as seen on their website gallery.

Education PR

In late April they were featured on Radio 4’s Today programme.

Most rationale Brits that encounter the campaign, online or in traditional media, should easily recognise the merits of these young people who aspire to succeed and contribute to the UK, economically, socially, culturally, and the rights they should have to do this. One can simply hope that the young activists remain positive and can overcome the barriers and attend university (the outlook is looking hopeful with a recent test case in the Supreme Court ruling in their favour), rather than embittered by the unsupportive treatment they have been faced with by their own country.

GKP offers education PR, marketing, consultancy and communications management to UK schools, universities and business