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WHSA - 2016 International Students Day Joint Statement

The World Health Students Alliance celebrates the International Students Day held on the 17th
of November 2016, and considers this day as an opportunity to harness the power of
collaboration between students and to encourage meaningful youth involvement.
The World Health Students Alliance is the largest interprofessional healthcare alliance. The
current Alliance is a partnership between the following organisations: the International
Association of Dental Students (IADS), the International Federation of Medical Students
Associations (IFMSA), the International Pharmaceutical Students Federation (IPSF) and the
International Veterinary Students Association (IVSA). WHSA was established to bring together
all healthcare students to share their experiences and to better address health challenges facing
the society. The partner organisations believe that as the most active part of a society, students
have the will and power to make the world a better place.
Since 1941, the 17th of November has been marked worldwide as the International Students'
Day. Several universities celebrate it as a day of multiculturalism and diversity, but there is a
tragic story behind it, 77 Years ago on this day, Nazis viciously executed nine students and
professors, sent more than 1,200 students to concentration camps and closed all Czech
universities. During this incident, the students showed great courage that should never be
forgotten. On this day, students commemorate their legacy and remind themselves not to be
passive, to raise their voice and to make positive changes.
Students all over the world continue their commitments to fight for human rights, adequate
education, healthier communities and a brighter future. The World Health Students Alliance is
committed to strengthening the meaningful youth engagement of our students. Global health is a
growing inter-sectoral field, with many aspects and challenges, and as we are medical, dental,
pharmaceutical and veterinary students, we understand that our fields interconnect and meet in
global health. The four student organizations in this alliance are committed to advocate for the
best interests of our communities, to improve the culture related to health professions
collaboration, and to work together in common advocacy topics related to global health. The
WHSA partners thrive for youth involvement, which is vital to help develop sustainable positive
health outcomes, as youth are some of the most powerful change agents in the world. The WHSA
acknowledges that our strength comes from being united, and acting together against the
challenges that face students, their communities and global health.
IFMSA - The International Federation of Medical Students Association - is a youth-led and
youth-driven organization, representing an inspiring network of 1.3 million medical students in
122 countries around the globe, with the vision: A world in which all medical students unite for
global health and are equipped with the knowledge, skills and values to take on health leadership

roles locally and globally. In IFMSA, we care about meaningful youth involvement, as its one
of our main focus areas in external representation. Within our advocacy efforts that concern
specific health issues and changes, we underline the importance of involving youth in shaping
the world of tomorrow and encourage our members to have a voice and be involved at all levels
of decision making in global health.
The International Association of Dental Students was founded in 1951 in Denmark, in order to
serve the needs of dental students throughout the world. Representing the interests of more than
200,000 dental students in 50 countries worldwide, the Association strives for dental educational
and scientific excellence throughout the international student projects and initiatives it manages.
Today, we want you, the students, to understand that you have responsibilities to use your talents
for the benefit of the society. You must decide, as Goethe put it, whether you will be an anvil or a
hammer, whether you will give to the world in which you were reared and educated the broadest
possible benefits of that education. Of the many special obligations incumbent upon an educated
person, we would cite three: your obligation to the pursuit of learning, your obligation to serve
the public, your obligation to help those in need. We want all of you to realize that every day you
have the power to change and improve the lives of people around you and we urge you to act
and make a difference!

The International Pharmaceutical Students Federation (IPSF) was founded in 1949 by eight
pharmacy student associations in London. The Federation now represents approximately 350,000
pharmacy students and recent graduates in over 80 countries worldwide. IPSF is the leading
international advocacy organisation for pharmacy students promoting improved public health
through provision of information, education, networking, and a range of publications and
professional activities. As students of a profession, we understand that advancement of
knowledge of our own students is vital to making positive impacts in global health when we
begin practice; while we aim to promote public health specifically, a major focus of this
promotion is involved with engaging our members to participate in improving quality of
education in their faculties.
IVSA The International Veterinary Students Association is the largest veterinary student
organization representing approximately 30.000 veterinary students and is run by voluntary
efforts of those students. IVSA exists to benefit the animals and people of the world by
harnessing the potential and dedication of veterinary students to promote the exchange of
veterinary skills, education and knowledge. IVSA hopes to raise the overall standard of
veterinary education with its projects and educational opportunities focusing on animal welfare,

We call on the global community of students to stand and work together to demand fair
education with high standards and excellent quality for all. This should give students the ability
and chance to achieve their goal of one day being high-quality and stress-free veterinarians.
With the World Health Students Alliance representing a collective body of over 1.8 million
students in the world, we are a powerful voice to encourage change on a global level. However,
we recognise that change on a global level needs to start with those 1.8 million individuals
working on their local level. In honor of the students who work tirelessly to better themselves
and the world around them, the Alliance calls for action on all levels; we call on legislators
involved in the education system to alleviate the financial and housing burdens that students face
in an effort to invest in the improvement of their society, we call on the Alliance and other health
profession student organisations to advocate together throughout the year on common topics
related to global health education, and we call on students themselves to see the value in
professional development and the quality of education in the betterment of their local
Approved by all partners of World Health Students Alliance for International Students Day; 17
November 2016.