Education in the North has long been a proud publisher for early career researchers, postgraduate students and practitioners. This is perhaps due to an inherent awareness of the challenges these authors may face in trying to get involved and publish their work. The tradition of offering a platform for such authors began in the earliest days of the journal and continues to this day. The latest example is this special issue, titled ‘For students, by students’, which invited postgraduate education students to share their academic works. Additionally, this issue provided the opportunity for postgraduate students, at various stages of their doctoral journey, to take on the role of the guest editors.