The National Union of Students has elected its first president who has not attended university.
Toni Pearce, who is currently the union's vice president for further education, studied at Cornwall College.
She was elected to serve as the NUS's new president at the union's annual conference in Sheffield on Tuesday, winning the election in the first round with 424 of 732 valid votes.
Speaking afterwards she said: "I'm really proud to have been given the opportunity to build the student movement around a vision for public education, and to be leading NUS as we build towards the next general election.
"Between now and 2015 we need to hold a full and frank debate about what education means to society and to properly articulate the public value of education in communities up and down the country."
More than 450 of the student unions affiliated with the NUS are in further education (FE) colleges, the union said, and most of the students it represents are studying in FE institutions.