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A students' union, also known by many other names, is a
student A student is primarily a person enrolled in a school A school is an educational institution designed to provide learning spaces and learning environments for the teaching of students under the direction of teachers. Most countries h ...

student
organization An organization, or organisation (Commonwealth English The use of the English language English is a of the , originally spoken by the inhabitants of . It is named after the , one of the ancient that migrated from , a peninsu ...

organization
present in many
colleges A college (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in rel ...

colleges
,
universities A university () is an of (or ) and which awards s in several . Universities typically offer both and programs in different schools or faculties of learning. The word ''university'' is derived from the ''universitas magistrorum et scholari ...
, and
high school A secondary school describes an institution that provides secondary education Secondary education covers two phases on the International Standard Classification of Education The International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) is a ...

high school
s. In
higher education Higher education is tertiary education Tertiary education, also referred to as third-level, third-stage or post-secondary education, is the education Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge ...
, the students' union is often accorded its own building on the
campus A campus is traditionally the land on which a college A college (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from ...

campus
, dedicated to
social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and whether the exchange is voluntary/involuntary. Etymology The word "Social" derives fr ...

social
, organizational activities, representation, and academic support of the membership. In the United States, ''student union'' often only refers to a physical building owned by the university with the purpose of providing services for students without a governing body. This building is also referred to as a
student activity center 300px, Student Activity Center on the campus of Texas Tech University A student center (or student centre) is a type of building found on university and some secondary school, high school campuses. In the United States, such a building may also ...
, although the
Association of College Unions International ACUI (Association of College Unions International) is one of the oldest associations in higher education, and dates to 1914. This association is the largest organization that represents student activity centers and student unions in the United Sta ...
(largely US-based) has hundreds of campus organizational members. Outside the US, ''student union'' and ''students' union'' more often refer to a representative body, as distinct from a ''student activity centre'' building.


Purpose

Depending on the country, the purpose, assembly, method, and implementation of the group might vary. Universally, the purpose of students' union or student government is to represent fellow students in some fashion. In some cases, students' unions are run by students, independent of the educational facility. The purpose of these organizations is to represent students both within the institution and externally, including on local and national issues. Students' unions are also responsible for providing a variety of services to students. Depending on the organization's makeup, students can get involved in the union by becoming active in a committee, by attending councils and general meetings, volunteering within a group, service or club run by the union, or by becoming an elected officer. Some students' unions are politicized bodies, and often serve as a training ground for aspiring
politician A politician is a person active in party politics A political party is an organization that coordinates candidate A candidate, or nominee, is the prospective recipient of an award or honor, or a person seeking or being considered for some ...

politician
s. Students' unions generally have similar aims irrespective of the extent of politicization, usually focusing on providing students with facilities, support, and services. Some students' unions often officially recognize and
allocate
allocate
an annual
budget A budget is a financial plan In general usage, a financial plan is a comprehensive evaluation of an individual's current pay and future financial state by using current known variables to predict future income, asset values and withdrawal p ...

budget
to other organizations on campus. In some institutions, postgraduate students are within the general students' unions, whereas in others they have their own postgraduate representative body. In some cases, graduate students lack formal representation in student government.


Variations depending on country

As mentioned before universally the purpose of students' union or student government is to represent fellow students. Many times students' unions usually focusing on providing students with facilities, support, and services. Simple variations on just the name include the name differences between the United States (student government) and other countries (students' union or student association). Depending on the country there are different methods of representation
compulsory education Compulsory education refers to a period of education that is required of all people and is imposed by the government. This education may take place at a registered school A school is an designed to provide s and s for the teaching of ...
to
Higher education Higher education is tertiary education Tertiary education, also referred to as third-level, third-stage or post-secondary education, is the education Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge ...
or tertiary.


Asia and Oceania


Australia

In
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...

Australia
, all
universities A university () is an of (or ) and which awards s in several . Universities typically offer both and programs in different schools or faculties of learning. The word ''university'' is derived from the ''universitas magistrorum et scholari ...
have one or more student organizations. Australian student unions typically provide such services as eateries, small retail outlets (e.g., news agencies), student media (e.g., campus newspapers), advocacy, and support for a variety of social, arts, political, recreational, special interest and sporting clubs and societies. Most also operate specialized support services for female,
LGBT ' is an initialism An acronym is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, practical meaning (li ...

LGBT
, international and
indigenous Indigenous may refer to: *Indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous people, are culturally distinct ethnic groups who are native to a particular place. The term ' ...

indigenous
students. Many expressed concerns over the introduction of
voluntary student unionism Voluntary student unionism (VSU), as it is known in Australia, or voluntary student membership (VSM), as it is known in New Zealand, is a policy under which membership of – and payment of membership fees to – university student organisations i ...
(VSU) in 2006. In 2011, the Government passed legislation to allow universities to charge students a compulsory service fee to fund amenities such as sporting facilities, childcare and counselling, as well as student media and "advocating students’ interests". The
National Union of Students of Australia The National Union of Students (NUS) is the peak representative body for Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australi ...
represents most undergraduate students' unions at a national level; the
Council of Australian Postgraduate AssociationsThe Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations (CAPA) is the peak representative body for postgraduate students in Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the ma ...
is the umbrella organisation for postgraduate students' unions.


Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan Students Union (ASU) was established by students from Baku on 15 September 2008. ASU is an organization which was established on basis of international experience and it was the first student organization which united students irrespective of gender, race, creed, nationality. During its action period ASU has formed stable structure, presented new suggestions about student policy to appropriate bodies, made close relations with international and regional student organizations, prepared new action plan according to the universities-students-companies' relations in Azerbaijan. ASU considered international relations very important. For the first time ASU's delegates were participants of the First Asia IAESTE Forum in Shanghai during 12–15 November 2009. After that forum ASU established close relations with IAESTE which is one of the biggest student exchange organizations. As a result of relations on 21 January 2010 ASU was accepted a member of IAESTE. The union gained right to represent Azerbaijan students in IAESTE. That membership was the union's first success on international level. During 20–27 January Azerbaijan Students Union was accepted as associative member of IAESTE in 64th Annual Conference in Thailand. Azerbaijan Students Union has been a full member of European Students' Union until 2015.


China

In
China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere ...

China
, the student body is usually referred to as 学生会 () or 学生联合会 (). Membership in different universities has different functions. Some universities may give the membership a task of recording the students' attendance and the complex grades. Student associations of Chinese universities are mostly under the leadership of
Communist Youth League of China The Communist Youth League of China (CYLC), also known as the Young Communist League of China or simply the Communist Youth League (CYL), is a youth movement The following is a list of youth organizations. A youth organization is a type of org ...
, which to a large extent limit its function as an organization purely belonging to students themselves.


Hong Kong

All
universities A university () is an of (or ) and which awards s in several . Universities typically offer both and programs in different schools or faculties of learning. The word ''university'' is derived from the ''universitas magistrorum et scholari ...
in
Hong Kong Hong Kong (; , ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (HKSAR), is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Pe ...

Hong Kong
have students' unions. Most of these students' unions are members of the
Hong Kong Federation of Students The Hong Kong Federation of Students (HKFS, or 學聯) is a student organisation founded in May 1958 by the student unions of four higher education institutions in Hong Kong Hong Kong (; , ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administ ...
. Many
secondary schools A secondary school describes an institution that provides secondary education and also usually includes the building where this takes place. Some secondary schools provide both lower secondary education (age 12 to 15) and upper secondary educatio ...
also have students' unions or the equivalent. Students' unions are called
student council A student council (also known as a student union or associated student body) is an administrative organisation of students in different educational institutes ranging from elementary schools to universities and research organisation around th ...
and students' association in some secondary schools. Students' unions in secondary schools and universities are elected democratically and universally by the student population, and the cabinet winning a simple majority becomes the new students' union of the year. Students' union maintain quite a hierarchical structure.


India

India has developed a complex tradition of student politics dating from the era of Indian National Congress movement domination. Student unions are organised both within universities, like the Student Council of IISc and across universities,
All India Students Federation The All India Students' Federation (AISF) is the oldest student organisation in India; it was founded on 12 August 1936 with the guidance of freedom fighters and revolutionaries of that time. History The foundation conference of the AISF wa ...
(AISF) is the oldest student organisation in India founded on August 12, 1936. AISF is the only students organisation in the country which was actively involved in the Indian freedom struggle, but affiliated with political parties, as in the case of
Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) () is a right-wing Right-wing politics embraces the view that certain social orders and Social stratification, hierarchies are inevitable, natural, normal, or desirable, typically supporting this ...
, Muslim Students Federation, Students Federation of India,
National Students Union of India The National Students' Union of India (NSUI), the student wing of the Indian National Congress (INC or Congress), was established on 9 April 1971. The organisation was founded by Indira Gandhi after merging the Kerala Students Union and the ...
etc. who compete in elections to control posts in universities and colleges. Examples of activist unions include the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union, Delhi University Students Union, Udai pratap college students Union Swaero Student Union. Recently few school administrations had also started including the student government system as co-curricular activities in one form or another. There is one of a kind, non-political independent architectural students body, National Association of Students of Architecture.


Indonesia

In
Indonesia Indonesia ( ), officially the Republic of Indonesia ( id, Republik Indonesia, links=yes ), is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is t ...

Indonesia
, every university, college and higher education school has a student union. The official student union in junior and senior high school is usually called ''Organisasi Siswa Intra Sekolah'' (Intra-School Student Organization, abbreviated as ''OSIS''), is formed by the school. A general election to choose the leader is usually held every year. OSIS organizes the school's extracurricular activities such as music shows and art gallery (''pentas seni/pensi''). The student union in universities is commonly called ''Badan Eksekutif Mahasiswa'' (Student Executive Board, abbreviated as ''BEM''), though the official name could be vary between universities or faculties. Most of BEMs are affiliated with several national unions, such as All-Indonesia BEM (BEM SI) or BEM Nusantara (BEMNUS).


Japan

In
Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an in ...

Japan
, the student body is called 学生自治会 (gakusei-jichi-kai). In Japanese, the word 学生自治会 (gakusei-jichi-kai) means students' self-government-organizations. The student body in Japan promotes
extracurricular An extracurricular activity (ECA) or extra academic activity (EAA) is an activity, performed by students, that falls outside the realm of the normal curriculum of school, college or university education. Such activities are generally Volunteering, ...
activities. Usually, a cultural association, 文化会 (bunka-kai), and a sports association, 体育会 (taiiku-kai), are included within a student body as autonomous organizations. A student belongs to one or more students' organizations, and he or she does extracurricular activities through these students' organizations. However, the extracurricular activities of universities and colleges have been declining since the 1990s. There is no nationwide student union in Japan that participates in university administration or university management.


Malaysia

Malaysia Malaysia ( ; ) is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the geographical southeastern subregion of Asia, consisting of the regions ...

Malaysia
has 20 public universities. Each of them has one students' representative council ( ms, Majlis Perwakilan Pelajar, MPP), the highest student body of such university as stipulated in the
Universities and University Colleges Act 1971 University and University College Act 1971 ( ms, Akta Universiti dan Kolej Universiti 1971) or AUKU 1971 is an act of Parliament that was legislated by the Malaysia, Malaysian government that was approved by the king on 27 April 1971. It is also an ...
(AUKU).
The registered students of the University, other than external students, shall together constitute a body to be known as the Students’ Union of the University, and the Union shall elect a Students’ Representative Council. (Article 48 Section 1-2, Universities and University Colleges Act)
A general election is held every year, usually in November (With the exception of
University of Malaya The University of Malaya (UM) ( ms, Universiti Malaya, UM) is a public university, public research university located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It is the oldest and highest ranking Malaysian institution of higher education according to two in ...
in July), to elect representatives to MPP. The percentage of voter turn-outs are usually high (70 to 95 percent) largely due to enforcements from the universities' management which, at the same time, acts as the Election Committee. Amendments on the
Universities and University Colleges Act 1971 University and University College Act 1971 ( ms, Akta Universiti dan Kolej Universiti 1971) or AUKU 1971 is an act of Parliament that was legislated by the Malaysia, Malaysian government that was approved by the king on 27 April 1971. It is also an ...
in 2019 allows students to be fully in-charge of the Election Committee. Every year, the Malaysian
Ministry of Higher Education{{Unreferenced, date=March 2019, bot=noref (GreenC bot) A Ministry of Higher Education is a government department that focuses on the provision or regulation of institutions of higher education. In some countries these exist as ministries compounded ...
would set meetings and arrange programmes with all MPPs. Nevertheless, each MPP has their own autonomous right to govern their own membership. The size of MPP differs from each university, from as little as 12 to as many as 50, which may include non-associate members from student leaders representing their respective student body. All MPP members are part-time and unpaid officers. In 2011,
Universiti Sains Malaysia Universiti Sains Malaysia (literally meaning Science University of Malaysia, abbreviated as USM) is a public research university in Malaysia Malaysia ( ; ) is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia or Southeastern Asia is th ...
established Students' Consultative Assembly ( ms, Dewan Perundingan Pelajar, DPP), the first student parliament established and the oldest of its kind in Malaysia, to involve participation of more student leaders in decision and policy making as well as to establish a legislative branch in its Students' Union system instead of having the only executive branch. A university student parliament is composed of MPP members and other elected or appointed student leaders representing their respective student body, along with the presence of the management's and students' representative as observers. In 2020,
Universiti Utara Malaysia The Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM; English: ''Northern University of Malaysia'') was established on 16 February 1984 under the Universiti Utara Malaysia 1984 Order. The university was corporatised on 23 April 1998. It is in Sintok, Kedah ...
revived the Students' Parliament ( ms, Parlimen Mahasiswa) as the legislative branch in its Students' Union system which was left dormant since its last meeting at 2013 and the next meeting since its revival was held in April 2021. As at May 2021, 8 public universities in Malaysia had their student parliament established. However, there were several disputes regarding the autonomy of the MPP, since executive decisions were depending upon the advice of the Students' Affairs Department ( ms, Jabatan Hal Ehwal Pelajar), especially among several students' rights activists, who insists that the
Universities and University Colleges Act 1971 University and University College Act 1971 ( ms, Akta Universiti dan Kolej Universiti 1971) or AUKU 1971 is an act of Parliament that was legislated by the Malaysia, Malaysian government that was approved by the king on 27 April 1971. It is also an ...
(AUKU) to be abolished and replaced with a new act to 'revive' students' autonomy on administration as in the 1960s'.


New Zealand

Students associations have a strong history in New Zealand of involvement in political causes, notably the
Halt All Racist Tours Halt All Racist Tours (HART) was a protest group set up in New Zealand in 1969 to protest against rugby union Rugby union, commonly known simply as rugby, is a Contact sport#Terminology, full-contact team sport that originated in England in t ...
campaign during the
1981 Springbok Tour The 1981 South African rugby tour (known in New Zealand New Zealand ( mi, Aotearoa ) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It consists of two main landmasses—the North Island () and the South Island ()—and more than ...
. All universities, and most polytechnics and colleges of education have a students association. Since the economic reforms of the 1990s and the introduction of user pays in tertiary education, students associations and the national body have shifted their focus to challenging inequities in the student loan scheme and high levels of student debt. Part-time work alongside the introduction of internal assessment and the change of semester structure has been attributed to the declining involvement in extracurricular activities and a shift in focus of the student movement from mass protest to lobbying. Previous to 1998 membership of Students' Associations (pep) was compulsory at all public Tertiary Education providers (universities, polytechnics and colleges of education). In 1997 the centre-right
National National may refer to: Common uses * Nation A nation is a community of people formed on the basis of a common language, history, ethnicity, or a common culture, and, in many cases, a shared territory. A nation is more overtly political than an ...
party proposed the Voluntary Student Membership amendment to the Education act which would have made membership of Students' Associations voluntary at all Tertiary Education Providers. However the National Party relied on support from the centrist
New Zealand First New Zealand First ( mi, Aotearoa Tuatahi), commonly abbreviated to NZ First, is a nationalist Nationalism is an idea and movement that promotes the interests of a particular nation (as in a in-group and out-group, group of people),Anthony ...
party to pass legislation. The New Zealand First party preferred that Tertiary Students themselves choose whether their provider should be voluntary or compulsory and pushed through a compromise to the amendment that allowed for a Compulsory Vs Voluntary referendum to be held at every public Tertiary Education Provider. The amendment also allowed for subsequent referendums which could not be held until at least two years had passed since the previous referendum and only if a petition was signed by 10% of the student populace. The first wave of referendums were held in 1999, in which several Polytechnics and two Universities (the
University of Waikato , mottoeng = For The People , established = 1964; years ago , chancellor = Sir Anand Satyanand, GNZM, QSO, KStJ , vice_chancellor= Neil Quigley , city = Hamilton, New Zealand, Hamilton , province = Waikato , coun ...
and the
University of Auckland , mottoeng = By natural ability and hard work , established = 1883; years ago , endowment = New Zealand Dollar, NZD $251 million (31 December 2020) , budget = NZD $1.226 billion (31 December 2020) , chancellor = Scott St John , vice_cha ...
) elected to become voluntary. In 2002 a second referendum was held at the University of Waikato and students choose to return to compulsory student membership. Similar referendums at Auckland University in 2001, 2003 and 2005 have all elected to retain voluntary student membership. Most of New Zealand Tertiary students' associations are confederated under the New Zealand Union of Students' Associations.


Philippines

In the
Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas, links=no), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas, links=no), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipinas * hil, Republ ...

Philippines
, student unions are referred to as "student government" and "student council." They are vital organizations for student representation and advancing the struggle of the people for their democratic rights and freedoms. At the primary and secondary level, student unions are referred to as pupil government handled by the
Department of Education An education ministry is a national or subnational government agency A government or state agency, sometimes an appointed commission, is a permanent or semi-permanent organization in the machinery of government that is responsible for the oversigh ...
under their Student Government Program. Meanwhile, at the tertiary level, private and state colleges and universities have their own student councils. A university may further be subdivided into colleges with their own specializations (e.g., College of Law, College of Medicine, College of Arts and Sciences, etc.); in this case, the highest student representation will usually be referred to as the university student council while the student representation of these colleges will be called college student council(s). Aside from student unions, students are further represented in the through the student regent (e.g., UP Office of the Student Regent for the students of the
University of the Philippines System The University of the Philippines (UP; fil, Pamantasan ng Pilipinas Unibersidad ng Pilipinas) is a in the , and is the country's national university. Originally founded by the on June 18, 1908, it was established through the ratification o ...
). The student regent is a consequence of tireless and continuous struggle of the students to be represented in the highest policy-making body of their respective universities such as the school board where the student regent has voting powers, among others. Student regents are very common for universities with campuses in different locations and most especially in state universities and colleges. On the other hand, these student unions are also connected throughout the country via an alliance or network such as the National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP), which serves as a nationwide alliance of student councils/governments/unions committed to the advancement of the students' democratic rights and welfare since its establishment in 1957.


Sri Lanka

In
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka (, ; si, ශ්‍රී ලංකාව, Śrī Laṅkā, translit-std=ISO (); ta, இலங்கை, Ilaṅkai, translit-std=ISO ()), formerly known as Ceylon, and officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is ...

Sri Lanka
, each state university has several Students' unions with formal links to respective faculties.
Inter University Students' Federation Inter University Students' Federation ( si, අන්තර් විශ්වවිද්‍යාලයීය ශිෂ්‍ය බලමණ්ඩලය , translit=anthar vishvavidyaleeya shishya balamandalaya) is a confederation of students' uni ...
is the
umbrella organization An umbrella organization is an association of (often related, industry-specific) institutions, who work together formally to coordinate activities or pool resources. In business, political, or other environments, one group, the umbrella organizati ...
of 14 unions of university students. However, most of these have political affiliations and function as proxies of these political factions. Many unions take an active political role within the university and in the country as a whole. This frequently lead to much clashes between rival students' unions or the authorities.


Taiwan

In
Taiwan Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and N ...

Taiwan
, the student body is called 學生會 () or 學生自治會 (), these groups are often known as student association and students' union, or less commonly a student government. The law requires all universities and high schools should have a Student Association. Many
universities A university () is an of (or ) and which awards s in several . Universities typically offer both and programs in different schools or faculties of learning. The word ''university'' is derived from the ''universitas magistrorum et scholari ...
student association in Taiwan are members of the National Students' Union of Taiwan ().


Myanmar

The role of students' unions in Myanmar were attached with Politics. From 1920, the students' union were outcoming and tried to get the Interdependence of Nation. There were many students boycotts in Myanmar: 1920, 1936, 1962, 1974-75-76, 1988, 1996, 2007 and recently 2015 March. Most of them were connected with political issues.


Africa

In South Africa student representative councils are the executive and plenary body of student governance and charters and provides most of the funding for other student groups, and represents students' interests when dealing with the administration. In several instances representatives of these bodies are members of the university's Senate. In 2012 the first student union, after 42 years of suppression, was founded. Students from Al Mimona Ebem Alharth school public school in Tripoli-Libya successfully established the union and promoted for other schools around the country to do the same. The founder Alaa Amed received local media attention for this achievement. While higher education and student activism might vary depending on the country the National Association of Nigerian Students' is an organization with well over 50 university union across the nation.
Tunisia ) , image_map = Tunisia location (orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = Location of Tunisia in northern Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous , after in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 (11. ...

Tunisia
has many students unions including the Union Générale des Étudiants de Tunisie founded in 1952, and Union Générale Tunisienne des Étudiants founded in 1985.


Europe

While each students' union varies by countries the
European Students' Union The European Students' Union (ESU) is the umbrella organisation of 45 national unions of students from 40 countries, representing almost 20 million students. ESU aims to represent and promote the educational, social, economic and cultural interes ...
is an umbrella organization of 45 national unions of students from 36 European countries.


Denmark

In
Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ) is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics ( physical geography), hu ...

Denmark
the
higher education Higher education is tertiary education Tertiary education, also referred to as third-level, third-stage or post-secondary education, is the education Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge ...
system comprises two parallel sectors: universities and university colleges of applied sciences (e.g. nursing and engineering schools or teachers' colleges). Universities are characterised by scientific research and the highest education based thereon. University colleges of applied sciences are oriented towards working life and base their operations on the high vocational skill requirements set by it. These vocational institutions offer 3-4 year 'professional bachelor's degrees'. Besides that there are a number of art schools. Universities belong under the Ministry of Science, University Colleges belong under the Ministry of Education, and the Art Schools belong under the Ministry of Culture. There are 12 universities at the moment, but in 2006 there is a major merger process going on to make fewer, bigger institutions. The student unions at universities (and some of the art schools' student unions) are generally members of the National Union of Students in Denmark which represents these students on the national level. Every university has a student union (In
Danish Danish may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the country of Denmark * A national or citizen of Denmark, also called a "Dane", see Demographics of Denmark * Danish people or Danes, people with a Danish ancestral or ethnic identity * Danis ...
, ''Studenterråd''). Membership is not mandatory. The student unions are funded by the university and the Ministry of Science on the basis of the percentage of votes received every year at the university election. The student union is autonomous, its internal life organized by its by-laws. The student unions are responsible for all representation of the students and elect the student members of different administrative organs. They usually coordinate and finance the activities of smaller, more specialized student organizations. For the financing of their activities, some student unions exact a membership fee and/or engage in different businesses. In the Ministry of Culture institutions there are also local student organisations. In the Ministry of Education institutions, The student activities are very much related to a student division of the Labor Union in the different areas. For instance, the teachers' students are organised in the national labor union for teachers and so forth. The Upper-Secondary schools (In
Danish Danish may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the country of Denmark * A national or citizen of Denmark, also called a "Dane", see Demographics of Denmark * Danish people or Danes, people with a Danish ancestral or ethnic identity * Danis ...
, ''Gymnasier''), It is in Denmark a law that there has to be a
student council A student council (also known as a student union or associated student body) is an administrative organisation of students in different educational institutes ranging from elementary schools to universities and research organisation around th ...
at the Upper-Secondary schools. The student councils are organized in the following organisations:


Finland


France

The central organization of the
French
French
higher education system means that local university bodies have restricted decision-making power. As a consequence, student unions are generally established at national level with local sections in most universities. The largest national student unions have a strong political identity and their actions are generally restricted to the defense of their vision of higher education rather than being focused on the particular interests of the membership of a single university. Union membership is regarded as an essentially political decision, without any particular advantage for students. The strength of unions is often measured by their effectiveness in national protests rather than by membership figures. The
National Union of Students of France National may refer to: Common uses * Nation A nation is a community of people formed on the basis of a common language, history, ethnicity, or a common culture, and, in many cases, a shared territory. A nation is more overtly political than an ...
is the oldest French student union created in 1907. It laid the modern foundations of student unionism in France in 1946 when it adopted the Charter of Grenoble. There are also class-struggle student unions such as the Solidaires Étudiant-e-s (formed in January 2013 through the fusion of the former organizations SUD Étudiant and Féderation syndicale étudiante (FSE)) which refuse to cooperate with the universities' direction and work to organize students. In the
grandes écoles Grandes may refer to: *Agustín Muñoz Grandes, Spanish general and politician *Banksia ser. Grandes, a series of plant species native to Australia * Grandes y San Martín, a municipality located in the province of Ávila, Castile and León, Spain ...
, the premium league in the French higher education system, students are generally members of the official Student Office (Bureau des étudiants or Bureau des élèves) in charge of the organization of social activities and sports events. The constitutions of these societies, which work in close partnership with the school administration, usually prevent union members from running for executive positions in order to keep the school independent from political groups liable to harm the school's prestige.


= High school students union

= The first high school organizations appear sporadically with social movements since the mid-1960s. Modern French high school unionism appeared after the Devaquet Law Project which had sparked a mass mobilization of high school and university students in November and December 1986 : In 1987 the Independent and Democratic Lycee Federation was founded. This organization was the first to claim
syndicalism Syndicalism is a current in the labor movement The labour movement or labor movement consists of two main wings: the trade union movement ( British English) or labor union movement (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USE ...

syndicalism
. It is the oldest French high school students union still in operation. Others high school students unions referring to
syndicalism Syndicalism is a current in the labor movement The labour movement or labor movement consists of two main wings: the trade union movement ( British English) or labor union movement (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USE ...

syndicalism
will follow: in 1994, the national high school student union was created after the social movement against the professional integration contract bill. In 2009, the general high school student union and then in 2016, the national high school student movement, were born out of a split with the national high school student union.


Germany

In
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin Berlin (; ) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in Germany by population, largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inh ...

Germany
the actual form of student representation depends strongly on the
federal state A federation (also known as a federal state) is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, ...
. In most states there is a General Students' Committee () at every university. It is the executive organ of the parliaments and councils of all faculties.


Greece

In
Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeastern Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geogr ...

Greece
every university department has its corresponding student union (in
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
: Σύλλογος Φοιτητών) and all students belonging to the department have the right to register as members. The main objective of a student union is to solve students' problems that can either be related to academic life or have a general political and social nature. Furthermore, student unions organize and support numerous activities such as political debates, demonstrations, university occupations, educational lectures, cultural and artistic events, conferences and so on. The structure of a student union is rather simple and comprises two bodies: The General Students' Assembly (Greece) and the
board of directors A board of directors is a group of people who jointly supervise the activities of an organization An organization, or organisation (Commonwealth English The use of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, W ...
. The general assembly consists of all student-members of the union. It takes place on a regular basis and is the only decision-making body. During the general assembly, many topics of student interest are discussed and the decisions are taken after open vote. The board of directors makes sure that the decisions of the general assembly will be materialized. Moreover, the members of the board of directors, among which is the union's president, participate in various university administrative bodies as representatives of all students in the union. Every year in early spring the student elections take place nationwide, during which students vote for their representatives. All student unions in Greece are members of the "National Student Union of Greece" (ΕΦΕΕ - Εθνική Φοιτητική Ένωση Ελλάδας).


Ireland

Most of
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel (Great Britain and Ireland), North Channel, the Irish Sea ...

Ireland
's
universities and colleges Higher education is tertiary education Tertiary education, also referred to as third-level, third-stage or post-secondary education, is the education Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowle ...
have students' unions which were established to represent the students in the context of internal college issues and on wider student related issues and also a means of solidarity with other movements globally. An ongoing campaign of virtually every students' union in Ireland is to prevent the reintroduction of tuition fees which were abolished in 1995. Most, but not all, of the students' unions are affiliated with the
Union of Students in Ireland The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) ( ga, Aontas na Mac Léinn in Éirinn) is the national representative body for third-level students' union A students' union, also known by many other names, is a student A student is primarily a per ...
. Notably, two of the seven university students' unions are not members. The students' unions are operated in accordance with the rules set down in their constitution which invariable enumerates a strong democratic and inclusive procedure for the governance on the union. Some Students' Unions run retail businesses in the interests of its students and run referendums, such as on whether or not to support same-sex marriage or abortion. All Universities and Institutes of Technologies in the Republic of Ireland have Students' Unions.
National Union of Students-Union of Students in Ireland NUS-USI, the student movement in Northern Ireland Northern Ireland ( ga, Tuaisceart Éireann ; Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster-Scots: ') is #Descriptions, variously described as a country, province, or region which is Countries of the Unite ...
(NUS-USI), the student movement in
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland ( ga, Tuaisceart Éireann ; sco, label=Ulster-ScotsUlster Scots, also known as Scotch-Irish, may refer to: * Ulster Scots people The Ulster Scots (Ulster-Scots The Ulster Scots (Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster- ...

Northern Ireland
was formed in 1972 by bilateral agreement between the National Union of Students of the United Kingdom (NUS) and the
Union of Students in Ireland The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) ( ga, Aontas na Mac Léinn in Éirinn) is the national representative body for third-level students' union A students' union, also known by many other names, is a student A student is primarily a per ...
(USI), to address the particular problems of representing
students A student is primarily a person enrolled in a school A school is an educational institution An educational institution is a place where people of different ages gain an education, including preschools, childcare, primary-elementary ...

students
in
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland ( ga, Tuaisceart Éireann ; sco, label=Ulster-ScotsUlster Scots, also known as Scotch-Irish, may refer to: * Ulster Scots people The Ulster Scots (Ulster-Scots The Ulster Scots (Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster- ...

Northern Ireland
.


Netherlands

There are several students' unions in The Netherlands which act as labor unions for students. The largest ones are VSSD in
Delft Delft () is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Routledge. ...

Delft
and ASVA Studentenunie in
Amsterdam Amsterdam (, , ) is the Capital of the Netherlands, capital and Municipalities of the Netherlands, most populous city of the Netherlands with a population of 872,680 within the city proper, 1,558,755 in the City Region of Amsterdam, urban ar ...

Amsterdam
. These students' unions are all members of LSVb, the national students' union. There's also a similar organization called
ISO The International Organization for Standardization (ISO ) is an international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm Norm, the Norm or NORM may refer to: In academic discipline ...
(Interstedelijk Studenten Overleg), which consists of several formal participation organizations, as well as ASVA Studentenunie and VSSD. Both ISO and LSVb are members of
European Students' Union The European Students' Union (ESU) is the umbrella organisation of 45 national unions of students from 40 countries, representing almost 20 million students. ESU aims to represent and promote the educational, social, economic and cultural interes ...
. Lastly, the Netherlands has an (unofficial) student union for its students that study abroad: Netherlands Worldwide Students or simply NEWS. The Netherlands is also home to an unusual case of student representation in which a local political party completely run by student gained seats during local town hall elections, STIP.


Norway

In
Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway,Names in the official and recognised languages: Bokmål Bokmål (, ; literally "book tongue") is an official written standard for the Norwegian language Norwegian (Norwegian: ''norsk'') is a Nort ...

Norway
, every university is instructed and required by law to have a student union elected by the students at the university. Additionally, Norwegian law requires two students to be appointed as members of the board of directors for all universities. The goal for every student union is to act as the official voice of the students towards the university's administration and rector, informing them on the students' perspectives on most issues at the institution, either academic or administrative. They often additionally seek to improve their school environment through encouraging social, cultural and other extracurricular events in the local community. Each student union in Norway is governed by a
board of directors A board of directors is a group of people who jointly supervise the activities of an organization An organization, or organisation (Commonwealth English The use of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, W ...
that is elected directly from the Student Council. In addition, most upper secondary schools in Norway are affiliated with the School Student Union of Norway.


Portugal

In
Portugal Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic ( pt, República Portuguesa, links=yes ), is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who ...

Portugal
, every university, polytechnic institute and any other higher education schools has their own students' unions. Union organizations are generally aimed to organize and promote extracurricular activities such as sports and culture events, parties, and academic festivities. At the same time, they also act as "
labour unions A trade union (or a labor union in American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of variety (linguistics), varieties of the English language native ...
for students" promoting and defending the students' points of view and rights, and dealing with the teaching institutions and the State's education agencies policies. The oldest union of Portugal is the Associação Académica de Coimbra (founded in 1887) which belongs to the students of the
University of Coimbra The University of Coimbra (UC; pt, Universidade de Coimbra, ) is a Portuguese public university in Coimbra, Portugal. First established in Lisbon in 1290, it went through a number of relocations until moving permanently to Coimbra in 1537. The ...

University of Coimbra
. The biggest students' union is Associação dos Estudantes do Instituto Superior Técnico (AEIST).


Sweden

At Swedish universities, students' unions are responsible for representing the students in evaluation of the education and decision-making within the universities. Not Swedish universities are affiliated with the
Swedish National Union of Students The Swedish National Union of Students ( sv, Sveriges Förenade Studentkårer, SFS), is an umbrella organisation of students' unions at higher education facilities in Sweden. The organisation was founded in 1921. It has around 47 affiliated students ...
. The union normally holds about one-third of the votes within every decision-making body and thus holds a great deal of power. The unions are usually governed by a general assembly of elected representatives. Students' unions generally provide
counselling Counseling is the professional guidance of the individual by utilizing psychological methods especially in collecting case history data, using various techniques of the personal interview, and testing interests and aptitudes. This is a list of co ...
services to its members and publishes their own
magazines A magazine is a periodical publication Periodical literature (also called a periodical publication or simply a periodical) is a category of serial Serial may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media The presentation of works in sequential ...

magazines
or
newspaper A newspaper is a periodical Periodical literature (also called a periodical publication or simply a periodical) is a category of serial Serial may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media The presentation of works in sequential segments ...

newspaper
s. Large universities often have several students' unions, where the smaller students' unions only provide basic services. Larger students' unions often own and run their own facilities at the university such as shops, restaurants and night clubs.


United Kingdom

The United Kingdom has a long history of student unionism at a local and national level. The oldest students' union in Britain (as distinct from a primarily social union society) was the
Student Representative Council {{Unreferenced, date=July 2014A students' representative council, also known as a students' administrative council, represents student interests in the government of a university A university () is an educational institution, institution of high ...
formed at the University of Edinburgh in 1884. Most bodies are termed ''unions'', however there exist a number of ''guilds'' and ''students' associations''. Students' association is a popular term in Scotland, as historically there were separate men's and women's unions focused on societies and entertainment with representation to the university carried out by separate students' representative councils. Most students' unions in the UK are affiliated to the National Union of Students (United Kingdom), National Union of Students, although there exist other national representative bodies, such the National Postgraduate Committee, the Coalition of Higher Education Students in Scotland and the Aldwych Group, the association of students' unions of members of the Russell Group.
National Union of Students-Union of Students in Ireland NUS-USI, the student movement in Northern Ireland Northern Ireland ( ga, Tuaisceart Éireann ; Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster-Scots: ') is #Descriptions, variously described as a country, province, or region which is Countries of the Unite ...
(NUS-USI), the student movement in
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland ( ga, Tuaisceart Éireann ; sco, label=Ulster-ScotsUlster Scots, also known as Scotch-Irish, may refer to: * Ulster Scots people The Ulster Scots (Ulster-Scots The Ulster Scots (Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster- ...

Northern Ireland
was formed in 1972 by bilateral agreement between the National Union of Students of the United Kingdom (NUS) and the
Union of Students in Ireland The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) ( ga, Aontas na Mac Léinn in Éirinn) is the national representative body for third-level students' union A students' union, also known by many other names, is a student A student is primarily a per ...
(USI), to address the particular problems of representing
students A student is primarily a person enrolled in a school A school is an educational institution An educational institution is a place where people of different ages gain an education, including preschools, childcare, primary-elementary ...

students
in
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland ( ga, Tuaisceart Éireann ; sco, label=Ulster-ScotsUlster Scots, also known as Scotch-Irish, may refer to: * Ulster Scots people The Ulster Scots (Ulster-Scots The Ulster Scots (Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster- ...

Northern Ireland
. Under the Education Act 1994, the role and purpose of students' unions is defined as being "promoting the general interests of its members as students". This has limited the ability of students' unions to campaign on issues not directly related to their members as students, such as Apartheid and the UK miners' strike (1984–85), 1984–85 miners' strike.


The Americas


Canada

In Canada, the existence of a college or university students' union and the membership of those who attend the institutions is mandatory across Canada under various provincial statutes. Included in Canadian students' tuition fees is anywhere from an additional $10–$500 fee to pay for the services of the union for either undergraduate or graduate support. The money raised from dues is used to support, programs, services, advocacy, salaries, part-time staff costs, overhead costs and a variety of other general costs. Student elections typically happen prior to the end of the previous educational year as the membership elect their unions' executives for the following year. The current largest undergraduate student union in Canada is the York Federation of Students, at the York University, with around 60,000 members. Most students' unions are charged by their membership to protect their best interests at the university, municipal, provincial and federal government levels. Advocating for support from the provincial government for areas such as lower tuition fees, support for sexual and gender based violence, and financial support, as well as creating position papers and providing research to support various causes. Many students' unions in Canada are members of one of the national student organizations, the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) or the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS). Those that belong to the CFS at the national level also belong to the CFS at the provincial level. Those that do not belong to the CFS may belong to a provincial student organization like th
New Brunswick Student Alliance
the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance
OUSA
, th
College Student AllianceStudentsNS
(formerly known as ANSSA), th
Alliance of British Columbia Students
th
Council of Alberta University Students
or th
Alberta Students Executive Council
In Quebec, the provincial student organizations are the Quebec Federation of University Students (''Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec'' or FEUQ) for university students, College education in Quebec, college students are represented by the Fédération étudiante collégiale du Québec or FECQ, while the Association pour une solidarité syndicale étudiante or ASSE includes students from both the undergraduate and graduate levels of education. Different provinces have different rules governing student unions. In British Columbia under section 27.1 of the University Act, student unions may only raise or rescind mandatory student union fees through a democratic referendum of the membership. Once fees are passed through this mechanism, the board of governors of the respective institutions are then required to remit those fees to the student union, and may only interfere in the internal affairs of the student union if it fails to complete annual audits of its finances, giving these student unions strong autonomy over their institutions. In Ontario, the autonomy of student unions is set by standards outlined by each institution, giving university administrators a broader scope of powers over the finances of student unions. Ontario educational institutions may only revoke collecting fees on behalf of the students' union if they are in contravention of the Corporations Act of Ontario. Other provinces have governing acts specific to the institutions, such as University of Manitoba Students' Union Act, The University of Manitoba Students' Union Act. Students' Unions in Canada typically offer a variety of services such as LGBTQ2+ groups, Women's Centre's, Food Banks, Bicycle Repair Shops, Campus First Aid teams, Walksafe programs, Peer Support groups and Racialized Student Support, among other offerings and independent student groups. Unions also generally offer health and dental plans, termly bus passes at costs negotiated with the local transit authority, and other student assistance programs. Funding options are also a part of many student unions' including endowment funds, funding for student clubs and for orientation. Students' unions are also programmers for the beginning of term events such as Welcome Week, Frost Week and other events throughout the term that provide social connections and wellness for students. Advocacy is also a main portion of what a students' union does including connecting with the university or College to advocate for changes to programs, co-op, and affordability. They also advocate for housing and tenant rights, safety, quality of education, academic rights, transportation concerns, accessibility, diversity and equity and health and wellness.


Mexico

In Mexico, students unions are mostly predominant in universities. Mexican universities have an elected student committee each year, but the faculties or schools within the universities have also their own union. This practice is also extended to other levels of education, such as high and junior high school, but to a lesser extent. An example of this is the Sociedad de Alumnos de HPA Mexico. Jesuit student groups played an important role in Mexico's history, particularly in opposing the imposition of socialist education in Mexico in the 1930s. Leaders from the ''Unión Nacional de Estudiantes Católicos'' (UNEC) had long-term importance in Mexico's political history, since a number of them helped form the conservative National Action Party (Mexico).


United States

In the United States, these groups are often known as student government, associated students, student senate, or less commonly a students' union. In the U.S., the phrase "student union" often refers to a "
student activity center 300px, Student Activity Center on the campus of Texas Tech University A student center (or student centre) is a type of building found on university and some secondary school, high school campuses. In the United States, such a building may also ...
" (also known as a "student center" or "student commons"), a building with dining halls, game rooms, lounges, student offices, and other spaces for student activities. At institutions with large graduate, medical school, and individual "college" populations, there are often student governments that serve those specific constituencies.


Brazil

The Brazilian Society This society has existed since 2003 and now has 190 members, where only one third are Brazilian. The other two thirds are people who are just interested in Brazilian politics, famous parties and culture. This is one of the societies that students may join if they so wish. The society has social events and it hosts lectures. They also have a Brazilian discussion group on a weekly basis in order to discuss current events.


Middle East


Israel

The National Union of Israeli Students (NUIS) is the sole organization that represents over 300,000 students of 61 higher education institutes and vocational schools in Israel. We believe that the young age group of Israel, comprising almost half of the Israel's population, is the living force of society. NUIS was established in 1934, before establishment the state of Israel. The Student Union's main activity is to widespread and include a variety of activities portraying its worldview regarding the students’ role, responsibilities and benefits within the Israeli society. The union is composed of professional departments enacting the decisions made for, and with the student community, in addition to local student unions in each of the higher education institutes. The central role of the union is to protect the student's status and rights, while strengthening its social purpose as the leading organization driving lively activities among the students.


See also

* Student activism * Student voice * Student government political party * Student court * Governance in higher education * Student centre * Voluntary student unionism * Student Bill of Rights * Student council
Students Community Blog Page


Notes


References

{{DEFAULTSORT:Students' Union Students' unions,