European Students’ Union (ESU)

The European Students’ Union (ESU) is the umbrella organisation of 45 National Unions of Students (NUS) from 40 countries. ESU promotes and represents the educational, social, economic and cultural interests of almost 20 million students to all key European decision-making bodies: the European Union, Council of Europe, UNESCO and the Bologna Follow Up Group.

Besides representing the views, needs and perspectives of European students, ESU aims to ensure and strengthen students’ participation and to increase the student input into higher education policy and decision making at the local, national and European level.

Founded in 1982 by seven national unions of students, the organisation was initially named WESIB (the West European Student Information Bureau). After transformations due to political shifts in Eastern Europe in the late 1980s, the organisation expanded its membership to include former eastern national unions of students, and later, underwent exhaustive organizational reforms, finally being established as the European Students’ Union (ESU).