What is ESU

The European Students' Union (ESU) is the umbrella organisation of 47 National Unions of Students (NUS) from 39 countries (September 2013). The NUSes are open to all students in their respective country regardless of political persuasion, religion, ethnic or cultural origin, sexual orientation or social standing. Our members are also student-run, autonomous, representative and operate according to democratic principles.
Since decisions concerning higher education are increasingly taken at the European level, ESU’s role as the main platform for student participation and representation in Europe is similarly growing. ESU’s work focuses on influencing the European policy framework (like the Bologna process and ET2020). ESU is a consultative member of the Bologna Follow-up Group (BFUG) and co-chair of Social Dimension Working Group (a structure of BFUG). ESU is also a member of the E4 group, consisting of the organisations eua, enqa, esu eurashe, which is carrying out the revision process for the European Standards and Guidelines and works on other important aspects related to quality assurance in Europe.

The aim of ESU

The aim of ESU is to represent and promote the educational, social, economic and cultural interests of students at the European level towards all relevant bodies and in particular the European Union, Bologna Follow Up Group, Council of Europe and UNESCO. Through its members, ESU represents over 11 million students in Europe.

Working together

ESU works to bring together, resource, train and inform national student representatives on policy developments in higher education at the European level. Since decisions concerning higher education are increasingly taken at the European level, ESU's role as the only European-wide student platform is similarly growing. ESU's work centres around supporting its members through organising seminars, training, campaigns and conferences relevant to students, conducting European-wide research, partnership projects and campaigns, providing information services and producing a variety of publications. for both students, policy-makers and higher education professionals.


ESU’s mission is to represent, defend and strengthen students’ educational, democratic and political and social rights. ESU will work for sustainable, accessible and high quality higher education in Europe.


Equal educational and social opportunities in an open and democratic Europe where students shape a sustainable future.


ESU is diverse, democratic and open-minded.
★ ESU represents all students in Europe, understanding the diversity of the students. ESU is inclusive and strives for solidarity within the students’ movement.
★ ESU is independent. ESU's structures facilitate the accountability of the elected representatives, works with respect towards all members and their different opinions and functions transparently.
★ ESU is unconventional and open for new thoughts. We, as experts of higher education bring in courageous and smart ideas through a fresh and spontaneous, but professional attitude.