International, democratic, student-run.
And most importantly, where you have a say.
The International Union of Students (IUS) has collapsed. Since the early 2000s, there has been no streamlined representative body for all students of all fields of study. We want to re-establish a global democratic student organization that can avoid or transcend the problems that led to the IUS’ collapse. We want to end this current era of decadence in terms of student representation and strive for a future where students and youth are adequately represented in policymaking processes.
- Significantly increase student representation in international education policymaking and in international organizations including, but not limited to international governing bodies like the United Nations;
- Help students build or rebuild student governments at continental and national levels where there is currently no student representation;
- Develop a coordinated system of aid to support student advocacy in times of crisis;
- Contribute to the continuous improvement of student services and student government capacity building globally; and
- Facilitate knowledge transfer and collaboration among students beyond national and continental borders.
How we want to set it up
Due to changing possibilities surrounding operating such an organization in many countries, we look to establish the organization in a country that provides a stable, open, and democratic environment.
In establishing the organization, we must ensure that it cannot be used for the promotion of the personal worldviews of a small number of people. To ensure the comprehensive reach of all students, we must not only include national or regional representation bodies, but also global organizations that represent students for a particular sector and/or field of study.
The main aim of the organization would be to ensure students are a structural part of education decision-making processes, influence global education politics, and have a powerful platform to represent and advocate for their views on global issues. Outreach and advocacy will be the very core of the newly created organization.
The open floor for debates and discussions between student organizations will be an integral part of the Global Student Government. However, we envision this organization as more than a forum, since it would serve as a global representative body for all students and would prioritize infrastructure development for student governments around the world.
One member – one vote. Policymaking and representative organ of the Global Student Government. Member institutions (representing a country or a specialized international student organization) will be sending delegates of elected student representatives to regular conferences to vote on decisions.
Elected Executive Board
Executives being elected by individual student members of each member institution through an online voting system.
Read more about the idea: a case for direct democracy
We recommend a strong advisory board of senior and junior experts that would rule in cases of internal disputes and in the interpretation of the GSG’s guiding documents.
We envision the Consultation Group consisting of Consultative Members that provides non-binding resolutions and advice to the GSG’s governing bodies and members. Consultative members are student organizations whose primary purposes are related to extracurricular student activities.
- This includes the following types of organizations:
- Academic and educational organizations
- Community service organizations
- Media and publication organizations
- Political organizations
- Recreation and sports organizations
- Religious and spiritual organizations
- Multicultural organizations
Financing of the organization
In general, expenses for the Global Student Government should be reduced to the minimum for daily operations and everything beyond that shall be financed directly by students. We built three funding models to ensure compatibility with the funding models of all student organizations.
- Each organization with an individual membership system increases its membership fees by an agreed-upon amount, which it would send to the GSG once per year.
- Each organization without an individual membership system has one created for them by the GSG that the organization can promote to its students to sign up on a voluntary basis. A portion of the membership would go to the organization and a portion would go to the GSG, with the GSG transferring funds to the member organization once per year
- An additional GSG individual membership purchase option for students living in the countries without a student government.
A case for direct democracy
A traditional approach to democracy in student politics looks like this:
While technically individual students do elect the higher bodies of leadership, such scheme lacks grassroot support. Individual students are not motivated to stay aware of what is happening in the higher echelons of power.
Our vision is that all executives are elected directly by individual students as opposed to delegations of member organizations. The member organization delegates would instead form the legislative branch (move and pass resolutions, vote to amend guiding documents, etc.). Direct elections ensure grassroots student involvement in decision-making.
Join our Task Force
Fill out the Google Form below to indicate your interest in joining the Global Student Government Initiative. Once you fill out the form, we will get back to you shortly.
Frequently Asked Questions
We want to avoid running into the same problems that IUS had experienced before its collapse.
Some initial ideas that we have so far considered to prevent these problems from emerging in a new Global Student Government are:
- Using online communications that were not as readily available in the days of the IUS to operate remotely instead of purchasing a physical property to save costs;
- Using social media for direct engagement with students that the IUS did not have;
- Online elections where individual student members directly elect the Global Student Government executive committee, while delegations of member student organizations serve as the legislative branch;
- Establishing consultative status with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) or a stronger form of partnership to allow the Global Student Government access to a network of educational non-governmental organizations that could potentially provide support.
Yes. Global Student Government is not affiliated with any government or a political party.
We accept applications from political student unions to join the Consultation Group.