Joining a student union is a way for many students enrolled in secondary or higher education to engage in active participation. Student unions can be set up at the level of secondary schools or universities. They aim at representing the needs and opinions of students both within the institution and externally. Besides, unions also provide students with services and support ranging from academic guidance to leisure activities.
At national level, student unions gather in networks advocating for students’ interests to be taken into account in the design and implementation of policies on education and students’ welfare.
The majority of countries surveyed have national unions for both secondary and higher education students. In a few (such as Croatia, Malta and the United Kingdom), although there are no unions for secondary school students at national level, local unions in individual schools exist.