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How did it all come about? Who were the students before us that took action, and how does their legacy affect us today?

Mexico City Student Movement, October 1968. Photo by Héctor Gallardo

The history of the Student Movement is both exciting and daring. It shows us how geopolitics has always been a factor in the movement and how the will to work together across the world's regions is fundamental to its spirit.

History of the Student Movement

Explore our series on the History of the Student Movement. From the early efforts of the International Federation of Students in 1898, through the rise and fall of Cold War-era organizations like the IUS and ISC, to the formation of regional bodies such as OCLAE and AASU, we trace the evolution of student activism. Learn how these movements paved the way for the creation of the Global Student Forum. Dive into the rich legacy of student solidarity and advocacy that continues to shape our world today.

History of the Student Movement - Global Student Forum
Explore the fascinating history of international student movements, from early organizations like the 1898 International Federation of Students to Cold War-era bodies such as the IUS and ISC. Discover how regional groups like OCLAE and AASU emerged, leading to the creation of the Global Student Forum. This journey highlights the enduring spirit of student activism and its role in addressing global issues. Dive into this legacy of solidarity and advocacy shaping our world today.

This series was made possible with the help of Mike Day, who explored the history of the student movement in his lecture for the GSF Academy.

The Student Movement Archive

The Student Movement Archive is a GSF project that aims to collect archival material from the history of the student movement. The project has just started, so only a limited amount of material is publicly available.

If you have material you wish to add to the archive, feel free to contact us.

Highlights from the archive

First Circular Letter on the preparation for the 17th Congress by the IUS Executive Secretariat, April 1999
This letter from the International Union of Students (IUS), sent to member unions in April 1999, highlights the organization’s ongoing struggle to stay afloat amid financial challenges.
ESU’s 30th Anniversary Publication
The European Students’ Union looks back on 30 years of representing students at the European level. With both contributions from old and new ESU people, the publication paints a picture of how ESU has developed itself in the past three decades and where it is bound to go.
The Bergen Declaration
In 2016, the Bergen Declaration marked a significant milestone in global student cooperation and laid the foundation for today’s Global Student Forum.

Explore other already published materials

The Student Movement Archive - Global Student Forum

Previous GSF leaderships

Steering Committee 2023-2024 - Global Student Forum
The Steering Committee 2023-2024 entered into their one-year mandate on July 1, 2023. They are from Ghana, The Gambia, Brazil, Australia, Latvia, Czechia, and Papua New Guinea, India and Afghanistan.
Steering Committee 2022-2023 - Global Student Forum
The Steering Committee 2022-2023 entered into their one-year mandate on July 1, 2022.
Steering Committee 2020-2022 - Global Student Forum