The Flemish Union of Students (VVS) is active within many policy and consultation bodies of Flemish higher education. There it tries to express its views and thus make policy.
Every year, we elect representatives among our students who try to look after the best interests of their fellow students. By way of thanks and for information, we like to highlight their workings on this page.
Flemish Ministry of Education and Training
The Flemish Ministry of Education and Training is the ministry responsible for educational matters in Flanders. It works on the preparation of policy and also ensures the evaluation of policy once it has been implemented. The minister and cabinet members monitor the course of affairs at VVS through, among others, the Education Committee in the Flemish Parliament. They also have regular contacts with our board. The Education Committee in the Flemish Parliament can be followed live every Thursday via the Flemish Parliament’s website.
Flemish Educational Council
The Flemish Educational Council (VLOR) is the strategic advisory body for the education and training policy domain. It assesses government policy plans but also makes its own proposals on Flemish education policy. The Flemish Minister of Education is obliged to seek VLOR’s advice on all preliminary draft decrees on education. The VLOR has a representative composition: everyone involved in education in one way or another has representatives there. For higher education, the VLOR’s Higher Education Council, among others, is very important. The Flemish Association of Students is determined by decree as the organization that can delegate students to the VLOR.
Flemish Interuniversity Council
The Flemish Interuniversity Council (VLIR) is an autonomous consultative body funded by the universities. As an umbrella organization, VLIR organizes, guides and follows up interuniversity positions. These cover a wide range of topics related to higher education. University students are often represented in the working groups of the VLIR through VVS.
Flemish Colleges council
The Flemish Colleges council (VLHORA) is a consultative body funded by the university colleges. The VLHORA advises the Flemish government on all policy aspects concerning university college education, project-based scientific research, social services and the practice of the arts. VLHORA also organises and stimulates consultation between the institutions on all matters affecting university colleges. University college students are often represented in the working groups of the VLHORA through VVS.
The European Students’ Union (ESU)
The European Students’ Union (ESU) is the umbrella organisation of 45 National Unions of Students (NUS) from 40 countries. 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.
The Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO)
The Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO) is a quality assurance agency that safeguards the quality of higher education in the Netherlands and Flanders, in an expert and independent manner, and that fosters the quality culture pursued within the higher education institutions in the Netherlands and Flanders. It accredits existing and new programmes, and assesses the quality assurance of higher education institutions.
Flemish Youth council
The Flemish Youth Council is the official advisory council for the Flemish Government on all areas affecting children, young people and their organisations in Flanders. Flemish ministers must ask them for advice whenever they want to take decisions affecting children, young people and youth organizations. But the Youth Council also issues advice on its own initiative.
Support Centre for inclusive Higher Education
The Support Centre for Inclusive Higher Education (SIHO) supports Flemish colleges and universities in improving the participation of students with disabilities. The SIHO forms the bridge function with the Flemish Government and also plays a role in informing and sensitising the wider society about inclusive higher education.
School Student Union
The School Student Union (VSK) is the umbrella organization of pupil councils and the officially recognised voice of secondary school pupils in Flanders. It is an association for and by secondary school pupils and aims to ensure that pupils are involved in education (policy). The umbrella organization is recognised and funded by the Flemish government as a discussion partner on behalf of pupils, just like VVS is for students.
Federation of French-Speaking Students (FEF)
The Federation of French-Speaking Students (FEF) is the students’ union in the Wallonia-Brussels federation. The FEF (and its legal department) handles student appeals, assists student councils in their missions, disseminates the latest student news and monitors and manages higher education issues.