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The Top 5 Most Outstanding Student Unions

In the electric ecosystem of college education, student unions stand as the heartbeat of campus life, advocating for student workers’ well-being every single day. While there is a multitude of student unions across the world, there are a select few who have risen up and etched their names into union history books forever.


5. Stanford Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU)

Founded in 1891, the Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU) has evolved into an unstoppable force of change and progress for students.

Through vigorous advocacy efforts and innovative activities & events, ASSU has consistently promoted student interests and cultivated positive change on campus. ASSU is an organization in which every single student is already a member. t provides funding for over 500 volunteer student organizations (VSO) and has been deeply involved in numerous diversity & inclusion initiatives over the years. 

The ASSU has been a huge advocate for student mental health & student housing equality and has helped to sculpt Stanford University into what it is today.


4. University of Oxford Student Union (Oxford SU)

With roots tracing back to the 13th century, the University of Oxford Student Union (Oxford SU) stands as a beacon of academic excellence and fair student representation. 

The Oxford SU has been the official voice of students and has played a central role in promoting campus diversity & advocating for student rights. Bringing people together has been a main point stated in their manifesto, and Oxford SU has forged strong partnerships between university stakeholders & its board of trustees to accomplish that. The Oxford SU is currently focused on supporting and empowering common rooms, adding value to the college experience across campus.


3. University College London Students’ Union (Students’ UCL)

Founded in 1893, the University College London Students' Union (Students’ Union UCL) boasts a rich history of student-led activism and campus innovation. 

Students’ UCL has consistently advocated for student welfare & a diverse student body by providing a platform for student voices to be heard. Students can submit ideas for better campus life through the Students’ UCL website, really proving how much students themselves can make a change. 

The success of Students’ UCL can be attributed to its emphasis on inclusivity, transparency, and ensuring that every student has a seat at the table.



2. Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC)

Dating back to 1887, the Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC) at Berkeley stands as one of the oldest and most influential student unions in the United States. The ASUC has been at the forefront of social movements in California, advocating for civil rights, environmental sustainability, and academic freedom.

By empowering students to effect meaningful change both on and off campus, the ASUC embodies the spirit of activism and civic engagement. The ASUC influenced the renaming of Berkeley’s MLK Jr. building and recognizes that the campus lies on the ancestral land of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe.

Its longevity and resilience stem from its deep-rooted connection to Berkeley's progressive ethos and its unwavering dedication to social justice causes.


1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology Undergraduate Association (UA)

The MIT Undergraduate Association (UA) traces its roots back to the early days of the institute, founded in 1865. The UA has evolved to become a cornerstone of student representation and advocacy over the years. 

Its success stems from championing student interests, fostering community engagement, and spearheading impactful initiatives. The UA has consistently demonstrated its effectiveness in enhancing the undergraduate experience by partnering with the MIT administration to further introduce changes for the greater good of students. 

Through this collaborative leadership & proactive engagement with the faculty & student body, the UA continues to play a pivotal role in shaping campus life and policies.

The success of these student unions can be attributed to their unwavering commitment to student empowerment, advocacy, and community engagement. These unions have become trailblazers in shaping the landscape of higher education, leaving an undeniable mark on campuses worldwide. As we celebrate their achievements, let us draw inspiration from their stories and continue to strive for a more vibrant, inclusive, and student-centered collegiate experience — join a union and support students today.

Learn more about why unions are effective and how to form a union.