Union Nationale Lycéenne – UNL is the biggest and most representative French school student union. It was founded in 1994 during a massive strike organised against a liberal and antisocial government reform. At first, it was supposed to create links between student councils but it quickly spread all over France and now represents the interests of all students.
Since its creation, UNL became the main student stakeholder and representative body when it comes to discussions with the government. Our past fights lead to social victories such as “free school books”, “social and political awareness at school”, “bigger voice for the student elected bodies”… UNL believes in independence (our union is ruled by student, and acts for students) as well as free and equal education for all. UNL fights to improve students’ autonomy and uphold the French public education system.
UNL is both present in the decision making processes and, at the same time, it walks side to side with the students through demonstrations and other actions.
More than 6000 individual members in 80 local branches.
Today, UNL fights against the French government that gradually, day after day, destroys our public school system. Since three years the government policies are in line with the private sector to the detriment of the public, secular and free school system. The French government does not provide proper responses to the students’ needs and expectations. They say they are trying to reform the system, but all they are doing is trying to set up a liberal policy based on profit and competition which UNL does not agree with.
For all these reasons, UNL acts hard to raise high the students’ voice in collaboration with many other partners.
UNL organises demonstrations and launches campaigns (“call to save our public schools”, “students vote campaign”, “video campaigns…”)
And of course, UNL proposes alternatives to what the government comes up with. It is clear that only saying “no” will never move anything forward: on the opposite, we make a point on showing that students can propose and stand for their ideas.