Book fees, transport costs, trip expenses and more: education systems all over the world often place a high financial burden on students and their families. As public investment in education has decreased (more information) financial demands on individuals have increased. This leaves many students and their families struggling to pay for full access to education. We as #GenerationFreeEducation strongly reject this trend and unite to make education free for all!

OBESSU, the Organising Bureau of European School Student Unions, brings together 31 national unions from 24 countries in the fight for accessible and free secondary education. Since 1975 we have strived for better learning conditions, more attention to student wellbeing and a stronger voice in education policy-making. Leading up to this year when on the 17th of November, International Students’ Day, we highlight how economic costs related to education threaten the universal right to education.

Access to education is far from being open for all. One in ten young people in Europe has at most lower secondary education and is not in further education or training. These rates are almost twice as high for those with a migrant background (more informnation). We as school students understand this as a result of high costs and lack of support for continuing education, which reproduces unjust social inequalities in education attainment. OBESSU investigation has shown that school meals, school materials, transportation, school trips and other costs are overwhelmingly beared by students themselves, without much public support. These financial barriers to education have long-term negative effects on young people's opportunities to live a fulfilling life.

We are demanding that our generation must finally be granted full access to the Right to Education. Any costs related to education must be abolished and all students shall receive financial support to fully enjoy their learning experience.

In particular, we demand:

  • Free quality school meals for all school students;
  • Full funding for transportation costs for all school students;
  • Free school materials for all school students;
  • Proper financial support for the accomodation of school students;
  • Full funding for digital devices used for educational purpose inside the school or at home.

Full funding for these aspects is key to enable all students to focus on their education.

How can you support and join the campaign?
Co-sign the campaign as soon as possible via email at, share the OBESSU materials using the hashtags #GenerationFreeEducation, #17now and #InternationalStudentsDay, and tag @OBESSU and the organisations you want to reach out. The campaign will be running from now until the 17th of November 2017 when we will conclude it with live media action from Prague, Czech Republic, the historical birthplace of the International Students’ Day.

Stay tuned and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

All the materials can be found and donwloaded here: