What We Do

The Canadian Federation of Students

The Canadian
Federation of Students
Group of students smiling

Formed in 1981, the Canadian Federation of Students is a bilingual national union, composed of over 530,000 students from more than 65 university and college students’ unions across Canada. 

Manitoba’s five member locals unite over 45,000 full - and part - time students.

This is your student

Use your voice

Our Federation provides students from across the country with an effective and united voice, provincially and nationally, while creating space and opportunity to join together in creating change and winning victories on and off campus.

Because universities and colleges are funded primarily by the federal government and administered by the provincial government, government policies and priorities of both levels determine the accessibility of post-secondary education in Canada. Tuition fee levels, student financial assistance programs, Indigenous student funding and funding for research are all set directly or indirectly by both levels of government. It is vital that students collectively organize at the provincial and national levels to ensure their rights and concerns are fully represented.

No individual students’ union, no matter how big or active, has the resources or the political leverage on their own to effectively influence the post-secondary education policies of the provincial and federal governments. It’s also more cost-effective for a large number of students’ unions to pool their resources and to work in partnership than for each to undertake this work alone.

Through our Federation, students’ unions collectively pool their resources to provide student-owned and operated services such as the ISIC (International Student Identity Card) and the Ethical Purchasing Network, which are designed to save students money.

Through students’ unions, members have a say in setting the policies, direction and priorities of our Federation, including how funds are spent. All major decisions are made at provincial and national general meetings annually. Students’ unions are able to send one (1) delegate for free to ensure participation is accessible for every students’ union, regardless of size or location.

Our Principles


Democratic and Cooperative

To organize students on a democratic, co-operative basis in advancing our own interests and in advancing the interests of our community;




Share Experiences and Ideas

To provide a common framework within which students can communicate, exchange information, and share experience, skills and ideas;




Effective Distribution of Resources

To ensure the effective use and distribution of the resources of the student movement, while maintaining growth and development of student organizations




Bring Students Together for Change

To bring students together to discuss and to achieve necessary educational, administrative or legislative change wherever decision-making affects students




Facilitate Community with Our Peers

To facilitate co-operation among students in organizing services that develop a sense of community with our peers




Advocate for student desires

To articulate the real desire of students to fulfill the duties, and be accorded the rights of citizens in our society and in the international community




Education accessible for all

To achieve a system of post-secondary education that is accessible to all, of high quality, nationally planned, recognizes the legitimacy of student representation, and the validity of student rights