This year the Executive Committee from the International Association of Physics Students (IAPS) supports the Informal Forum of International Student Organisations (IFISO) with one member in their management team. IAPS has not been a member of IFISO since a couple of years, but this year they became a member once more.
What is IFISO?
The Informal Forum for International Student Organizations is a platform where associations with similar scopes can come together and share experiences on whatever topics they find relevant. IFISO consists of 20 associations, representing more than 2 million students around the world. In spite of working in very different professional areas the IFISO members can to a very high degree learn from each other through best practices and shared events. Thus IFISO is a place for associations to meet, share, discuss and find new inspiration.
While not being a formal entity (no by-laws, no obligations, no fees, no website, no official spokespersons or officers, etc.), IFISO as an informal forum is still quite influential. It creates the necessary environment for international student organisations to collaborate on all possible levels in order to strengthen their capacities through knowledge sharing and identification of synergies.
Before the foundation of IFISO it existed as an organisation called IMISO – acronym for Intersectorial Meeting of International Student Organisations. IMISO was established in 1993 for cooperation between the international students organisations based in Europe. It was created in order to improve the chances to receive grants from the European Union. Minutes of IMISO meetings can be found in the ESTIEM archives in Eindhoven.
At the time a multidisciplinary project was needed to get funding from the EU. In 1997 it became registered as an organisation in Belgium and it succeeded in receiving the EU grant for an activity. This project never took place and the money had to be returned and IMISO was dissoluted and IFISO was born. In 2008 the first Leadership Summer School was organised for all IFISO members, during this summerschool 17 different associations participated, originating from many different countries.
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