Through its activities, the ISO aims to continuously strengthen the position of students at universities of applied sciences and universities. It does this partly by maintaining close contact with students from the (central) participation councils. The ISO endorses the important role that (student) participation plays in the development of higher education. The student participation councils have several functions within the ISO: (1) they control (the execution of) the institution’s policy, (2) they come up with innovative ideas themselves to further improve education, (3) they advise others by sharing experiences, and (4) they think actively about the position of the ISO in the representation of students in the Netherlands. The student participation board maintains a critical but constructive attitude in this respect.
In order to fulfil these functions, it is important that the student participation body is well informed about the content and the process. The ISO has been committed to facilitating student participation as much as possible. On the one hand, the ISO does this by putting needs and issues on the agenda at national level. On the other hand, the ISO does this by providing knowledge about substantive portfolios and by training members where this is desirable for the effective holding of the position of student member in the representative body.