VVS was founded in 1938 as the Flemish Students’ Association, later the Flemish Union of Students. VVS was in those early years mainly active for university students in Leuven and Ghent. Conflicts in 1970 among students (left vs. right) questioned the automatic membership to VVS that was then in place. VVS therefore changed in 1977 into an exclusive individual student organisation. During the seventies and eighties, VVS was a predominantly left-winged organisation.
VVS can only represent the students in the Flemish community of Belgium, due to the historically-grown federalisation of the country. For the French Community of Belgium, there is a separate student union (FEF). VVS celebrated its 75th anniversary as an operational organisation in 2013.
VVS fights for student rights, representing and acting as the voice of students in Flanders. VVS expresses the opinions of the students in discussions with various important institutions about educational and current affairs.