International Students’ Day is celebrated on 17 November as a symbol of the struggle for democratic education and society, as well as the memory of when the Nazis executed 20 Czechoslovak students who protested against the occupation in 1939.
More than 1,200 students were then taken to concentration camps, while the dormitories and the Universities were turned into barracks. The International Council of Students later proclaimed November 17 as International Students’ Day in London, and fifty years later, in 1989, students in what was then Czechoslovakia rose again against another non-democratic regime, which started the revolution that ended the communist regime.
Every year, this date allows us to show the public what students and young people have done for our society. The generations before us fought in times of great crises and wars to provide us with the state we have now in the education system, and we must be committed to continuing diligently to achieve changes. Remembering and celebrating this day when young people lost their lives fighting for justice and democracy is important so that we don’t forget the sacrifices made for our future.
Ninety years later, we managed to face and fight against the pandemic, and now another obstacle that stands in the way of students and can jeopardize their education and future is the war in Ukraine. It is difficult to imagine the actual situation in the country, where the losses are great, but the citizens still show ambition and hope toward themselves and their environment. The Russian invasion of Ukraine had devastating consequences for higher education, and The IDM together with the Danube Rectors’ Conference (DRC) decided to grant two Ukrainian students or early-career researchers a fellowship. We are extremely proud of the activities of our two trainees Olga Kyrychenko and Anastasiya Lendel who haven’t just shown strength but also consistency in going forward while completing research on their MA or PhD thesis.
We have the pleasure of hosting different students not only from the Danube region but also internationally that continuously share their knowledge from diverse study areas. They bring cultural, political, and historical perspectives that help build a vibrant environment. The IDM provides a workplace and invites the student to participate in the activities of the Institute as well as to contribute to the work of IDM team members yearly. To learn more about our former trainees and also about the opportunity of joining us for a possible traineeship, click here.