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Celebrating the International Students’ Day with #StudentActivism

Last Friday, 17th November, we celebrated the International Students’ Day through the Social Media campaign #StudentActivism and #17now.

This initiative raised awareness on student activism as essential to keep developing more inclusive education systems with and for society.  We invited individual students, universities, institutions, organisations and all those who are fighting or have fought for students’ rights to share their stories and thoughts through Twitter and Facebook.

Also, ESU leaders shared their own messages to contribute to the conversation:

“Equal access to education is social justice, social mobility and a public good. Today we stand up for #studentactivism in the past, today and in the future” Helge Schwitters, President of ESU

“I fight for a society built on knowledge, inclusiveness and respect. I fight for free #HigherEd. I fight for #SocialRights. I fight for a sustainable development. I am a part of the #StudentActivism movement #17now” Caroline Sundberg, Vice President

“My goals? An opportunity for each student to be able to experience a fascinating adventure as learning process might be! Since nothing can shape us, open our minds and make us better people as education can!” Adam Gajek, Vice President

The campaign has reached over 50k unique users on Twitter (90.083 impressions) and over 4k users have seen our posts about the campaign on Facebook where people also shared their own experiences.

We also supported OBESSU campaign #GenerationFreeEducation, which advocate for an Education free of charges and accessible for everyone.


Why the 17th of November? This date is not an arbitrary decision. We celebrate the International Students’ Day to commemorate the Nazi German storming of Czech Universities on 17th November 1939 when 9 student leaders were murdered and more than 1.200 students were sent to concentration camps by the Nazi troops.

We honour them and we emphasize Student Activism as a driving force for the development of societies and democracy.

The European Pillar of Social Rights

Also, on this day, another important event took place in Gothenburg, where the document on the European Pillar of Social Rights was signed as a commitment from all EU institutions to work for a more inclusive and fairer Europe.

ESU has been involved in the public consultations being the voice of their member unions and addressing their demands and needs to the Pillar in the fields of education, training and lifelong learning.


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