See what’s coming up on on the BCSA’s Events Calendar.

Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

International Students’ Day: why is 17 November important?

15th November 2023 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Do you know why and how it was decided that International Students’ Day would fall on 17 November? Come and find out about the role Czech students played in establishing International Students’ Day, the importance of 17 November for Czechs and the world in the past and today.

The debate will start with a short history video created by Dr George Scott entitled “Not Forgotten” about the student protest in Prague on 28th October 1939, Czechoslovak Independence Day, following the Nazi occupation of Bohemia and Moravia. Students were rounded up, over 1,000 were sent to concentration camps and all Czech universities and colleges were closed.

Four speakers who will each bring their perspective to the discussion. Dr George Scott will discuss events in 1939 that inspired the establishment of  International Students’ Day. The chair of the Memorial Association for Free Czechoslovaks Gerry Manolas will introduce the work of Central Union of Czechoslovak students in London that was instrumental in establishing this day. Both Dr. Scott and Gerry Manolas are relatives of the founding members of Central Union of Czechoslovak students. Professor Jan Marek will talk about events on 17 November 1989 where he was personally present and Maxim Višnovský will discuss what 17 November means to him and his fellow students, placing it within the broader historical context.

Dr George Scott is related to General Václav Paleček, co-founder and president of International Students’ Day. His video is viewed through the involvement of Charles University student, Max Martischnig, who subsequently avoided capture and certain death. 

Gerry Manolas is the grand-daughter of Bohuslav (Slava) Šulc, Secretary General of the Central Union of Czechoslovak Students. Slava was one of the founding members who helped with the declaration of International Students’ Day on November 17th 1940.

Professor Jan Marek, a consultant cardiologist, has worked at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children (GOSH) since 2005. He was one of the students who peacefully demonstrated on 17 November 1989 in Prague and suffered a broken arm from the police.  

Maxim Višnovský is a Czech student of war studies at King’s College London now in his third year. He spent the last year at Keio University in Tokyo as part of his bachelor’s degree. Maxim currently specialises in Russian foreign policy and international security

This event is free, but registration is essential via the Eventbrite link below. It will take place in person and will also be livestreamed.

We are fundraising for the BCSA School Support Fund so please donate if you can. 


Our thanks to the Czech Embassy and Memorial Association for Free Czechoslovak Veterans for their support and cooperation.


15th November 2023
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Category:


British Czech and Slovak Association


Czech Embassy cinema
26 Kensington Palace Gardens
London, W8 4QY
+ Google Map

BCSA makes an effort to ensure that information contained in these pages is accurate.
However, no liability is accepted arising from reliance upon the information contained in these pages or any other information accessed via this site.