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MEP: ‘European Online University’ could lessen Covid-19 disruption

Motion decries lack of access to digital learning and severe disruptions to education and training

An MEP has asked the European Parliament to call on the European Commission to “explore possibilities for new initiatives such as the creation of a European Online University” as a way of boosting education during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The motion for a Parliament resolution was put forward by MEP Sabine Verheyen, chair of the Parliament’s education committee, on 13 October. She warned that the pandemic had “caused perhaps the most severe disruption to the world’s education and training systems in history”, and proposed ways to lessen this disruption.

A European Online University could be a platform for EU member states to share good practices, Verheyen suggested. She said that better coordination and cooperation among member states would have improved the effectiveness of the response to Covid-19.

Verheyen also reiterated the Parliament’s call to boost funding for the EU’s 2021-27 R&D programme Horizon Europe and its mobility scheme Erasmus+, for which she repeated that funding should be tripled relative to 2014-20, as opposed to being increased by a mere 50 per cent or so as under national governments’ plans.

She also said that Erasmus+ should complement its support for mobility with support for virtual learning and cooperation tools.