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MEPs concerned about Covid-19 impact on Erasmus+ students


National agencies and Commission criticised for unclear communication and ‘lack of information’

MEPs have criticised the European Commission for not being clear enough about the measures it has put in place to support the 165,000 students participating in the EU’s Erasmus+ mobility scheme during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The Commission’s current way of communicating, as well as the different approaches and lack of information from national agencies, do not provide certainty that extra costs will be reimbursed and that Erasmus+ exchange students…will be able to retain their status,” MEPs on the European Parliament’s Culture and Education Committee wrote in a 15 April open letter to EU R&D commissioner Mariya Gabriel, according to a Parliament press release.

MEPs have asked that students “be supported to ensure that they do not lose this academic year and can obtain the necessary academic credits via virtual learning”, the Parliament said.

Speaking at a meeting of EU education ministers a day earlier, Gabriel said the Commission would “do our utmost to support Erasmus+ participants”. She said the Commission was already applying “the maximum flexibility we can in the implementation of the programme within the limits of the rules”, was in “regular contact” with national agencies and had issued guidance on how students can claim refunds on cancelled or postponed travel.