How Covid-19 affects Erasmus and EU Solidarity Corps

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The Covid-19 pandemic has also affected the 170,000 young people involved in Erasmus+ or the European Solidarity Corps. Find out how the EU is helping them.

Education has been hard hit by the Covid-19 crisis. Travel restrictions and the closing of universities mean participants in cross-border mobility programmes, such as the Erasmus+ student exchange and the European Solidarity Corps, are facing challenges.

Currently 165,000 young people across Europe are on an Erasmus exchange and 5,000 more are involved in volunteering projects.

Erasmus students during Covid-19 (source: Erasmus Student Network)

  • 25% of student exchanges were cancelled due to Covid-19
  • 37.5% of students experienced at least one major problem related to their exchange (for example: couldn’t go home, accommodation problems)
  • Half of the students whose programme continued have moved to online classes
  • 34% have moved to partial online offers or partially postponed classes.

How the EU is helping

To help young people who are volunteering or taking part in Erasmus+, as much as possible, the European Commission has said it will make the programmes as flexible as legally possible.

It has recommended that the national agencies, responsible for the management of study exchanges, invoke “force majeure”, which would allow them to assess the possibility of approving additional costs up to a maximum grant amount and to postpone planned activities for 12 months.

Parliament’s culture and education committee has called on the Commission to do everything possible to provide support, clear information and reassurance… Details here.

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