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COVID-19 and Student Mobility: Europe

Aurora Brief Reviews No. 15 April May 10 2020

September 2020

The ERASMUS Student Network has published a report on “The Impact of COVID-19 on Student Exchanges in Europe”. With a survey run from 19-30 March (so five weeks later than the IIE survey below), ESN collected over 21000 responses from students from 125 countries – in Europe and beyond. However, the majority of the response – over 81% – came from students from the EU 27 and the majority of the remainder came from countries participating in the ERASMUS+ programme. In that period (second half of March), still, 2/3rds of students indicated that their study abroad could continue. More than 1/3rd of students reported problems with the return home; other frequently reported problems concerned accommodation and daily necessities. Significant numbers of students from China and Italy reported discrimination.

Like the IIE report below, this report mainly testifies of the rapid development of COVID-19 into a pandemic. Discrimination against students from ‘source countries’ seems to have disappeared as the virus became a pandemic (disregarding the odd Narcissistic politician) and the proportions of students less-effected by COVID-19 probably having changed dramatically since March 30th.

We are all groping through the mist. We have little or no robust data to rely on with this pandemic. The timeline in the ESN report seems to reflect this adequately.

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