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EACEA

Coronavirus: implications for the Intra-Africa Academic Mobility Scheme

Coronavirus: implications for the Intra-Africa Academic Mobility Scheme

Publication date: 
Wednesday, 25 March, 2020 - 18:30
Programme and action:

NOTE FOR THE ATTENTION OF THE INTRA-AFRICA ACADEMIC MOBILITY SCHEME CONTACT PERSONS

The outbreak of COVID-19 in the EU and in the world has big implications for the Intra-Africa Academic Mobility Scheme. The closure of higher education institutions as well as the broader measures undertaken in many countries to restrict mobility of citizens and increase social distancing hamper the regular implementation of most of the ongoing or planned Intra-Africa mobility activities.

The Commission and the Agency are acutely aware of the difficulties faced by project beneficiaries in this respect. Our foremost concern, that we know you share, is the safety and protection of all programme participants.

This note aims to provide clarifications and general recommendations in order to support consortia in managing these exceptional circumstances.

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This unprecedented situation is having a huge impact on most stakeholders and participants: Intra-Africa scholarship holders, students and staff, who are experiencing a varying degree of disruption during their mobility, or had either to cancel or postpone their planned mobility period. We ask all partnerships to be as flexible and pragmatic as possible to minimise any negative impact on their participants and, as regards students and staff, to help facilitating the achievements of their learning outcomes/teaching assignment indicated in their agreements. This can be done through alternative means such as digital tools for example, in particular for those students/staff who already started their mobility.

Host institutions can enable mobile students/staff to continue their studies/assignments remotely by either offering them to follow/offer courses online or by doing assignments. In some cases, students/staff have returned to their home countries but continue to follow courses/doing assignments at the host institutions through various solutions. Given these exceptional circumstances, please note that the Agency will consider any such remote studying/teaching/training arrangements as eligible, provided they contribute to achieving the learning outcomes/assignments. We also hope all partnerships will be as flexible as possible in order to allow students to have all the credits obtained through such remote studying arrangements fully recognised.

Host institutions and students/staff can also decide to terminate the scholarship as foreseen in your funding agreement.

We are aware that many institutions, organisations and international relations offices are now closed or are working with a very limited capacity. We encourage all partnerships to make sure that Intra-Africa scholarship holders are well informed about where they can access information about the situation in each country and where they can turn to for support if they are temporarily not able to reach the international relations office of their home or host institutions due to the closings.

In the most serious situations, e.g. where repatriation is needed, partnerships are invited, whenever possible, to facilitate contacts with embassies and authorities of the home country.

As a matter of principle, please note that partner institutions must collect and keep the relevant documentation which might be needed at a later stage to prove/justify any decision taken having an impact on the implementation of the project (notably from a financial point of view).

For further information or clarifications, please do not hesitate to continue to contact the Agency: EACEA-IntraAfrica-IntraACP@ec.europa.eu

Sophie BEERNAERTS