Erasmus+ Israel Update: Guidelines for HEIs
The COVID-19 outbreak affects almost all ongoing or planned activities under the Erasmus+ programme and the Erasmus Office wishes to provide you with updated regulations and available information and guidance during these difficult times.
International Credit Mobility Action
Regarding the ICM implementation, due to the current situation many participants are either unable to travel or are unable to return from their host location. Some others wish to stay and continue to study if online courses are offered. To respond to these uncertainties, the European Commission is applying the maximum flexibility and allows the NAs to cover costs also if changes occur. For now, the National Agencies can define the rules for recovery of the grant after early termination of the mobility.
The NAs can apply the force majeure clause and can therefore refund certain costs, even if the mobility was terminated early, or even did not take place at all (concerning staff costs, when travel arrangements were made prior to the crisis). Depending on the recovery rules set by the NA, the student might have to return (part of) the grant. However, the implementation is different from institution to institution and needs to be confirmed case by case. Therefore, we advise you to maintain regular contact with your partner institution and/or the National Agencies of each county.
Recommendations on blended virtual mobilites for the academic year 2020/2021:
- When possible, HEIs should encourage a blended mobility approach, i.e. to start with a period of virtual mobility abroad, to be combined with a physical mobility abroad with a minimum duration as set in the 2020 Programme Guide.
- In case of force majeure situation, the duration of the physical mobility period can be reduced or cancelled and be replaced by an extension of the virtual mobility period.
- Periods of interruption between the virtual and physical mobility periods are allowed, provided that the activity is carried out within the mobility project duration.
- During the “virtual period” the participant does not receive a grant (Individual support) but the beneficiary organisation receives the normal rate of Organisation support per participant. Once the physical mobility period starts, the participant is entitled to get the regular grant for the period abroad.
- These activities will need be confirmed with supporting documents to verify participation. In the field of higher education, when relevant, virtual and blended mobility activities can be confirmed by the Transcript of Records.
- Both periods (virtual and physical) count towards recognition of learning outcomes.
- If duly justified and documented, beneficiaries can cover costs related to buying and/or renting of equipment and/or services necessary for the implementation of virtual and blended mobility activities, even if no funds were initially allocated to the Exceptional costs budget category.
- If duly justified and documented by the beneficiary, NAs may also consider eligible any special needs support claimed in order to allow the participation of participants with special needs in virtual activities, under the same rules as specified in the Programme Guide.
Search for a University to see the Erasmus+ and Swiss-European Mobility Programme mobility status for the first semester of 2020/2021 https://covid.uni-foundation.eu/
Click here to read ESU's Q&A webinar discussing COVID-19 implications on Erasmus+ students
Please see the following official notes:
· An official note from the European Commission regarding CB projects
· An official note from the Irish NA
· An official note from the European Students' Union
· An official note from the Finnish NA
· An official note from the British NA
· An official note from the Croatian NA
· EU Commission's FAQs on the impact on COVID19 on the Erasmus+ Programme
How can international offices respond to this crisis?
The WILLIAM project has launched a Covid19 Resource and Consultation Initiative for the benefit of international offices around the world, as they work to provide psychological support to international students during the pandemic. This is a joint partnership between WILLIAM and the Community Stress Prevention Center in Israel. Please see the link directly to the Covid19 initiative here.
The WILLIAM team will continue to update the site with relevant material and resources over the coming weeks. In addition, they have included a FAQ section for international offices to ask questions and get help from a team of psychologists, therapists, and international offices within 6 hours. Inquiries should be sent to email@example.com
Capacity Building in Higher Education
For Capacity Building Projects, for relevant expenses, in principle the force majeure clause will be considered. Since EACEA still has not decided how these costs will be reported, we ask you to currently put these expenses "on hold" in your financial management until further guidelines will be published.
Most likely, what we will see is that for travel costs, purchased prior to the crisis, the force majeure clause will apply and the unit costs will be covered by the grant.
Please note, this is currently still a draft policy and the final confirmation will be given on a case to case basis by your project officer. In contrary, for travel changes following personal concerns and not based on official national guidelines, most likely co-financing from your institution will be required.
For changes in your project activities, we encourage you to be creative in your approach and try to find the best solutions either in implementing some activities online/ virtual, or postponing some of the events. If relevant for your project, you are invited to contact you project officer and consult if an extension can be granted in order to implement also postponed activities (Please note, that for each project only one extension can be granted).
EAIE provides useful information for HEIs in light of COVID-19: