Migration and Home Affairs

Second EMN OECD Inform: Impact of COVID-19 on international students in EU and OECD Member States

Second EMN OECD Inform: Impact of COVID-19 on international students in EU and OECD Member States

The global health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic made it more difficult for international students to complete the administrative procedures necessary to enrol in a Higher Education Institution (HEI) abroad and to travel to that country to take up studies. Most EU and OECD countries have closed their national borders – with exceptions for some groups - in an effort to contain the spread of the epidemic in their territory, and many universities were also temporarily closed during the pandemic.

Several additional factors have contributed to putting (prospective) international students in EU and OECD Member States in a vulnerable situation.

The second EMN – OECD Inform reports on the impact of COVID-19 on international students in EU and OECD countries.

At a glance, the main research findings are introduced below:

  • Some EU and OECD countries modified or adapted their admission processes for immigration purposes at the national level, often in cooperation with HEIs. Many HEIs also adapted their enrolment and admission procedures.
  • Some countries have issued guidelines to HEIs in order to facilitate, to the extent possible, international student flows, respecting safety measures in place to combat the pandemic.
  • Many countries introduced temporary measures to mitigate the financial impact that COVID-19 is having on international students, for example by increasing maximum working hours or opening access to national funds.

Future Informs will cover the COVID-19 impact on maintaining key legal migration flows in times of pandemic; reduction or loss of remittances; and return issues. Their publication is foreseen for October and November 2020. A webinar will be hosted for each publication. Follow the EMN news page for more information.

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