Published: Tue, 07 April 2020
MEP for Ireland South and Leader of Fine Gael in the European Parliament, Sean Kelly, has called on the European Commission to outline the actions it is taking to alleviate the financial burdens of ERASMUS students directly caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Speaking from his home in Kerry today, Mr. Kelly made the following comments:
“Students from all over the country, and indeed across the European Union, were participating in the ERASMUS programme in the months leading up to the outbreak of the coronavirus. While the programme gives support to students, studying abroad still brings significant financial cost to them and their families.
“We are now hearing that despite Irish students having returned home, many accommodation providers in European Universities have refused to offer flexibility on rents payable while academic activities are suspended. This has made things very difficult for Irish students.
“I am raising this issue with the European Commission in the hope that some action, financial or otherwise, can be taken to help students and families who find themselves in this financially challenging position. Being obliged to pay accommodation costs in another country while academic activities are not going ahead does not seem fair.
“Therefore, I believe a common sense approach must be found by EU Universities to give some flexibility to students at this challenging time for us all”, concluded MEP Kelly.