DATE: 20-04-2020

Call for Flexibility - the international students' situation

Dear AEC members,
 
In this time of crisis, higher music education institutions all over the world are facing unprecedented challenges.
 
Students in particular are and feel vulnerable in this climate of uncertainty: it is our duty to support them and prevent their futures from being compromised because of a combination of the current restrictions and complex national and institutional procedures for the application to studies and exchange periods.
 
It is one of the AEC's primary objectives to promote international cooperation and mobility in the higher music education sector. The Association has been a driving force to support both credit (short exchanges supported by the ERASMUS+ programme or other support programmes) and diploma mobility (students moving from one study cycle to another as part of the 3-cycle structures that has been introduced in Europe over the past decades) in Europe and beyond. We share with you the great concern that because of the current situation, international student mobility is seriously being challenged, not only because of travel restrictions, but also because of existing application regulations, procedures and deadlines that in normal times would not be put into question.
 
Therefore, the AEC encourages its member institutions to apply, while taking into account national legislation, a high degree of flexibility when it comes to deadlines for submitting requirements for both diploma and credit mobility. International students now applying as regular students to the first year of Bachelor, Master and Third Cycle studies or as exchange students (in particular those applying to a higher study cycle) should be allowed sufficient time to acquire the necessary credits or to conclude their former study cycle. As final exams of the academic year 2019-2020 might be delayed due to the current closure of institutions, we urgently ask all AEC member institutions to consider using flexible deadlines for submitting previous education diplomas and documentation.
 
The AEC is keen to stress that careful communication to (prospective) students and flexible application of the rules is essential in this moment of crisis that is challenging the basic values of international cooperation and European solidarity.
 
Finally , we would like to draw your attention to the following resources:
 
- Get inspired by the open letter of the European Association of International Education to the European Commission
         
- Find useful resources to participants and beneficiaries of Erasmus+ grants;

- Be up to date on the ongoing dialogue between the European Parliament and the Commission on how to handle Erasmsus+ activities during the pandemic;

The AEC wishes you all the best in this challenging times.