“The process has to be fast as those who travel to northern Europe leave in August”
From two public universities from the province of Alicante the Generalitat has also been asked to speed up the immunization of these students, since many of them, especially those who travel to northern European countries will already travel at the end of August. “We have asked that they be vaccinated, and if possible with the Janssen vaccine, which is a single dose and thus they would not have to return to receive the second regimen,” said Rosa María Martínez, vice-rector for International Relations of the University of Alicante. After holding different meetings with the General Directorate of Universities, “who also shares this position”, Martínez trusts that the immunization of this group will be a reality shortly, “in fact, the General Directorate has told us that they will call us next week that comes to give us more details of how it is going to be done ».
Next semester there will be about 600 students from the University of Alicante who will travel through Europe within the Erasmus program and about 1,800 in the entire academic year. In the UMH There are about 300. Regarding the vaccination of foreign students who arrive at the University of Alicante, Martínez points out that it depends on each country of origin and the vaccination policies that are being followed.
On the table has also been put the vaccination of Seneca students, who travel to other universities in the Spanish territory. «We have managed to ensure that the national students we host are vaccinated through a health card for displaced personsSo we trust that the same will happen with our students who travel to other autonomies ».
For his part, Vicente Micol, vice-rector for International Relations of the UMH of Elche points out that “we have been dealing with this matter with the Department of Universities for two months and we have provided them with a background on the concerns that students send us.” The vice-rector maintains that they are encountering cases of universities “that ask students for PCR tests plus quarantine and others that directly require them to be vaccinated”. The five rectors of the Valencian Community have prepared a joint letter and this Monday the five vice-rectors of internationalization met with the general director of Universities, Pilar Ezpeleta. «They have told us that they have transferred the matter to Health. The problem is that there are Nordic universities that start classes in August. So, at the latest, the vaccination process should start at the beginning of July ».
“If students are not immunized, there will be many resignations of places and that creates a problem”
In this sense, adds Micol, “the Ministry has asked us for a relationship with data from students, universities and countries.”
The head of the Miguel Hernández University predicts that if students are not vaccinated, “there will be many resignations of places and this would generate a major problem for us to be another year without international mobility.” “We hope to pass, at the latest in the first week of July, the list of students with their SIP number so that they can begin to be vaccinated.” The vice-rector adds that “we are rowing in the same direction rectors, vice-rectors and the Department of Universities. We know that there are demands from professional groups and athletes but for us it is very important because there are countries demanding vaccination. Apart from this, the UMH has had a special aid fund of 58,700 euros to cover Erasmus students the additional costs that the pandemic generates on their travels, such as carrying out PCR. The 58,700 euros in 2021 are added to the 35,000 euros that we allocated last year to this fund.
About a thousand students will travel to Europe this semester from the two public centers in the province
Entities such as the Consell Interuniversitari d’Estudiants Valencians and the Erasmus Students Network have demanded that the vaccination of the students who are going to travel be guaranteed. Another alternative that they put on the table is that from the public administrations themselves, either the corresponding Ministry, either the universities or the European entities, they defray the extra expenses that would entail traveling to these destination countries in times of covid such as These are PCR or antigen diagnostic tests in those countries that are accepted as a route of entry.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.