The European University Association (EUA) published a study - for the European Commission - on the implementation of International Credit Mobility (ICM) for students belonging to disadvantaged groups.
The study analyzes the ability of the Erasmus + program to address equity and inclusion, by facilitating access to participants from disadvantaged environments with fewer opportunities. Launched in 2015 under the Erasmus + program, ICM supports student and staff exchanges between the Erasmus + program and partner countries.
One of the main conclusions of the study is that, in the ICM, the focus on students from disadvantaged groups, including people with disabilities, is much weaker than that envisaged by the European Commission. This is partly due to the fact that the legal “disadvantage” restrictions in the affected partner countries, as well as their implementation. While the disadvantage is an additional selection criterion for students on the basis of academic merit, it is rarely used, and selection for the ICM is based in most cases only on academic and linguistic preparation.
According to the students surveyed as part of this study, financial aspects are a very common obstacle to mobility, since students must advance some of the costs of their studies abroad. For students from disadvantaged backgrounds, such obstacles are exacerbated by additional invisible barriers to mobility, as the "disadvantage" is generally not well defined or specifically recognized in society in general, or in higher education, or in the specific case of participation in mobility exchanges.
The study stablishes a series of recommendations on how to improve inclusion within the ICM. In the following link to pdf file you will find more information of the study: https://supporthere.org/sites/default/files/sphere_icm_report_final.pdf