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The Erasmus+ Online Linguistic Support (OLS) offering digital courses that support students to improve their knowledge in currently 12 languages, has been extended by the European Commission to assist refugees. Around 100 000 displaced from educational opportunities are to benefit from services of the OLS, over the next three years, that are based on voluntary participation and are free of charge. Originally designed to prepare university and vocational students, as well as young professionals for participation in Erasmus+ activities, the objective of the initiative is now augmented to serve the integration of ‘refugees into Europe’s education and training systems, and ensure their skills development’.
Those with refugee status, alongside students, can now flexibly access the OLS via an internet connection from multiple devices, and benefit from self-paced models in a variety of linguistic areas, which are complemented by interactive learning engagements as ‘Live Coaching’, tutoring and forums. Since the OLS welcomed its new target group this July, over 700 refugees have commenced on-line language courses and their high level of activity on the platform is promising.
Erasmus+ beneficiary institutions/organisations as well as organisations supporting refugees, from a range of sectors that include NGO’s, youth organisations and civil society associations, can voluntarily decide to take part in the OLS initiative. Access to OLS courses and learning facilities will be granted to refugees by the participating institutions/organisations.
The extension of the OLS platform exemplifies how augmenting existing learning resources and initiatives at the European level can further common solutions on new challenges, and support efforts of member states in laying the groundwork for widening participation in education and training to refugees.
For those interested in participating and finding out more the respective National Agency can be contactedErasmus+, OLS – Press release