Since the beginning of the Covid-19 health crisis, EM Normandie, the EM Normandie Foundation and EM Normandie Alumni have been taking action to help vulnerable students. The Business School has drawn on the strength of its community as a whole to address urgent social issues, maintain equal opportunities and counter the lasting effects of Covid-19, through a number of initiatives including donations, setting up a solidarity fund, boosting job search support and maintaining contact with disabled students.
Solidarity fund set up as an initial safeguard against financial vulnerability
As soon as the health crisis hit, the School reduced its tuition fees. It invested €6,000 of its own funds into the Student Hardship Fund (Fonds Social Etudiant – FSE). This money combined with the EM Normandie Alumni Association’s €20,000 contribution has enabled us to provide immediate support to students struggling to pay their outgoings (rent, food etc.). The criteria for awarding these funds have been extended to purchasing computer hardware and 4G dongles which are crucial for remote learning.
Contributions by the School, the EM Normandie Foundation and the EM Normandie Alumni Association will increase the FSE budget for the 2020-2021 academic year to €200,000. In April, the EM Normandie Foundation also launched a call for donations to form a Covid-19 emergency fund. We hope to raise €50,000 by the end of the summer.
Elian Pilvin, Managing Director of EM Normandie, says: “To limit the impact of the crisis on our students, we have had to act quickly and provide long-term support. In addition to investing our own funds, we have also formed a virtuous triangle with the Foundation and the Alumni Association to provide financial support to those that most need it. I’d like to thank Chairs Jean-Louis Grégoire and Claude Changarnier for their help in this respect. We must not allow our students and young graduates to become the forgotten generation of Covid-19. For this reason, we have provided additional support to help students find or replace part-time jobs alongside their studies, and to launch their careers and achieve their goals. We have also provided psychological support to those who need it, and we have ensured that our disabled students are able to fully take part in remote learning, which may be partially continued in September. There are multiple challenges, but equal opportunities remains our primary focus.”
Jobs support: Vital in a “post-Covid” world
The initial effects of Covid-19 have included a slowdown of the jobs market and an increase in online recruitment. Since March, EM Normandie’s Career Path has relaunched its support services for students and young graduates with a fully digital approach, including individual coaching, co-development sessions, webinars, workshops on various topics, locating recruitment events and virtual forums. The aim is to ensure that young people can adapt to the market, and to help partner companies to act as facilitators in the midst of this crisis.
Success of our disability inclusion measures
EM Normandie already has a good track record for disability inclusion. From the start of lockdown, it set up a personalised monitoring programme for students already registered with the diversity and equal opportunities service. This quick action combined with the service’s in-depth knowledge of individual problems has meant that online lessons have been successful, and that it has been possible to adapt teaching arrangements where required.
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