Lessons Learned on Digital Transformation in Higher Education

Lessons Learned on Digital Transformation in Higher Education

A recap of the SUDTE final conference

The Supporting Universities in Digital Transformation in Erasmus+ (SUDTE) consortium partners organised its final conference on May 3rd, 2023 in Brussels. Held under the format of the Erasmus Goes Digital series, the event marked the resumption of face-to-face events on the topic and provided an opportunity to discuss lessons learned from the SUDTE project, with a focus on the digitalisation process at the beginning of the Erasmus+ programme 2021-27.

The conference started with an insightful speech from Merve Nacar from the Turkish National Agency, who shed light on the digital transformation process underway in Türkiye. Notably, the rapid adoption of federated authentication among Turkish universities was highlighted as a high-impact stepping stone, enabling universities to issue the European Student Identifier. 

The first panel discussion, moderated by Joachim Wyssling from the EUF, featured representatives from the SUDTE consortium, who presented some of the most critical outcomes of the project. They shared insights on the mapping of digitalisation status in Türkiye, Italy, and Spain and discussed the challenges associated with connecting to Erasmus Without Paper (EWP) from the perspectives of in-house information systems, third-party providers or the EWP Dashboard. The panelists also provided updates on the EWP implementation at their respective institutions, emphasizing the positive impact of digitalization on reducing the environmental footprint of mobility administration, enabling the management of 80% more mobilities with existing resources and staff. 

Following this, another panel focused on the role of EWP as a catalyst for the development of European University Alliances. Representatives from various University Alliances, including Athena University Alliance, Aurora Universities, ENLIGHT, CHARM-EU, and the Dutch National Research and Education Network (SURF), participated in the discussion. The panelists agreed that integrating existing solutions such as EWP is crucial for ensuring scalability and sustainability of European university alliances, emphasizing the need to minimize reliance on custom IT solutions.

In addition to the panel discussions, the conference delved into topics such as the digital transformation user’s guide, comparative analysis of digital tools functionalities, and the future of digitalisation. 

The SUDTE project has provided invaluable insights into the digital transformation process in Europe, and the conference served as a platform to share knowledge and experiences. The attendees engaged in lively conversation, demonstrating a strong interest and motivation to continue working towards a more digitalised future.