The final conference of the Erasmus+ App project has been successfully concluded
The latest features of the Erasmus+ App, as well as the user experiences and its future potential, were discussed with its key stakeholders at the conference on 29 March in Budapest.
The conference was the final event of the current Erasmus+ App project launched in 2019. More than 100 participants attended in person, and we were pleased to welcome representatives of the European Commission, Erasmus+ National Agencies, ESU and ESN as well as student organisations’ local sections, and many European higher education institutions. Almost 4,000 people followed the online streaming via various platforms. In addition to plenary speakers, participants discussed issues and experiences with the App in onsite and online workshops.
László Borhy, Rector of ELTE, welcomed the participants, and Ferenc Takó, Head of the ELTE CHARM-EU Office, moderated the event.
Themis Christophidou, Director-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture of the European Commission, stressed in her video message that the Erasmus+ App is a vital tool to support students at all stages of their mobility. It also helps to achieve paperless administration, leading to an easily accessible, greener application process.
“To fully exploit the potential of the App’s functionality, we need more European universities to start using it,” said Vanessa Debiais-Sainton, Head of the European Commission’s Higher Education Policy and Programme Unit, in her keynote speech. “The App can bring students closer together and strengthen their sense of belonging to Europe.”
According to Judit Hermándy-Berencz, Erasmus+ App project coordinator, the App was developed based on the needs of the target groups and it provides guidance to students while helping higher education institutions in the management of Erasmus+ processes. “During the last years, the Erasmus+ digitalisation processes have been accelerated. We see more and more higher education institutions joining the Erasmus Without Paper Network and using the digital infrastructure. As part of this process, in line with an even stronger intention to fully digitalise the Erasmus+ programme, the App became a central element of the European Student Card Initiative. The App transforms the way we think about mobility.”
“One of the key areas for further development of the Erasmus+ App could be to address accommodation problems related to mobility. The App cannot solve this on its own, but it can bring positive changes by providing well-structured information on available accommodation options,” said Nicolò Bonato, Policy & Research Officer at the European University Foundation. His presentation also gave other examples of further services to be possibly integrated. One of the afternoon workshops was also dedicated to the participants’ ideas on the future of the App and potential further developments.
Wim Gabriels, Director of the Erasmus Student Network, stressed that the Erasmus+ App offers a solution to the problems that students constantly encounter. A big advantage of the App is that it makes all information available in one place. It provides a personal space where students can guide themselves through the Erasmus experience from start to end.
The Erasmus+ App ensures that students across Europe have a single point of access to a wide range of information on Erasmus+ mobility opportunities, tools, and services.
- The App now puts the European Student Card at the click of a button for all students whose universities are already issuing the European Student Identifier.
- It also provides the possibility of a fully digital application procedure for Erasmus+ study mobility participants.
- The App offers structured information about the different Erasmus+ mobility opportunities, and now all of this is available in the 23 official languages of the European Union.
- The Mobility Journey pages provide step-by-step checklists of information and relevant tasks to guide students through the most important milestones of mobility before, during, and after their stay abroad.
- The App also serves as a platform for sharing crowdsourced content such as tips, events, stories, and discounts streamlining information from fellow students and student organisations, as well as from higher education institutions.
- The App centralises access to services connected to the Erasmus+ programme such as the Online Learning Agreement or the Erasmus Skills questionnaire as an online access point.
- While using the App, students receive status updates and notifications from relevant student services.
The Erasmus+ App project is coordinated by Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) in partnership with the European University Foundation and the Erasmus Student Network as well as Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and EWORX working on the technical development.