We are delighted to share with the whole EUF community that the Erasmus Without Paper (EWP) project, which ended in 2019, has finally been resumed in 2022!
This has been made possible thanks to a competitive tendering procedure launched by the European Commission (EC) in February 2021 whose results were announced in mid-September. In November and December, two specific requests for services worth 5M euros have been put forward, answered and eventually approved, paving the way for work on this critical initiative to finally be resumed.
Ensuring the continued availability of the Erasmus+ App throughout 2018 and 2019 and of the EWP Network and Dashboard throughout 2020 and 2021 was something achieved with great effort and investment, and it is critical that the EC has acknowledged that it is not tenable that a network of 72 universities is expected to cover the costs of tools used by more than 3000 universities. We are indebted to our colleagues from the universities of Porto, Warsaw and Thessaloniki for their unrelenting support and commitment to this enormous challenge, in which they all played a central role.
The contracts now signed should allow us to shore up operations and reverse a degradation of the quality of the service that has been observed as these online services were left to their own devices. Substantial work is foreseen to address technical debt and roll out improvements that have long been planned; the capacity of the helpdesk will also be significantly increased, from 0.8 full time employees (FTE) to 5 FTE. Additionally, a new governance framework will be put in place, alongside with extensive analysis and research, upon request of DGEAC.
We are honoured that the following institutions have agreed to join forces, on what strikes us as an outstanding consortium that will work on EWP+ throughout a four-year period:
- Ghent University (responsible for outreach and communication)
- University of Warsaw (responsible for interoperability network)
- Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (responsible for HEI web applications)
- Eötvös Loránd University (responsible for student web applications)
- University of Porto (security and IIAm)
- IBM and EWX (software production environments and lifecycles)
The delivery of the EWP+ activities will also involve the DAAD, GEANT, the University of Barcelona and the University of Paris-Saclay, as well as a broad range of stakeholders (ESN, LLLP and all National Agencies, among others).