Erasmus Without Paper (EWP), an initiative aiming to digitalise the currently paper-based workflow from the Erasmus+ mobility process, has been launched on the 12th and 13th December at a conference hosted by the Ghent University.
The project, by the European University Foundation, allows for the real-time exchange of data among Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and streamlines technical solutions for student mobility management across institutions in Europe. The public & free electronic network therefore effectively enables connecting all the HEIs. It caters for institutions that have their own software for student mobility management, HEIs who use commercial software providers, as well as HEIs who do not use any dedicated software yet. For the latter, Erasmus Without Paper provides the Erasmus Dashboard, a free solution that also integrates the Erasmus+ Mobile App (available on Google Playand Apple store) and the Online Learning Agreement platform for students. Furthermore, the Open Source University Alliance will offer a repository that collects various software solutions for the benefit of the whole Higher Education community.
International Relations Offices across Europe have been dealing with a very heavy administrative workload, which has been confirmed by an extensive desk research with more than 1000 institutions surveyed. By connecting HEIs across Europe and beyond, Erasmus Without Paper reduces the administrative workload and costs for university staff and increases the efficiency by making administrative procedures easier for students.
The EWP Project Coordinator, Valère Meus, stated, “The launch of Erasmus Without Paper is a milestone on the way to digitalisation of mobility programmes and solving urgent security & privacy challenges. This digital change is, in fact, a cultural change. It will take time to make the most of the available technology, but through a flexible approach and comprehensive support for joining this network we can achieve something which some people considered impossible.”
Vanessa Debiais-Sainton, Head of the Higher Education Unit in the European Commission DG Education and Culture, said: “Our vision for the future of Erasmus+ is a more inclusive and accessible programme. Erasmus Without Paper is fundamental in making it simpler and less bureaucratic. By allowing for the exchange of various data from interinstitutional agreements to transcripts of records, it is key in creating a single point of entry for institutions and connecting different IT systems. The time to join the digital revolution is now!”
In the lead-up to the next Erasmus+ Programme (starting in 2021), the EWP consortium will support HEIs and National Agencies for the European-wide roll-out. Additionally, a Competence Centrewith necessary documentation, training modules, software guidance and other tools will be implemented to ensure maintenance and sustainability.
For more information, please contact the the European University Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit www.erasmuswithoutpaper.eu or watch the conference livestream & presentations. Pictures of the event are available here.