Edition 212 - December 2018

Launch of the Erasmus Without Paper (EWP) network

The 12th of December marked the launch of the Erasmus Without Paper (EWP) network, at an international conference hosted by Ghent University, which also serves as the project coordinator of the prominent EWP 2.0 initiative. The EWP 2.0 project (2018-2019) aims to digitalise the mostly paper-based workflow of the Erasmus+ mobility processes, by facilitating the real-time exchange of data among European higher education institutions (HEIs), and by streamlining the technical solutions for student mobility used by various institutions in Europe. Ultimately, the initiative aims to significantly reduce the bureaucratic workload of mobility officers/coordinators in International Relations Offices across Europe. The project is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Commission; it involves 15 project partners and builds on a predecessor project by the same name (EWP 1.0), implemented between 2015 and 2017.

The EWP network is fully operational, already counting more than 500 HEIs in Europe, and is open to additional institutional members that want to be involved in the testing and European roll-out of the EWP approach. The network allows for real-time data exchange among member institutions, in order to:

  • replace a paper-based workflow by a digital one;
  • tackle the administrative workload for HEI staff and students;
  • streamline existing technical solutions and services; and
  • create free public infrastructure for virtually all HEIs.

The exact steps for joining the EWP network depend on the type of software already used (or not) for managing student mobility. The network caters for the needs of HEIs that: 

  • have their own (in-house developed) software for student mobility management, or
  • use a Student Information System (SIS) that is also used by other HEIs, or
  • use commercial software providers, or
  • who do not use any dedicated software yet, and for whom the Erasmus Without Paper provides the EWP Dashboard – a free solution that also integrates the Erasmus+ Mobile App and the Online Learning Agreement.

Furthermore, the EWP consortium also launched the Open Source University Alliance, which collects various software solutions for the benefit of the whole Higher Education community.

The EWP is linked to other digital initiatives and tools at European level, such as the European Student Card (ESC), the Mobility Tool+, the Online Learning Agreement(OLA), the Erasmus+ App, EGRACONS, EMREX, EVA, ESMO. 

The vision of the EWP Project Coordinator, Valère Meus, is to have EWP evolve into being the “electronic brain” of the next Erasmus+ Programme. This prospect seems to be supported also by the European Commission, that sees EWP as the single entry point for HEIs facilitating Erasmus+ student mobilities, and as important for the digital revolution.In the preparation stage of the next Erasmus+ Programme (2021-2027), the EWP consortium will support HEIs and national agencies for the Europe-wide roll-out of EWP. In parallel, a Competence Centre with necessary documentation, training modules, software guidance and other tools is being developed, to ensure maintenance and sustainability.

The presentations and recordings from the conference are available on the EWP website. For additional information, please contact the EWP project coordinator, Valère Meus, at Valere.Meus@UGent.be.

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