International Cooperation

ESCI/EWP+ - Development, Implementation and Support of the European Student Card Initiative (LOT 1)

The ESCI is striving to make it easier for educational institutions, students and other stakeholders to initiate, manage and benefit from mobility periods abroad. For educational institutions, the objective is to benefit from an efficient and secure online system that enables them to more easily and securely perform the administrative tasks necessary for managing the mobility of learners and to safely exchange electronic data across borders. The aim is to increase efficiency, reduce administrative workload and better protect personal data. For students, the objective is to make participation in the Erasmus+ programme a seamless experience by increasing transparency, reducing the amount of time spent on administrative requests from the home and host institutions, and ensuring requirements can be fulfilled in a timely fashion.

The project's tasks will be carried out under two tracks:

  • Track 1: Reinforcing the Erasmus Without Paper Network and coordinating further digitalisation of Erasmus+ programme.
  • Track 2: Creating an interoperable, modular and scalable Erasmus Without Paper infrastructure.

The aim of Track 1 is to provide rapid improvement of the existing infrastructure and services to better support HEIs as they continue implementing the following digitalised processes:

  • connecting to the Erasmus Without Paper Network;
  • using the EWP Dashboard as a mobility management software (if applicable);
  • digitally exchanging data for and signing Inter-Institutional Agreements (IIAs);
  • nominating learners for mobility and accepting or rejecting the nominations received from partners;
  • creating and managing online learning agreements (OLAs) with the learners and partners within Erasmus+ Programme countries;
  • exchanging Transcripts of Records (ToRs) on the outcome of the mobility period with the learners and the partner institutions.

The aim of Track 2 is stated as “creating an interoperable, modular and scalable Erasmus Without Paper infrastructure”. The specific objectives of this assignment are:

  • To ensure the necessary minimum business continuity of the current EWP IT infrastructure.
  • To analyse, design, consult, get approval and start implementing an enhanced EWP IT infrastructure based on the basic principle that HEIs can join via inhouse system, third party system or EWP Dashboard.
  • To put in place the necessary IT environment for the further digitalisation of mobility management according to the political digitalisation timeline indicatively outlined below and agreed between the European Commission and the ESCI governance bodies
  • To prepare and train current and future ECHE holders to embrace the technology, to manage change internally, to adjust their processes in line with digitalisation workflows and to keep their students and staff informed about it.

Project home page: under construction
Period: 2022.01.01 - 2023.12.31
Framework Service Contract: No EAC/2020/OP/0008 Lot 1

EWP+

 

eSignForStudy - Highly configurable eSignature solution for Higher Education

The project aims to develop a system for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) that will enable the use of electronic signatures and electronic seals in line with eIDAS Regulation and standards (signature/seal creation and/or validation). Initially it will focus on enhancing document handling in Polish HEIs and on secure cross-border exchanges, but eventually will be used in small medium-sized enterprises.

Specifically, the project will design and develop a highly configurable eSignature solution to be used in Higher Education, deploy it in the Polish Higher Education area and validate it in the cross-border exchange of documents using a European-wide platform for the secure transfer of student data between HEIs.

  • Design and develop a highly configurable eSignature solution.
  • Implement, test and validate the solution in Polish Higher Education
  • Test and validate the solution in cross-border exchange of documents using a European-wide platform for the secure transfer of student data.

The eSignForStudy will be based on the eSignature DSI Building Block’s DSS open-source library (incorporating the library’s code). It will resemble a black box concept, with optional/interchangeable components and open interfaces to enable interoperability. It will support an easy way of handling and interacting with the components of a PKI, considering systems with certificates stored in local secure repositories – Hardware Security Module, its software equivalent, or encrypted databases. If qualified signatures are required and can’t be downloaded to the local infrastructure, they can be stored in a remote cloud managed by the Qualified Certified Authority. It will allow for using trusted timestamp services delivered by certified providers. Using a modular approach, easy deployment will be guaranteed by delivering corresponding preconfigured containers to conform the final deployment fulfilling the requirements for each institution.

For testing and validation, the University of Warsaw (UW) will integrate the eSignForStudy with their Student Information System (SIS), already connected to the Erasmus Without Paper (EWP) platform and EMREX Network. Both platforms allow for secure transfer of student data. The new tool will allow the signing and validation of documents, thus providing a missing key security component. The integrated solution will be deployed in UW, and other HEIs using the same SIS (70+).

After deploying the tool, UW and Czech Technical University will exchange signed documents via the EWP platform, to test and validate cross-border the used certificates and procedures.

Project home page: https://esignforstudy.eu.
Period: 2021.04.01 - 2022.09.30
Number: INEA/CEF/ICT/A2020/2271208 eSignForStudy

Co-financed by the program of the Minister of Science and Higher Education entitled "PMW" in the years 2021-2022; contract No. 5183/CEF/2021/2

Newsletter 2022

eSignForStudy

 

EDSSI - European Digital Student Service Infrastructure

The EDSSI will build the EU Student eCard core service platform by consolidating and integrating a range of ongoing digitisation initiatives. The technical infrastructure will support the European Higher Education (HE) sector in enabling ubiquitous and online recognition of student status and identity as well as electronic exchange of students’ records between European higher Education Institutions (HEIs). This will be achieved by providing a clear means to identify and authenticate students through eduGAIN infrastructure, elDAS elDs and via other trusted Identity Providers (IdPs).

To reduce administrative paperwork and for students to get easier access to academic and non-academic services when moving between HEIs, the core service will allow to expand an interoperability infrastructure with the elDAS enabled elD serving as a European Student Identifier (ESI), allowing HEIs to exchange student data for the purpose of making student mobility a seamless experience under the once-only principle. The technical infrastructure will deliver an integrated authentication and authorisation infrastructure that brings together a) elDAS identities, b) eduGAIN identities, c) an interoperable infrastructure serving as gateway to European/national/local nodes to exchange academic data and to access services and d) a web service platform for HEIs serving as an alternative access point to the interoperability infrastructure. This open-source three-tier technical infrastructure will be tightly integrated, compliant with the relevant level of security and the EU General Data Protection Regulations and will be operated by a uniquely positioned consortium representing all relevant stakeholder groups with HEIs, Student Service Providers (SSPs), infrastructure providers and student representatives, all previously involved in relevant digitisation efforts.

Project home page: https://edssi.eu.
Period: 2020.09.01 - 2022.08.31
Number: LC-01560120 CEF-TC-2019-4-001 EDSSI

Final Conference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yEej1t0YMM

EDSSI

 

EWP 2.0 - Erasmus Without Paper

The EWP 2.0 is a follow-up and upscaling project to the first Erasmus Without Paper project, which set up a pilot of the network and worked out basic scenario APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) to the systems of 7 partners, thus demonstrating a proof of concept.

The Erasmus without paper network is an integrated communication network (a kind of student data internet), supporting the exchange of student data in an electronic format. It has defined the basic connecting software modules (APIs) that allow SIS (Student Information Systems) or Mobility Packages (the software that takes care of Bilateral Agreements, Learning Agreements, Transcript of Records and other documents) to connect to the EWP Network. Such SIS and mobility package software is now provided by either commercial companies, developed by (semi-) public consortia or in-house-built by a HEI itself. The first EWP project has already made it possible for all of these SIS types to communicate with each other, using a pilot data standards and protocols for a number of basic scenarios. All three types of users are in fact represented by full partners in the project consortium.

The first EWP project has primarily developed a framework and common data standards for interoperability between HEI systems and produced a prototype. The aim of the EWP 2.0 project is to upscale the prototype EWP Network and industrialise it, making it ready for a European-wide roll-out. Smaller HEIs, which do not use any sort IT system for managing student data, will be catered for through the creation of the EWP Hub, an online platform allowing for the use of the EWP Network. Furthermore, a Competence Centre will be established to support a widespread adoption of electronic administrative workflows.

Project home page: http://www.erasmuswithoutpaper.eu.
Diagram of the EWP Network
Period: 2018.01.01 - 2019.12.31
Number: 590192-EPP-1-2017-1-LU-EPPKA3-PI-FORWARD

Co-financed by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education from the funds allocated in the years 2018-2019 for science; contract No. 3894/Erasmus+/2018/2

EWP

 

EMREX - Field trial on the impact of enabling easy mobility on recognition of external studies

EMREX is the solution for electronic transfer of student records between higher education institutions in Europe. The project addresses the EU 2020 target that 20% of higher education students should be mobile. The biggest benefit of EMREX will be the increased availability, quality and reliability of information about student records of achievement information.

The EMREX field trial aims at testing new ways to make the administration of student mobility easier and thus promoting higher attainment level to student mobility in higher education and also encouraging more effective recognition of prior learning and avoiding overlapping studies. In the first phase the transfer will be set-up between four Nordic countries and Italy.

Project home page: http://www.emrex.eu.
Period: 2015.01.01 - 2017.12.31
Number: 388499-EPP-1-2014-2-FI-EPPKA3-PI-POLICY

Co-financed by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education from the funds allocated in the years 2016-2017 for science; contract No. 3572/Erasmus+/2016/2

EMREX

 

EWP - Erasmus Without Paper

The project aims to define and work out a pilot for an electronic ‘EWP Network’, an integrated communication network supporting the exchange of student data in an electronic form, and to build connecting software modules (connectors) that will allow SIS (Student Information Systems) and/or Mobility Packages (the software that takes care of Bilateral Agreements, student applications, Learning Agreements, Transcript of Records and other documents) to the EWP Network. Such SIS and mobility package software is now provided by either commercial companies or developed by (semi-) public consortia or even in - house - built by an HEI itself. The project will make it possible for all of these SIS types to communicate with each other using common standards and protocols. All three types are in fact represented by full partners in the project consortium.

The consortium of 11 partner institutions composed of public institutions, higher education organisations, and companies from 8 European countries with a dissemination potential to over 400 HEIs from 36 European countries along with 11 associate partners have taken up a bottom-up initiative to influence the HEIs to exchange student information for mobility programmes fully in an electronic way by providing an evidence-based feasibility study with different use case scenarios and the practical solution to build connect all existing systems in one network.

Project home page: http://www.erasmuswithoutpaper.eu.
Period: 2015.11.01 - 2017.10.31
Number: 562264-EPP-1-2015-1-BE-EPPKA3-PI-FORWARD

Co-financed by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education from the funds allocated in the years 2016-2017 for science; contract No. 3589/Erasmus/2016/2

EWP

 

e-Quatic - Online Quality Assessment Tool for International Cooperation

Since the beginning of the Erasmus programme there has been a huge expansion in the number of international agreements of many higher educations. In recent years, however, more and more the focus is on quality in international cooperation. The question is: how can we monitor the quality of cooperation objectively?

Within Ghent University this recently led to the development of an internal tool called Quality Assessment Tool for International Cooperation (QuATIC). This tool measures and exposes strengths and weaknesses in international cooperation. The main principle of QuATIC is the use of quantified indicators based on available data taken from various data sources. By converting quantitative and descriptive data into figures, cooperation with partners at different levels can easily be analysed.

Project home page: http://www.equatic.eu.
Period: 2015.01.01 - 2016.12.31

 

Egracons - European GRading CONversion System – Practical Approach to Improving ECTS Implementation in Europe

The Egracons (European Grade Conversion System) project is a Lifelong Learning project (2012-2015) co-funded by the European commission aiming to facilitate exchange mobility by working out a conversion system based on ECTS grade conversion tables as recommended in the EU's ECTS Users’ guide. The project aims to build up a wide-spread awareness and common understanding of the different grading systems in Europe and to enable an accurate interpretation of grades (or marks) given abroad, leading to a fair and manageable conversion of these grades to a local grade in the home institution. The results of the project will therefore benefit students, academic staff, the administration and even future employers. In order to be able to reach its objectives the project is mapping grading practices in countries and individual institutions on the basis of an extensive questionnaire filled in by institutions all over Europe leading to a full description of the grading systems in use in Europe. It is also developing an online, web based Egracons tool that will allow direct and automatic conversions of such grades on the basis of annual, statistically-based grading tables supplied by individual institutions as part of an overall database.

Project home page: http://egracons.eu/.
Period: 2012.10.01 - 2015.10.01
Number: 527554-LLP-1-2012-1-BE-ERASMUS-ESMO

 

Mobility

Student and staff mobility is one of the most important priorities of the European Higher Education Area promoted by the Bologna process. In the age of the Internet, web services and digital signatures, European universities keep data concerning students and study programs in an electronic form, yet exchange it on paper. Applications can transfer data electronically through web-services architecture; however, they need common formats for data concerning cooperation and mobility. There are on-going initiatives aiming to set European standards for student digital data portability and although an official European Norm has not been released so far, the specifications already produced might serve as a starting point.

The aim of the Mobility Project is to develop a prototype infrastructure to send data about student mobility between the systems. The project started with setting format for data like HEI information record, Bilateral agreement between two HEIs, Students nominated for mobility, Learning agreement and Transcript of records of a student. Then WSDL file for web services was defined. The format was tested by preparation of XML files with sample data from the University of Warsaw in Poland and Parma University in Italy. WSDL was used to generate web-server and web-client for testing data transfer. Each part has to implement middleware between the web-server and the local database. Various solutions are possible, also in respect of how the exchanged data is being handled inside the local system. UDDI registry was set up for keeping binding information. Prototype implementation already enables to send data between the two systems and to test transfer for any set of data stored on the test web-server and web-client. The problem of standard for data format should be solved by organizations like CEN and RS3G but the RAD-like approach of this project may help in setting some practical perspective. The idea is to call out for participation to other consortia and/or student systems implementers to join this project, thereby achieving critical economies of scale, which can result in a substantial impact toward the creation of the European Higher Education Area.

Project home page: https://www.usos.edu.pl/Mobility/.
Period: 2008.06 - 2011.09

 

EUROWEX - University Administration services by using Digital Signature

EUROWEX system allows university professors to manage the transactions regarding midterms and final exams via Web digitally signing the prepared documents. Based on the general UNIQUE architecture, it is part of a general environment developed by Unimatica for applying digital signature in the administrative sector. More specifically the implemented services are related to:

  • exams recording,
  • exam organizations,
  • lecture recording,
  • final exams recording,
  • inter-EU students academic exchange.

Different universities even within the same country have different ways of handling the same problems. The adaptation of the existing services to the different environments/countries is one of the main aim of the project, by taking in consideration difference of languages, regulations and existing databases. The system will allow a real cross-border integrations of academic institutions thanks to the possibility of passing exams in a country and having the result recorded in another. Adaptations (“localization”) to the local needs will include:

  • languages,
  • integration with local “digital signature” providers and standards,
  • different documents workflow,
  • different local rules and regulations,
  • interfacing the existing University database.

The Market Validation will be carried out in several Universities located in four countries (Italy, Spain, Poland and Romania), with the main objectives of:

  • validating the “localized” versions of EUROWEX,
  • ”tuning” them for the specific needs,
  • interfacing the system with the existing administrative databases.

Period: 2006-2008