The Future of Digital
Student Data Portability

Erasmus without Paper (EWP) – an Update

May 18, 2016
11:20 a.m.-11:35 a.m.


Valère Meus
International Relations Expert
Ghent University
Valère Meus graduated in linguistics at Ghent University, Belgium and obtained a qualification in Information Technology and Programming upon completion of a 4-year training programme in adult education. Valère climbed in his alma mater from scientific collaborator in English Linguistics to Head of the University’s Language Centre, then served as Head of the International Relations Office (6 years) until 2011. He now is International Relations Expert in the same office. He coordinated and partnered in many European educational projects, presently coordinating the Egracons project (European Grade Conversion System). Valère’s interest in student data portability made him one of the driving forces in the Erasmus without Paper consortium that aims at setting up a European digital federation for the exchange of student mobility data. He is on the Board of Directors of the Flemish Agency for Mobility and Cooperation in Higher Education (Flamenco) and heads a Flamenco working group dedicated to the implementation of the Horizon 2020 mobility guidelines in Flanders, especially with respect to data collection and data processing. Valère is an elected member of the Executive Committee of the SGroup of European Universities.


Most Student Information Systems (SIS) of European Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) process and store student data electronically. But the actual data are still often sent as documents and/or in a scanned form. The EWP project aims to design and implement a pilot for a federated network of trusted users with commonly agreed technological standards, interconnecting HEI Student Information Systems with various kinds of software and standards. Security is a crucial issue as well as the use cases. These were designed using the input from a questionnaire that reached more than 1000 European HEIs. At present the APIs are being designed and the data models fine-tuned. Interoperability is the keyword. The EWP consortium aims at bringing this vision alive by piloting the completely digital processing of Erasmus + student exchanges concentrating on 5 processes that require intensive communication: inter-institutional agreements, nominations of students, the learning agreement (this is the central issue), arrival and departure dates, the host transcript of records (ToR, results obtained abroad) and the home ToR (final officially recognized and converted results). Automatic reporting is also envisaged to the Erasmus+ central Mobility Tool Plus. Alignment will be sought with existing standards outside Europe as well.

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