On the 26th of September, the final conference of the first Erasmus Without Paper project (EWP) took place in Brussels.
The EWP project aims at creating an electronic network allowing universities to exchange data about and for the mobility within Erasmus+ to minimise the need for paper documents. This will lead to the permanent migration from the paper world to the electronic world of student data.
The final conference was attended by all the partners in the consortium, including ESN, Ghent University, European University Foundation, Umea University and others. There were also guests from universities, National Agencies, private companies, the European Commission and others.
EWP aims to make administrative processes much faster and efficient, both for students and universities. In the meantime, a follow-up project Erasmus Without Paper 2.0 has been approved and this was also presented at the conference. Until 2020 most universities in Europe will gradually be able to exchange data and integrate EWP in their internal procedures. It is hoped that by the start of the successor of the Erasmus+ project EWP will have become mainstream.
A competence centre will be set up to help users go through the transition period. Simultaneously, the digitalisation will proceed as the EIDAS regulation (Electronic Identification, Authentication and Signatures) and the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) will become operational all over Europe. Finally, EWP 2.0 will launch an Open Source University Alliance that will bring together existing and newly-developed software and make it compatible and freely available. Existing initiatives such as OLA (Online Learning Agreement), Egracons (European Grade Conversion System) and the ESC (European Student Card) will form part of this initiative.
Making the process of registration for Erasmus easier and paperless will enlarge the numbers of students going on exchange, which in the meantime would expand connections between European countries.