Erasmus+ App Conference organised by ELTE | 29 March 2022
05 April 2022 | From our Members
On 29 March 2022, UNICA Hungarian member, Eötvös Loránd University of Budapest (ELTE), hosted the “Erasmus+ app conference”. The hybrid event, moderated by Ferenc Takó (Lecturer at ELTE), aimed at presenting the features, challenges and opportunities of the newly launched Erasmus+ app.
The rector of ELTE, László Borhy, opened the conference presenting the app as a milestone for mobility of students. Adopting the app would mean make mobility easier, greener and more inclusive. As the Director-General for education, youth, sport and culture of the European Commission, Christophidou Themis pointed out, in the past, because of the many documents to fill, mobility used to be very difficult. The app simplifies these processes, but it can only do it if HEIs adopt it and promote it.
The European Student Initiative is essential to gather students together and develop the European belonging. In this regard, Vanessa Debiais-Sainton (DG for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture) underlined the importance of sharing the potential of the app with students. E+ app represents both a huge step towards digitalisation and an opportunity for HEIs to adapt in the evolving society.
Moreover, sharing and promoting the app helped implement it and insert new features. Judit Hermándy-Berencz, E+ App project coordinator at ELTE, explained that after its launch in 2017, on the occasion of the 30 years of the Erasmus+, it was necessary that HEIs believe in a fully digitised programme. Today, thanks to the feedback received in 2022, we can finally celebrate what the entire community has achieved: an European Student Card, a fully digitised application for Erasmus+ mobilities with notifications about the status of it, information in 23 languages, check lists to guide students in their journey, a platform to gather tips, and much more! Of course, these successes did not come without challenges, the biggest? A global pandemic. Thanks to COVID-19, the functionalities of the app further improved and the online events allowed a broader outreach.
Having undertaking this digital path promoted and pushed by the EC, the hosting University, ELTE, presented itself as an example of digitalisation. The process of digitalisation in which ELTE engaged has been presented by a senior lecturer, Krisztina Szécsény and a student, Dániel Galsi. This gave a complete picture of the different perceptions of digitalisation. From the point of view of the students, thanks to the app the perception of a scary and long process does not exist anymore. The app is also an opportunity for staff to centralise the coordination and simplify the procedures.
But how can HEIs introduce the E+ app to the students? By explaining its benefits to them! Wim Gabriels, Director of the Erasmus Student Network, sees in the app a big opportunity to make mobility more accessible. Students need information, need to hear more stories, learn more about the academic process and funding. The app is useful, now it has to be spread: tell the students, create links and QR code to the app, etc.
Finally, the last presentation was dedicated to the future of the E+ app. Nicolò Bonato of the European University Foundation, explained that upcoming features of the app are being implemented thanks to the feedback given by students and HEIs (e.g. a section for internships). Other challenges are being taken in consideration, challenges which, if solved, can definitely make the mobility experience completely smooth and attractive for students. It is foreseen to have in the app a section dedicated to housing. Another implementation would be give the permission to students to sign the contract of agreement online.
The E+ app is a great step toward a green, inclusive and accessible mobility experience. Now it is your turn: promote it within your institution! Find the promotion material here.
On 14 September 2021, UNICA hosted a workshop titled “Digitalisation of the Erasmus+ programme: strategies and tools”, organised by the working groups EduLAB and IRO with the support of DG EAC, Higher Education Unit. The recordings are available here.