UNICA IRO Group online Workshop with DG EAC – “Digital Erasmus+: IROs meet ITs”
Organized with the support of DG EAC, Higher Education Unit
The UNICA IROs group, with the support of DG EAC, organised an event on Digital Erasmus+ especially designed to address the needs of the IT teams as crucial actors in the process, and to bring together the IROs and IT teams within HEIs for the first time. The online Workshop “Digital Erasmus+: IROs meet ITs” took place online, April 4, 2 – 4 pm (CEST).
The programme included a plenary session with presentations by representatives of DG EAC, Higher Education Unit, Nadia Manzoni (Team Leader), Alexandra Licht (Policy Assistant), and Théo Mink (Programme Assistant), and discussions in smaller groups led by the DG EAC and IRO representatives.
The meeting leveraged on the conclusions from previous meetings to:
- find a common ground between EWP and universities from the technical perspective, considering that institutions are in very different stages of implementation and differ in the way they interact with their IT departments;
- better understand the ITs’ perception of the process as well as their main needs, which might later feed into more specific discussions;
- discuss how the EC can further support HEIs and facilitate the translation of the IROs’ needs into the IT language (and vice-versa);
- contribute to better align the needs of both areas towards the common goal of a fully digital Erasmus+ by 2025.
Watch the recordings of the session:
The roll-out of several integrated initiatives accelerating the digitalisation of Erasmus+ is an important part of the overall strategy of the European Commission towards the digitalisation of European education and training systems. This transformation is in line with the Digital Education Action Plan, and it is a crucial requirement for the achievement of theEuropean Education Area by 2025.
The digitalisation of Erasmus+ has been already discussed within UNICA. In September 2021, UNICA IROs met with representatives of the DG EAC to gain insights in the multifold aspects of Erasmus Without Paper, the European Student Card, the European Student Identifier, and the Erasmus+ App.
The workshop highlighted that most of the European HEIs welcome the initiatives launched by the EC to achieve a fully digital Erasmus+ and are keen to support the process. However, HEIs are also facing several challenges when it comes to adapting their systems to the transformation prompted by the EC. Despite the significant resources devoted by the programme to support universities in this challenging process, very different practices, degrees of preparedness and stages of implementation can be observed within HEIs.
The workshop also highlighted specific issues related to the collaboration between IROs and IT departments at universities, due to different priorities, approach, language, and skills. While this cooperation is absolutely necessary to ensure a proper and timely implementation of the new tools, communication regarding the rollout of the digitalisation initiatives has been addressed mainly to National Agencies or the IROs and the information doesn’t easily reach IT offices in higher education institutions.
For these reasons, UNICA – again with the support of the DG EAC – decided to organise this second event especially designed to address the needs of the IT teams.
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