WHAT: ELECTRONIC TRANSFER OF STUDENT RECORDS
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 is the increased availability, quality and reliability of information about student records of achievement information.
WHO: FIVE COUNTRIES ARE TESTING
The EMREX field trial aims at testing new ways to make the administration of student mobility easier, promoting higher attainment level to student mobility in higher education, encouraging more effective recognition of prior learning and avoiding overlapping studies. In the first phase the trial is set-up between four Nordic countries (Norway, Finland, Denmark and Sweden) and Italy.
HOW: THE STUDENT INITIATES THE TRANSFER OF RECORDS
The electronic transfer of the student achievement is initiated by a student’s approval through the Student Mobility Plug-in (SMP), installed in the student web/ the student portal at the home university. The student records are then fetched from the National Contact Point (NCP) of the host university in question.
EMREX is neither an IT project as such, nor is the project aiming at developing a new system. The solution utilizes existing infrastructure (e.g. user authentication, authorization, data warehouses etc.).
WHEN: THE SOLUTION AVAILABLE FOR THE UNIVERSITIES FROM 2016
In 2016, the service is available for higher education institutions in the Nordic countries and Italy. These countries test and evaluate the functionality and the impact of the solution.
The solution is also available for other countries. New countries can join the EMREX through creating their own HEI clients and contribute to the network by providing their own National Contact Points. See information about how to join here.
A successful testing phase, and, in the long term, an effective and good service require participation, interest and engagement of the institutions and students. Participation is done on a voluntarily basis, but the EMREX project group appreciate all efforts to bring forward the process to finally take benefit of the results: increased availability, quality and reliability of information on student records.
IT’S EASY! JOIN US!
The project progress and success relies on its users, therefore all HEIs and students interested in joining the project are highly welcomed and appreciated. Do not hesitate to contact us!
STEERING GROUP AND STAKEHOLDER FORUM
The overall strategic leadership is done by the Steering Group, who provides policy guidance to the project and also make decisions on possible major change requests to the project plan. The Steering Group consists of high-level representatives from Ministries and similar bodies in each participating country. This way a direct link to national policies will be maintained at all times. The Steering Group meets once per quarter to evaluate the process of the project and to provide guidance when necessary.
The EMREX Stakeholder Forum is set up to ensure that the project is aligned with the needs of the higher education institutions as well as with other similar initiatives and collaborations across Europe. The Stakeholder Forum meets once per year.
THE PROJECT BACKGROUND
The project’s title is: “Field trial on the impact of enabling easy mobility on recognition of external studies” (EACEA-388499).
The EMREX project has received funding from the ERASMUS+ program, more specifically from Key Action 3: European policy experimentation.
“The work undertaken under this call shall be based on trans-national cooperation between public authorities at the highest level (Ministry or equivalent) responsible for developing and implementing policies in education, training and youth in the eligible countries, in particular top-level authorities involved in the Open Methods of Coordination in these fields.”
“By supporting the responsible public authorities in carrying out policy reforms in the fields of education and training and of youth, the Erasmus+ programme, and specifically Prospective Initiatives under Key Action 3, aims at helping eligible countries to use the potential of Europe’s human capital and talent efficiently in order to achieve the Europe 2020 goals.
The objectives of this call are to:
- Promote trans-national cooperation and mutual learning between competent authorities at the highest level in order to test and improve policy implementation systems, structures and processes, with a potentially significant impact
- Facilitate the collection and analysis of substantive evidence allowing the responsible public authorities to assess and monitor the implementation of innovative policies
- Identify key criteria and conditions for effective policy implementation and monitoring
- Facilitate transferability and scalability”
OBJECTIVE OF EMREX
The EMREX project addresses the EU 2020 target that 20% of higher education students should be mobile during their studies. It also addresses similar national policy goals of the countries participating in the project. Furthermore the project is initiated because of fiscally strained national public resources that require more effective and efficient education systems and services supporting them. Academic recognition in higher education is seen as a challenge in learner mobility and also as a potential area for the improvement of a more efficient education system in general.
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 trial will be set-up between Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Italy.
The results and conclusions from the policy experimentation will be evaluated by the University of Warsaw as part of the project. The main goal of the policy is to increase student mobility and recognition rates of academic degrees. The success will be evaluated using both statistical analyses and qualitative measures.
The tangible outcome of EMREX is a federated solution that supports the exchange of student data on achievements. The solution will be highly scalable and can thus easily be implemented in the whole European community. All institutions of higher education would be able to use the information from countries offering the functionality. The existence of this functionality would create an imperative to an institution to offer its own information to be visible also in the Europe-wide information exchange and hence enhance the recognition of external studies. Experiences from national solutions for exchanging student records and from other industries have proven that going from labour intense manual work to an automated e-tool both lowers the costs and increases the usage. This strongly suggests that EMREX will prove effective.
BENEFITS AND OPPORTUNITIES
The biggest benefit coming out of this policy project will be the increased availability, quality and reliability of information about student records of achievement information. This will make student mobility processes easier and faster and more transparent for students. Students will also benefit from the recognition of previous academic studies and degrees because of increased eligibility, when applying for studies in higher education. The universities will benefit from a reduction of manual work. The trial also supports the collection of measurable data on the rate of recognition that can then be analysed and used for improving the national policies on student mobility and rules for recognition of previous studies. The data will increase quality of the learning mobility statistics.
To date, a variety of initiatives have been launched with a view to simplifying the transparency and recognition of skills and qualifications across Europe. These include: The European Qualifications Framework, credit systems – ECTS and ECVET, and some quality assurance arrangements in higher education. The EMREX-platform completes the tools already in action by providing an integrated IT-system for handling the process of administration of student mobility. The solution will thus ensure quality, reliability and increased availability of the student achievement information.
Furthermore, the solution will ensure the quality of the achievement data exchanged between the European higher education institutions. As the credentials will be sent from one National Contact Point to another, the use of false diplomas within the HE-sector is expected to decrease. EU2020 identifies efficient recognition of credits gained abroad through effective quality assurance as one of the key policy issues for EU member states. Creating the EMREX working framework supports this goal. Also the “Strategic Framework for European Cooperation in Education and Training” (ET2020) sets out expansion of mobility as one of the strategic objectives for the framework and addresses the need of progress in the implementation of lifelong learning strategies aswell as the development of national qualifications frameworks linked to the European Qualifications Framework and more flexible learning pathways. The EMREX-tool contributes to this objective as well.
THE EVALUATION OF THE IMPACT ON MOBILITY
The solution and its impact on enabling mobility will be evaluated by University of Warsaw. The evaluation process will include surveys and interviews with students, mobility coordinators and administration. The field trial will provide measurable data on the rate of recognition that can be analysed and used for improving the national policies on student mobility.
One of the goals and benefits of the trial is the peer learning of the authorities involved. The measure to support this particular goal will be making the results of the development process openly available through open source code. The solution will be developed, tested and implemented in the higher education institutions in the Nordic countries and will be up-scaled later to the rest of the European countries. The up-scaling of the EMREX-platform will be provided by applying a decentralised management model: the higher education institutions in the European Community will be responsible for the operation and funding of their own part of the solution. The EMREX platform will thus not be dependent on being coordinated by a central body or organisation nor on centralised funding either, which will secure its sustainability.
- CSC – IT Center for Science Ltd, Finland
- IT Department of the Ministry of Higher Education and Science (UFM-IT), Denmark
- KION, Italy
- FSAT, University of Oslo, Norway
- University of Warsaw, Poland
- The Ladok Consortium, Sweden
- Council for Higher Education (UHR), Sweden
- Umeå University, Sweden
The project’s internal confluence pages are open to all interested parties. More information about the field trial or technical planning can be found at the EMREX wiki pages