EMREX at EAIE conference in Helsinki
EMREX was present at the 31st edition of the European Association of International Education (EAIE), Encompassing all voices in Helsinki, on 24-27 September 2019. Although the title says “European”, it has become way more than that. Over 6200 professionals from more than 95 countries were present. With almost 240 stands at the exhibition hall, this is one of the largest international Higher Education conferences in the world. EMREX was present at two workshops:
- How we build internet of trust to streamline academic recognition and enhance employability of graduates (by UNIT and NOKUT from Norway and Digitary from Ireland)
The EMREX Network was presented and some use cases with the Norwegian Diploma portal. The presenters shared their opinion on how HEIs should prepare for providing future proof information for their students. Approximately 50 attendees showed up
- Admission and Recognition presents: Credential evaluation in a digitising society: exploring benefits and challenges (by CIMEA from Italy, UNIT from Norway, UHR from Sweden, and Groningen Declaration Network from the Netherlands)
The main topics of presentation were admission and recognition use cases for EMREX, other EU initiatives for digitalization of mobility, like EWP and Europass, and transformation of the recognition process. Approximately 70-80 people attended the session.
This year for the first time we also had a stand at the exhibition hall, together with Europass and Compleap. A lot of interesting people came by to hear about the great solutions we offer for student mobility. So what did we do? Networking, networking and networking. Hopefully this will result in more organisations and/or countries who will join the network in the near future. China, Greece, Malta, Japan or maybe India?
Come and see us next year at the EAIE in Barcelona.
Student Data Solutions stand at EAIE 2019 in Helsinki
EMREX was present during on of the slots of the DEQAR conference. The conference was organised in conjunction with the annual EQAR Members’ Dialogue, an event that serves as a forum to discuss current policy developments in quality assurance. The event was held on 7-8th of October 2019 and hosted by the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M).
The ESG are the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). As part of the Bologna Process, European ministers responsible for higher education adopted the ESG as a common framework for quality assurance.
EQAR (European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education) is the official register of quality assurance agencies operating in substantial compliance with the ESG.
DEQAR is the Database of External Quality Assurance Results produced by EQAR-registered quality assurance agencies.
Tor Fridell, who represented EMREX, could not be present in person so the attendance was made possible via cyberspace.
Germany goes EMREX (by Guido Bacharach, Head of Strategy and Digitization Unit Stiftung für Hochschulzulassung)
“Hopeless” – this was an expression that fell in connection with the EMREX activities in Germany – in the past certainly rightly so. In the last EMREX Newsletter Hans-Joachim Feil of Capgemini mentioned the German project Platform for International Student Mobility (PIM) and its relation to EMREX. In the meantime, there are other German initiatives which have a direct relation to ELMO and EMREX, among others:
- The German Community for Certificate Validation: German universities, ministries, authorities and public service providers have joined forces to develop a common standard for German certificate digitization and validation. EMREX/ELMO will be indispensable here for international exchange.
- From this community, Bundesdruckerei and the Harz University of Applied Sciences, among others, are developing prototypes for National Contact Points (NCPs) in cooperation with the Stiftung für Hochschulzulassung (SfH). Bundesdruckerei’s prototype is to be completed by the end of the year, and the Harz University prototype has just passed its first successful tests.
- The first extensions of the ELMO standard for German use have been included as a requirement.
- Within the framework of the German Online-Zugangs-Gesetz (Online-Access-Law – OZG), the electronic validation of certificates (upper secondary school and university) in Germany is planned for start within 2020. This solution is to include the above-mentioned PIM project and the support of EMREX.
The EMREX situation in Germany can be described as quite “hopeful”.
EMREX Network new member
We welcome Freie Universität Berlin as an associate member of the EMREX User Group.
They are currently writing up an application for third-party founding of a digital mobility project, in the context of which they would want to implement EMREX.
GUnet from Greece interested in EMREX (by Nikos Voutsinas from GUnet)
GUnet is a non-profit organization founded in 2000 by all Greek universities with the mandate to drive the digital innovation in Greek higher education institutions (HEIs). GUnet’s mission includes the coordination of initiatives that advance the eGovernance in education and research, the design and development of application platforms for HEIs, and the delivery of digital services for education that run at national level. In its role as central service provider, GUnet has developed strong expertise in the areas of data governance, identity management and e-learning, and through its national service hub provides the data linkages and connection services between the Greek HEIs and the rest of the world.
While the EMREX project was in GUnet’s radar, we never had the opportunity to meet in person the people behind the EMREX project, until the EUNIS 2019 Annual Congress in Trondheim, Norway. With the students mobility challenge being at the top of the agenda, it was very easy to agree upon the common goals. The EMREX network provides the ideal platform to coordinate institutions and national data providers in pioneering the establishment of a European framework for the exchange of student transcripts. It also became obvious that the platform would be an important contribution in the endeavor to achieve a European inter-university campus that goes beyond the existing cooperation models.
The EMREX workshop in November, held at the GUnet premises in Athens, increased the awareness of the EMREX network within the Greek HEIs. This two-day workshop was the perfect opportunity to bring together the EMREX representatives with development teams and decision makers from the Greek HEIs, and identify opportunities for cooperation and synergies. The workshop helped us to understand the steps of engagement and the anticipated benefits in the provisioning of international students in the student information systems (SIS), and the development of cross-border services. Following the EMREX workshop, the GUnet administrative board decided to join the EMREX network and set up a work plan for the required immediate, mid and long term actions. In particular, GUnet has decided to proceed in the next two months with the implementation of the Greek NCP and the integration of the Greek eDiplomas platform into the EMREX network via an ELMO gateway. Subsequently, the national initiative for upgrading the SIS in Greek HEIs will pave the way towards the compliance of the Greek SIS specifications with the EMREX APIs for courses, grades and credits. The platform envisaged by GUnet will combine existing technologies in order to provide maximal protection while keeping the student records usable in a flexible but controlled manner, and enhance interoperability and collaboration between HEIs at national and European level.
The EMREX workshop held at the GUnet premises in Athens, November 2019
EMREX Executive Committee will meet in Warsaw on January 14-15th 2020
The annual meeting of the EMREX Executive Committee will be held in Warsaw, Poland, in the middle of January. There are many topics to discuss, among others changes in the EMREX statutes, realization of the work plan for 2019 and strategy for 2020, change requirements for ELMO, getting financial aid, which would help us to keep the administrative tasks running. As the remainder, the Executive Committee of EMREX consists of the following members:
- Jan Joost Norder from DUO (Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs, Netherlands) – chairperson
- Geir Vangen from UNIT (Norway) – vice chair
- Tor Fridell from LADOK (Sweden) – secretary
- Janina Mincer-Daszkiewicz from the University of Warsaw (Poland)
- Jukka Kohtanen from CSC (Finland).
Want to join? Need support?
Many technical teams look for information and support, which would help them to smoothly implement EMREX NCP and/or SMP. There is a special Support section in the ERMREX portal (https://emrex.eu/support/), with the EMREX handbook (mostly oriented towards authorities and technical leaders), EMREX Technical Description (for IT personnel and helpdesks), EMREX technical guide and contact data where you can ask for assistance. Last but not least, the EMREX community maintains a stable test environment, which can be used during development and for acceptance testing. Contact us if you want to get access to the EMREX test network.