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The primary purpose of the EWP governance structures is to ensure that all aspects of the digitalisation of Erasmus+ administration can be steered effectively towards a successful completion. The governance structure that has now been approved by the European Commission DG EAC, allows for the involvement of all types of stakeholders, aiming to earn the trust and support of the community it serves. Enhancing the governance mechanisms will enshrine collaborative effort towards deploying state of the art digital infrastructure that significantly advances mobility and cooperation both in Europe and ultimately beyond.
The governance structure is underpinned by a deep commitment to ensuring a multi-stakeholder approach to supporting the organisation and further development of the digital agenda for both students and HEIs. This cannot be accomplished without systematically tapping into the collective intelligence of our community to assess how progress is being achieved.
The role of the bodies is to provide conclusions, impressions and feedback drawn from the users’ experience and the users’ perspective on the digitisation of Erasmus+. Therefore, the different bodies consist of stakeholders representing different kinds of users who will be dealing with a digitised Erasmus+. Each body is assigned a set of goals and tasks to best mobilise their know-how and knowledge of student mobility and digitalisation of higher education.
- The Business Process Owners are the International Relations Officers, i.e. Higher education institutions. As the main drivers of student mobility and the Erasmus programme, their needs, analysis and claims are shaping the ESCI. The Standing Expert Group (BPO-SEG) will be complemented by User Groups composed by universities using the same type of infrastructure (more below).
- The Infrastructure Forum embodies the EWP technical community, consisting of IT officers in HEIs and 3rd party software providers. Their cooperation is essential to ensure that EWP is enforced and implemented as the baseline standard.
- The Digital Officers Forum represents Erasmus+ National Agencies and Member States Representatives, their involvement is based on successful coordination, guidance, support, awareness and communication towards HEIs about ESCI.
- The University and Students Forum that speaks for University Networks, University Alliances and Students, will be a strong means of dissemination and promotion of ESCI, targeting HEIs. They will also have a consultative role on, defining the priorities and timeline of the digitisation roadmap.
- The Advisory Board consists of external experts in education and digital technologies. They will be consulted on the project vision, community outreach and IT solutions with the purpose of making sure that the project is in line with the latest trends in digitalisation.
The User Groups will provide more specific feedback per type of infrastructure, allowing much higher granularity and insight. The user groups will provide input on EWP implementation to the BPO-SEG.
Participation in the user groups is open to all interested universities, as such the user groups play a key role in ensuring all voices can be heard, assessing common issues, sharing insights and solutions, carrying out cross benchmarking and understanding the needs and sentiment of this vital group of stakeholders.
There will be specific user groups for systems with a large user base. For users relying on systems with a smaller user base, a separate joint user group is established.
Characterization of the governance process
Depending on their area of expertise, bodies will shape the developments of the ESCI and the digitalisation progress, taking the form of mapping the priorities of the stakeholders as well as their needs, validation of technical tests; dissemination, awareness, guidance and support, etc.
Each of these bodies will convene regularly and function in parallel to one another (see schedule below) and heir activity will be enhanced by the Stakeholders and Business Governance Board, a coordination body which will analyse the feedback accrued by these various channels and help ensure the EC Steering committee has the best possible information to make informed decisions in such a way that all voices are given due consideration when carrying out strategic planning and setting out the ESCI business vision.
The primary purpose of the EWP governance structures is to ensure this Initiative can be steered effectively towards a successful completion, earning the trust, support and satisfaction of the community it serves. Furthermore, the current structure aims to shape the best possible governance mechanisms, enabling the further development of EWP and ESCI, with a clear focus on making sure that all bodies can take the best possible decisions.
To increase transparency towards all stakeholders, a page containing information about the several governance bodies and its activities will be available in the future in the new ESCI Information Portal that is currently developed in close cooperation with the European Commission.