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What is Erasmus Without Paper (EWP)?

Managing Erasmus+ mobility can be a cumbersome, complex and costly process for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). The Erasmus Without Paper (EWP) initiative uses the latest digital technology to pave the way for Erasmus coordinators to manage mobilities more efficiently. This allows Higher Education Institutions to exchange information in the context of student mobility swiftly and securely. In doing so EWP supports replacing paper-based workflows by digital ones.

EWP consists of two chief components: an electronic network that interconnects a multitude of student information systems (whether individual universities or third-party providers which represent multiple institutions) through the use of APIs  (i.e. connectors between the Network and the users) and a Dashboard that provides a web solution for exchanging student data electronically for HEIs lacking the required SIS software. This Knowledge Base focuses exclusively on the EWP network and the connection to it. The Dashboard is the subject of a different knowledge base (also see the navigation on the left).

We have compiled useful resources, tutorial videos, presentations and other tools and material to support the transition to digital Erasmus and the management of student mobilities from 2021 onwards.

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Erasmus Without Paper Network - the functionality of the infrastructure underpinning digital Erasmus+ management - see a presentation here.

Browse through the articles on the left menu bar or use the search engine to find answers to your questions!

Erasmus without Paper originated as a European project funded through Erasmus+ KA3 from 1/11/2015 till 30/10/2017 and again from 1/1/2018 till 31/12/19. It has now matured into an operational Network.  Its chief goal still is to digitalise the administrative framework that underpins student mobility in Europe, enabling electronic data exchange and interoperability among diverse information systems. In March 2019 the European Commission announced that the use of EWP will be made mandatory from 2021 as part of the next Multi-annual financial framework (MFF) i.e. the next Erasmus programme. This was confirmed and elaborated in the Erasmus goes digital webinar on 5/3/2020.

The mobility process cut into pieces

The Erasmus+ mobility for studies entails a whole set of processes that facilitate such mobility. Oftentimes in this process communication is needed between the sending (or home) HEI and the receiving (or host) HEI. In general one can describe the mobility flow as follows (sometimes steps are repeated/ordered somewhat differently):

  1. HEIs need to sign an Erasmus+ agreement;
  2. Sending HEI nominates the student at the receiving HEI;
  3. Learning agreement needs to be signed by three parties (student, sending HEI, receiving HEI) before departure;
  4. Student arrives at the receiving HEI and receiving HEI needs to confirm the date of arrival;
  5. Learning agreement might change and needs to be signed by three parties (student, sending HEI, receiving HEI);
  6. Student depart at the receiving HEI and receiving HEI needs to confirm the date of departure;
  7. Receiving HEI send TOR to sending HEI

For each of the steps that require communication (or data exchanges) between the sending HEI and the receiving HEI EWP comes into play. The processes above are translated into technical so called APIs (Application Programming Interface) that facilitate system-to-system communication, allowing users to manage their part of the process in their own system and use the EWP network whenever confirmation/approval/signatures are needed from the partner. In doing so EWP replaces paper-based workflows by digital ones.

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Frequently asked questions

  • Is the use of EWP mandatory?
  • What is the architecture of the EWP Network?
  • How can I join EWP?

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