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Publicado:  26 Sep 2023

Updating the Inter-institutional agreement EWP API (version 7)

Erasmus Without Paper (EWP) is a community driven initiative involving stakeholders from across the higher education sector in Europe to support in its governance. Following discussions in the forums of the EWP Governance structure, the European Commission has decided to proceed with a major release of the IIA-related APIs (version 7) in 2024.

Overview of the key information about the release

This overview is for staff in HEIs working with inter-institutional agreements (IIAs) exchanged through the Erasmus Without Paper (EWP) Network.

The update aligns the EWP Network with the new Erasmus+ template for inter-institutional agreements, published in early 2023, and enables additional functionality and technical updates. The changes, decided through the EWP Governance, aim to enforce clearer data standards, and improve interoperability and usefulness for colleagues in higher education institutions (HEIs).

What are the main improvements for end users?

You will be able to modify and terminate agreements with your partners in a standardised way through the EWP Network. You will also be able to delete draft agreements from the EWP Network that were never approved by both partners, allowing you to clean up your databases and remove the corresponding data from the network to prevent confusion.

Some colleagues may already have this functionality in their current system but until the new release you cannot assume that the partner in question can take the same action in their system. Data requirements have also been revised based on feedback from users, for example:

  • More flexibility for some data entries: You will not need to provide “total months” for student mobility when it is not useful in version 7 of the IIA API e.g., in the context of specific agreements for short-term blended mobility, and you will not need to enter emails and phone numbers for support services when it is not relevant (once the Factsheet API has also been updated in 2024).
  • More restrictions for some data entries: All users will be required to adhere to 4-digit ISCED codes, provide information on language requirements and total number of participants in each agreement to prevent inconsistencies.

What is the timeline for the update?

Testing with all system developers and technical workshops is planned for autumn 2023 and spring 2024. The aim is to make the improvements available to all end users in April 2024. Users will be notified in advance.

What does the update mean for mutually approved IIAs?

All existing inter-institutional agreements remain valid after the update. Concretely, this means HEIs are not required to adjust any data in their existing agreements in light of the update. If HEIs need to modify an IIA due to an agreed change in the partnership, HEIs will be required on this occasion to adjust fields in line with the updated standards (e.g. provide a 4-digit ISCED code if not done in the earlier version of the agreement).

What does the update mean for IIAs initiated but not mutually approved before the update?

All inter-institutional agreements initiated before the update need to follow the new standards for them to be mutually approved. In many cases, the draft agreement already follows the new standard (e.g. 4-digit ISCED codes and language requirements are provided) and in this case, no additional action is required by the users.

What does the update mean for new IIAs initiated after the update?

All new inter-institutional agreements initiated after the update will follow the new standards.

What happens if my partner has not updated his system, but I have?

In case a system has not implemented the updates after the release of version 7, it will not be able to create new IIAs until it does. Progress on system updates and testing will be monitored closely and support offered with the aim to prevent such scenarios. Any existing agreements in this scenario are not affected.

Where can HEIs find more information?

A new comprehensive EWP User Guide will complement the update and provide non-technical descriptions of how to manage IIAs in the EWP Network and clarify all fields where users will encounter adjustments. The guide was prepared after a large consultation involving around 500 HEIs and provides instructions for HEIs on common questions.

Where do I go for support if I have questions after the update?

You can reach out the service desk to report any problems or questions you may encounter.

Publicado:  26 Sep 2023