[EGRACONS newsletter] Newsletter V


EGRACONS IN NEW ECTS USER’S GUIDE ADOPTED BY MINISTERS OF HIGHER EDUCATION

During the Ministerial Conference in Higher Education 2015 held in Yerevan, Armenia, on 14-15 May 2015, one of the focal points were the conditions and factors that can support the quality of education, and of the student experience, including the link between education and research, the role of university staff and digitalization. In addition, the new ECTS User’s Guide was officially adopted. The Guide fully explains the methodology of grading tables and encourages the collection of data for the transcripts of records, thus making the Egracons project fully compatible.
 
Furthermore, the ECTS Guide promotes the Egracons Conversion Tool as a system that develops examples for the visual presentation of a grading table, thus validating it with the support of the European Commission. In paragraphs 4.3 and 4.4 on grade distribution and conversion the need for conversion is explained and in Annex 2 it is shown how conversion works in practice. This document is now an official guide of Erasmus+ and provides a clear rationale for producing grading tables and hence joining the Egracons Tool.
 
To view the full version of the new ECTS guide please click here.
 
To promote the users’ guide and more specifically the use of grading tables, the Commission has also published a special video. It can be found at http://ec.europa.eu/avservices/video/player.cfm?ref=I101940.
 
Moreover, please note that the Egracons Project has been mentioned as a reference at the recently published guide Joint programmes from A to Z available here.


FINAL DISSEMINATION EVENT OF EGRACONS AT EAIE CONFERENCE 2015

The Egracons Grade Conversion Tool will be officially launched at the EAIE Conference to be held on 15-18 September in Glasgow. The Egracons will have a booth where one-to-one hands-on demonstrations of the Egracons Grade Conversion Tool will take place. The Egracons team will be available for further clarifications on the methodology and an overview of the grading systems in Europe. HEIs who have supplied their Grading Tables by then will be highlighted and prominently displayed. The Egracons project will also be referred to in presentations during the conference itself. 
 
On this occasion we are pleased to share with you the article of Dr Anthony VICKERS from the University of Essex on “Equity through Recognition” will be officially published shortly in the EAIE Forum 2015 publication. It discusses the need to treat students equitably and proposes the Egracons Grade Conversion Tool as a means for ensuring transparency and fairness in grade conversion. You can read the article here.
 
Universities wishing to join Egracons can go to our website at http://egracons.eu/document/grading-table-instructions-and-template. They will be given full access to the tool once they have supplied their grading tables.
 
To read more on the EAIE 2015 Conference, please click here http://www.eaie.org/home/conference/glasgow.html.
 


HANDS-ON WORKSHOP ON EGRACONS GRADE CONVERSION TOOL AT ERACON CONFERENCE IN PORTO

On 14 May, at the ERACON Conference in Porto, the Egracons project partners delivered the workshop The EGRACONS tool for the conversion of grades in Europe: a practical approach.
 
More than 100 participants familiarized themselves with and used the tool to test transcript conversion between their own and other universities across Europe. The Tool was presented and used for demonstration by the project partners: Valère Meus (Ghent University, Belgium), Anthony Vickers  (University of Essex, UK), Rafael De Paz (University of Leon, Spain) and Sylvain Lamourette (University of Rouen, France). The workshop proved itself extremely popular and stimulated a debate on grade conversion and grading culture in Europe. 
 
More info about the ERACON Annual Conference 2015 available here  http://eracon.info/?id=234.
 


NEW DEMO VIDEOS OF THE EGRACONS TOOL

A new video has been developed to provide you with guidelines on how to best use the Egracons Grade Conversion Tool for full benefits. These should help you to present the advantages of the tool at your institutions, so we kindly ask you to circulate these videos to attract relevant stakeholders.
The tool is available for testing, hence we invite you to use this unique opportunity to provide your Grading Tables in order to carry out conversions with your partner institutions. For further info, please contact us (Valere.Meus@UGent.be) or go to the website at http://egracons.eu/document/grading-table-instructions-and-template.


FINAL EGRACONS PROJECT MEETING IN BRUSSELS

On 24th April the Egracons Project held the last general meeting in Brussels gathering all full and associate partners with the aim of a final approval of the test version of the Egracons Grade Conversion Tool. The participants have evaluated the functionalities of the tool, its utility and prospective benefits for end-users as well as challenges related to the promotion of the new  grade conversion culture among Higher Education Institutions across Europe.  
 
The Egracons tool was received positively by both the project partners and  the external evaluator who pointed to qualities of the tool such as: user-friendly and intuitive interface, transparent and objective methodology, and a unique approach towards the transcript of grades guaranteed to all universities in Europe.
For a short demo of how the tool works, please click on this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnicnQG3-K8
 


DISSEMINATION EVENTS ON EGRACONS

  • The Egracons project will be presented at the annual meeting of the Nice Network of Universities in Saint Gallen, Switzerland, on 16 June by Rafael de Paz from Universidad de León. This event is attended by an average of 30 higher education institutions.
  • University of Warsaw Staff Training Week - Mobility Support Tools, 15-19 June 2015, University of Warsaw, Janina MINCER will present how the grading tables at the University of Warsaw are produced by using tools integrated in the university information system, such as the Egracons conversion tool.
  • On 29 May, Dominique D'Arripe from the University of Liège presented the Egracons project and the Egracons Grade Conversion Tool at the National Agency of  French-speaking Belgium.
  • At the International study visit of the Higher Education Reform Experts (HEREs) on 11 June in Ghent, the Egracons tool was presented and debated in the presence of the Head of Unit A4 of EACEA and Klara Engels from the European Commission.
  • UNICA IRO Meeting 2015, 5-6 May 2015 - The reunion of the International Relations Officers of the Network of Universities from the Capitals of Europe took place at Vilnius University and brought together 48 participants from 30 UNICA member universities. During the meeting, Raimonda MARKEVICIENE, Head of the International Programmes and Relations Office, Vilnius University, presented the Egracons project and the Egracons Grade Conversion Tool.


GET TO LIKE US ON FACEBOOK

Join us on our Facebook page to stay up-to-date with the most recent developments of the Egracons Grade Conversion Tool and the activities of the Egracons team, as well as relevant news on the topic of grade conversion in Europe!
 
Visit our Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/Egracons.eu!
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