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European Education Area

Quality education and training for all

European Student Card Initiative

What is the European Student Card Initiative?

Straightforward and secure online administrative procedures and putting information at the fingertips of students is essential to boosting student mobility across Europe. It is also crucial to promoting student participation in educational and cultural activities in line with the vision to create a European Education Area by 2025.

The European Student Card Initiative will develop an online one-stop-shop through the Erasmus+ Mobile App for students to manage all administrative steps related to their mobility period - before, during and after their stay. It will allow students to find all the information they need to experience a high-quality mobility experience abroad.

The goal is to have full deployment of the Initiative during 2021. By this time, higher education institutions participating in the future Erasmus+ programme will be expected to use the Erasmus Without Paper network to exchange student mobility data. The use of the Erasmus Without Paper network by these institutions will become obligatory according to the below milestones:

  • 2021 - to manage online learning agreements
  • 2022 - to manage inter-institutional agreements
  • 2023 - to exchange student nominations and acceptances and transcripts of records related to student mobility

Participating institutions will also need to promote the use of the Erasmus+ mobile app to ensure that institutions and Erasmus+ students can benefit from increased efficiency in administrative processes. By 2025, all students in Europe should be able to enjoy the benefits of the European Student Card Initiative. 

What are the benefits of the European Student Card Initiative?

Fully compliant with EU personal data protection legislation, the card will guarantee a secure exchange of student information and allow for seamless transition between higher education institutions. Moreover, the card will give students the chance to access online courses and services provided at other higher education institutions. 

This will not only facilitate virtual mobility and blended learning, but the European Student Card Initiative will also give students a greater choice in the programmes they can follow. Over time, it will allow students to enjoy cultural activities throughout Europe at discounted prices. 

The benefits of the Initiative extend beyond students, by simplifying administrative procedures and reducing administrative burden for higher education institutions, boosting mobility for all. 

With the support of funding from the Erasmus+ programme and the Connecting Europe Facility, the digital projects - Erasmus Without Paper, EMREX and the European Student Card – will be scaled up from 2019.  

The European Student Card Initiative will be linked to the EU's electronic identification rules (eIDAS regulation) to provide the trust needed to authenticate students and to allow them to ascertain their rights online. 

The Initiative is, therefore, a step forward in the transition towards a digital European society and a true European Education Area, in which spending time abroad to study and learn is the norm, and educational excellence is a reality for all.

Benefits of the European Student Card Initiative

For students: 

  • Easy access to course materials prior to mobility, online course registration and automatic recognition of ECTS credits
  • Immediate access to services at the host university, such as libraries, transport and accommodation
  • Discounts on cultural activities throughout the EU

For Higher Education Institutions: 

  • Easy, online management of the entire mobility process – from student selection to the recognition of ECTS credits
  • Online identification of students, simplified and secure exchange of student data - including academic records - between Higher Education Institutions 
  • Reduced administrative burden associated with student mobility