EQAR hosted a Roundtable on Higher Education Data Interoperability on 15 September 2020, in the framework of the DEQAR CONNECT project. The meeting gathered various European initiatives in the field of HE data in order to identify opportunities to better connect existing systems and data sets and to thus reduce unnecessary duplication of work. Representatives of the following initiatives/organisations were present:
- Europass Digital Credentials Infrastructure (EDCI)
- Erasmus Without Paper (EWP)
- My Academic ID
- European Student Card (ESC)
- Erasmus+ App
- European Tertiary Education Register (ETER)
- Register of Public-Sector Organisations (OrgReg)
- European Commission (as observer)
Together with the European University Foundation (EUF) and experts involved in the DEQAR CONNECT project, EQAR prepared proposals aimed at launching an on-going conversation between those organisations under the working title Higher Education Interoperable Data Initiative (HEIDI).
The organisations welcomed the initiative and agreed to continue cooperating on a number of problem domains. There was consensus that higher education institution identifiers are the most pressing problem domains, given that institutions are a pivotal entity and the question of identifying institutions affects a number of other areas, e.g. identifiers for students, courses or modules.
A technical group was formed to work on possible approaches to identifying HEIs and report back to a policy group of all organisations. The organisations have agreed to take turn in preparing and hosting future meetings, with the EUF volunteering to host the second meeting.