Managing international educational programs requires good skills in management in a first place. However, a coherent management platform as daily worktool is crucial as well.
At Ghent University Belgium (Coordinator of 5 EM programs and coordinator of 1 external cooperation window) a lot of effort has been invested in the setup of an allround tool for the management of international educational programs. Based on the experiences of the already longer running programs, in combination with the IT skills available in the younger ones, the online tool EConsort was developed.
The main features of EConsort are:
- EConsort is a generic tool. The tool is as such not program specific, even not university specific. It can easily be used for the daily management of programs managed by several entities. The genericity of the tool implies also that, although there are some basic fixed large structures, almost all parts can be modified upon the needs of each specific program using the tool.
EConsort is an all-round system. This means that a whole series of aspects related to the management of an EM program can be done through this one package. There are modules available to manage the website, there are modules to build application forms for students and scholars. There is a whole serious of tools allowing to store any aspect of students: from financial aspects to personal data, communication with students, course curriculum of students, … Next to a management and website part there are also tools in place designed for communication among students
EConsort is web-based. This was a basic requirement, as all information in EConsort has to be accessible anywhere at any time. The web-based design does also not require users to have certain IT prerequisites. There are also a number of web-statistics tools in place. With these constant monitoring of the visitors entering the website is possible and statistics about the origin of users can easily be derived.
EConsort is designed as low-profile as possible. It is aimed to keep all processes as simple as possible. New users can very easily and quickly be introduced to all aspects of the system. Constant feedback from the current users helps to enhance features where needed. A comprehensive manual and online help-functions give where needed extra information.