This article is specifically meant for AEC EASY system users. Due to the specific nature of the system, this article is irrelevant to users of any other system.
This tutorial is meant to get you – most probably an IRC (International Relations Coordinator) – started in using the AEC EASY system. Topics are ordered logically for learning on how to configure and use the system. As the system is improving, so is this document subject to change.
1. What is AEC EASY?
AEC EASY is an online application system for managing exchange (mainly Erasmus+ and Nordplus) applicants among music conservatories in Europe. It is developed on top of DreamApply application platform on behalf of AEC (Association Européenne des Conservatoires).
It is unique as it is the first and only system of this kind being multi-national and subject-based which also handles both incoming and outgoing applications. Therefore it can gather all the important parties:
- IRC of the sending institution
- IRC of the receiving institution
- Teacher / selection committee
What can the student do?
- Apply for exchange online
- Fill in application form (including study plan)
- Upload documents and media files
- Edit own data
- Confirm final decision
What the IRC can do?
- Manage relations with partner institutions
- Manage the pre-selection procedure (optional)
- Nominate students to apply for exchange
- Share applications with media files with teaching committee
- Send out acceptance letters with customizable templates and attachments
- Generate exportable tables of applications
2. Getting started as an administrator.
Firstly you should have received an email titled “Your access to DreamApply” from “European Online Application System” (firstname.lastname@example.org). It looks like this:
3. What data is needed for applying?
As AEC EASY system is an Information Technology (IT) system then there needs to be “information” or “data” inside the system that will be used for work. Therefore to start using EASY the first step is to input the needed data. This paragraph gives the important big picture overview what data is neede and why. Next one goes through how to do it.
Imagine you are the IRC of “Institution A” and you have a “Student A” who wants to go to “Institution B”.
In other words, he/she wants to do a mobility in “Institution B”.
In order to do that Institutions A and B need to have an agreement about the potential exchange between each-other. It can be an official written one on paper or unofficial/verbal – but generally somekind of agreement is needed between the parties.
It is called “Agreed Mobility” in the system which defines the record in the database that an applicant from “Institution A” can see potential mobility in “Institution B”.
Read more in the FAQ: “What if there is no agreement but an applicant wants to come/go?”
Besides the “Agreed mobility”, “Student A” also needs to know the application deadlines (in EASY “Intake” is the general feature for setting up deadlines) and have the application form to fill in.
If we look at the same thing from the opposite perspective then it’s a mirror image – if “Student B” from “Institution B” wants to come to study in your institution (A), then you have to provide the information or data that is needed for applying.
4. How to configure your data?
This is a continuation of the previous paragraph – if you did not read that yet, then please do as it helps to connect the dots better! Click here!
There are different sets of data:
- General system data that is used by everybody (e.g. system logo, colour, front page picture, domain name, default system sending email).
- Applicant data that is filled in by the applicant (e.g. personal details, uploaded documents, media files, and details about the wished mobility).
- Your institution specific data.
This institution specific data consists of 4 important parts (additionally you might need to add some colleagues of yours):
AC stands for “AEC Configuration” and tutorials on how to exactly configure the data are as separate articles linked below but on the big picture:
- AC.1. Institution – you have to add your institution data like name, logo, address, some additional helpful information for the applicants.
- AC.2. Agreed mobilities – in order for the students to search and apply for the mobilities that are accessible to them (based on the home and host institutions), there must be a pre-existing record. You need to define the partnerships that you have so that the applicants who want to apply to your institution can see it. “What if there is no agreement but applicant wants to come/go?” is answered in the FAQ.
- AC.3. Intakes – intakes are already in the system and connected to your incoming mobilities, you just have to adjust the dates to suit your application period.
- AC.4. Application form – default application form is in the system connected to your incoming mobilities. It is a sane standard option, but you can adjust it if needed.
- AC.5. Administrator accounts – add users who will work with the system.
5. Important concepts (and FAQ)
5.1 What do Internal and External institutions mean?
There are two kinds of institutions in DreamApply – Internal (use EASY) and External (don’t use EASY).
Internal institutions have administrative accounts and manage their own profile, agreements and incoming agreed mobilities.
External institutions don’t have administrators. Their profile is managed centrally (by Sara), and their mobilities need to be managed by their internal partners.
An internal institution can become external and external can become internal at any point. The only things that change are the access rights.
To differentiate them in the system different logos are always used next to the institution name – building with columns (Internal) and briefcase (External).
5.2 What if there is no agreement but an applicant wants to come/go?
Agreement is a loaded word – IRCs usually think of official paper document defining the partnership. The system does not care about paper documents, but in order for the students to search and apply for the mobilities that are accessible to them (based on the home and host institutions), there must be a pre-existing record. That’s where Agreed Mobilities come into play (How to add Agreed Mobilities?).
Mobility might mean for you the actual time spent abroad for the exchange, but Agreed Mobility is the record defining the potential for going abroad in the first place. System needs to know from which institutions you accept applicants from to show your institution as an available option for applicants who have chosen a partner of yours as their home institution.
If you accept applications without an official written agreement then that is fine as well, but it can’t be a totally open system that anybody from anywhere could go everywhere because:
- the system architecture needs have the agreed mobilities defined to know to connect application with correct institutions (sending and receiving) automatically.
- not everybody accept any applicant, so there needs to be a limitation.
- even if you are willing to accept any applicant, you want to know if somebody from an institution that you currently don’t have a partnership with wants to apply and you agree on that with the sending IRC.
It is easy to add and remove such “unofficial agreements” by adding the Agreed Mobilities so it’s not a problem to add it after you have agreed to evaluate the applicant from a potential new partner. If the applicant gets accepted, only then you have to create the official paper document. If, however, the applicant got rejected then you can decide to remove or keep the Agreed Mobilities.