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PLOTEUS: A Portal on Learning Opportunities Throughout the European Space

Ploteus
   

A skilled and mobile workforce is a key element in the European Union objective to become the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world. By providing access to information systems and services on learning opportunities across Europe, Ploteus contributes to reach this objective.
A video clip on Ploteus in
English, French, German, Italian, Polish and Spanish can be viewed here by clicking on the language version of your choice.

Ploteus is also accessible through Your Europe portal, another project of the IDABC programme. 

Last update: July 2009

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What is Ploteus?

Objectives

How does it work?

Achievements

Who benefits?

The role of IDABC

Technical information

Documentation

What is PLOTEUS?

Ploteus is a portal that provides an answer to whoever wishes to study abroad. Students, job seekers, workers, parents, teachers and guidance counsellors can find in Ploteus available information on learning opportunities in Europe at European, national and regional level.
  
Ploteus functions as a search engine and is structured in five main sections which contain specific types of information:
 
Learning Opportunities: links to web sites of universities and higher education institutions; databases of schools, vocational training and adult education courses;
Education Systems: descriptions and explanations about the different education systems in Europe, by country;
Exchange & Grants: list of available grants and scholarship in European countries, who to contact, how to apply etc. e.g. Erasmus, Leonardo da Vinci, etc;
Moving to a country: cost of living, tuition fees, finding accommodation, legal framework and other general information needed when moving abroad to another European country;
Contact: list of contacts by country/region and level of education.
     
PLOTEUS is available in 25 languages and provides information on 31 countries and 32 studying languages.

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Objectives

PLOTEUS aims to encourage the mobility of students and workers by providing exhaustive and precise information on learning opportunities and education systems in European countries in a timely and user-friendly manner.

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How does it work?

PLOTEUS can be seen as a Europe-wide information service in the form of an Internet database that provides access to more than 7,000 links to existing information resources.

In its present form, PLOTEUS provides lists of links to websites or databases to be browsed in order to find the final information. Information is therefore not directly available to users but selected, provided and kept up to date by the Euroguidance centres.

In its second phase, Ploteus II envisages to interconnect all national databases allowing their users to directly retrieve the national data through the Ploteus interface.

To achieve the retrieval of comparable data from different data sources, a common protocol for classifying data was approved by the Commission and the Member States. The common protocol for Ploteus constitutes a reference format for the data exchange between national databases and single European interface. It represents a useful tool for those Member States which are currently in the process of building a database and wish to facilitate the flow of data between their database and Ploteus.

On the basis of Ploteus II feasibility study completed in July 2005, an interconnection of national databases is implemented using ‘web service’ as technical solution. Using this solution, data are updated on national level and Ploteus portal asks national database for information needed to respond user requests. First national databases successfully completed integration to the new system in 2008 and other databases will be connected in 2009 or later, depending on the situation in different Member States.

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Achievements

Since it was launched in March 2003, the PLOTEUS portal is being increasingly used, reaching about 3,000 visitors a day. Top of page

Who benefits?

Citizens: They gain efficient and complete access to resources on learning opportunities in Europe.
  
Public Administrations and educational institutions: They can easily exchange and share information with other national databases. The standard format of information (the common protocol) provides a reference for countries which are currently in process of building up comprehensive national databases on learning opportunities.

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The role of IDABC

The current portal was developed and funded with the support of the IDA programme for a total amount of € 849,000. It was designed taking into account the portal ToolKit, as well as the general principles on interoperability standards laid out in the IDA Architecture Guidelines.

Its second phase of development was financed by IDABC programme.

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Technical information

Project Start Date

2003

Project completion date

2008

Project status

System in production. Post-implementation phase is ongoing

IDABC budget

€ 390,000

Responsible service

DG Education and Culture

Project coordinator

Milan REMIŠ

Contact

idabc@ec.europa.eu

Countries involved

All EU Member States, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Turkey>

Public websites

http://ec.europa.eu/ploteus; http://ec.europa.eu/education/index_en.htm

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Documentation:


Global implementation plan
 Ploteus GIP - Sept. 2005(PDF)
EnglishPDF[134 Kb]