Extended application deadline
Dear Nordplus applicants,
The Nordic Council of Ministers has decided to extend the application deadline for the Nordplus Framework Programme to Monday 21 April 2008.
The Nordplus Application and Reporting System (ARS) is used in the Nordplus application process as well as during follow-up, reporting and dissemination of results. The decision to extend the deadline was made after serious consideration of the problems that the users of ARS have met, and after thorough examination of the actual situation. We are aware that errors and weaknesses in ARS have led to numerous problems and frustration for many users and we sincerely apologies for that.
Over the last few weeks, substantial work has been done to register and correct errors and weaknesses in ARS. For a large part, the problems experienced by the users were related to technical weaknesses and limitations in the system. Last Sunday, ARS was moved to a new and more powerful server and this upgrading caused several errors to occur in the beginning of last week. However, over the following days, the many “time-out” errors and errors related to slow response were significantly reduced.
In addition to upgrading actions, the system developers, Resultmaker, in close cooperation with the Nordplus programme agencies, have continuously and systematically registered, handled, answered and acted upon large amounts of feedback from users. Reports and tests last week and this week show that essential errors and weaknesses in the system have been taken care of and that ARS now can receive and handle application data correctly and reliably.
Over the next weeks until the new deadline, ARS will be under surveillance. Improvements will be made on a continuous basis, e.g. better functionalities to view and follow the progress of applications will be introduced. This would mean for example that administrators and applicants would get a better overview of the application in progress, including a better overview of the invitations to and responses of co-applicants. Also other improvements to make ARS more userfriendly are considered. Please check for messages on www.nordplusonline.org
ARS, the common Nordplus application and reporting system, was introduced to support the main objective of the new Nordplus Framework Programme; to contribute to the development of the educational systems in the participating countries. ARS will help target the programme activities towards this objective, link the cooperation between 8 countries and three autonomous areas and help disseminate the results. ARS is to be used at all stages in the life cycle of the Nordplus activities and it is thus very important that all Nordplus participants make good use of the system.
Should any Nordplus applicants meet acute problems at the end of the application process, the Nordplus programme agencies responsible for each of the 4 Nordplus sub-programmes (respectively Nordplus Junior, Higher Education, Adult Learning and Horizontal) are prepared to offer emergency solutions. In such cases, the agencies may offer extra time to complete the application in ARS, or they may upon request accept that the application is submitted by way of a traditional application form (Word format). The application data must thereafter be registered in ARS. We underline that these are emergency solutions for those applicants who are unable to submit an application through ARS and that the Nordplus programme agencies must be contacted in each case.
Nordplus Language Programme
Note regarding the Nordplus Language Programme : The application deadline for The Nordplus Language Programme has been extended by a few days until Tuesday 18 March 2008. Applicants to the Nordplus Language programme unable to submit an application in ARS should contact the programme administrator, the Nordplus programme agency in Iceland. The agency may upon request in cases of emergency accept to have applications submitted by the former application system for this programme.
We ask all applicants to make good use of ARS, despite the problems many of you have experienced with the system. Please read the information contained in the User Guide and FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) available at nordplusonline.org Over the next few weeks the ARS Helpdesk and support to users will be strengthened.
Nordic Council of Ministers
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