European Lifelong Guidance Policy Network Database, ELGPN Database


Development and Pilot Operation of National Database of educational opportunities - PLOIGOS

Name of the good/interesting practice/initiative/policy

Development and Pilot Operation of National Database of educational opportunities - PLOIGOS



I am proposing that this example will be published also in the KSLLL database


1. Background

What makes this an example of good/interesting practice/initiative/policy?

- The motivation of the initiative (What is the history/background of the policy?)

- Linkages with LLG policy priorities (Please add references to other national/EU policies or documents)

- Participants

Ploigos gives valid information about Learning opportunities and training possibilities available in Greece in all educational levels and all types of education.

The decisions of EU councils of Lisbon and Stockholm called for the creation of unified information systems on education and training opportunities in Europe. The first phase (2002-2008) of such an information system was completed with the development of PLOTEUS I (Portal on Learning Opportunities throughout the European Space), a European internet portal which aimed to help students, job seekers, parents, guidance counsellors and teachers to find out information about studying in Europe. The development of Ploteus I was assigned by DG Education and Culture to Euroguidance Network. EKEP as the Greek Euroguidance center provided Ploteus I with links to web sites of universities and higher education institutions, databases of schools and vocational training and adult education courses in Greece. The second phase of a European Internet portal on learning opportunities PLOTEUS II (2009-today) does not provide links to websites of education institutions, instead it gives the actual information – details of each educational opportunity. Necessary prerequisite for this was the creation from every EU country of a national database of learning opportunities and the connection of these datasources on the basis of a common protocol. The development of the Greek National Database on Learning Opportunities "Ploigos" was assigned by the Greek Ministry of Education to EKEP.

Aims and targets

- Objectives of the initiative (What did the policy set out to achieve?)

- Target group

- Methods applied to reach the objective (technological and /or pedagogical)

Objective: The development of the first national database on educational opportunities in Greece

Target group: students of all education levels, their parents, graduates interested for post graduate studies, teachers, counsellors, european citizens interested for studying in Greece

Method: Cooperation with education opportunity providers for the collection of information - Field Study.

2. Implementation

Strategy and actions (Please describe the approach adopted to make the reform work and any actions taken.)

- Level of implementation (national, regional etc.)

- Implementation (description)

1. First we communicated with supervising ministries asking for their support in order to secure the cooperation of the departments, services and organizations within their competence, to define all the sources of educational opportunities within their competence and to assign a representative responsible for the co-ordination of the relevant departments, services and supervised organizations
2. As a result relevant ministerial decrees were issued
3. We created the tool for gathering information, a questionnaire in excel form with the 21 fields - elements (in 4 data sheets) comprising each educational opportunity according to the common protocol of Ploteus II
4. The blank queries were sent by e-mail to the contact person of each educational institution together with detailed instructions for filling
5. The contact persons filled the queries and returned them to EKEP in electronic form (either by e-mail or by regular mail – cds) before a certain deadline
6. EKEP’s team checked the queries for right filling and sent them to contractor for translating in English and insertion to the data base

Level of Implementation: National

Monitoring and evaluation

- What has been put in place for monitoring and evaluation?

- What actors are involved?

Ploigos is already accessible trough the website of EKEP. In order to safeguard the smooth operation, monitoring and evaluation of the database a "team for support and renewal of Ploigos" has been established. In particular this team is responsible for: administration of the database, communication with Ploteus II as well as with national education opportunities providers, enrichment and renewal of the contents of Ploigos (insertion - modification - deletion of educational opportunities), promotion of national educational opportunities database
The following steps have been taken:
1. The contractor (ICT company that developed the Greek national database "Ploigos") has offered EKEP a 5 years warranty for good operation and technical support
2. Since Ploigos will be a permanent national database, EKEP conducted a viability study in order to define the technical, financial and organizational factors that will permit the smooth operation of the database. The system’s architecture permits the enrichment of the content of the database e.g. the entry of new or the change of existing educational opportunities. This can be done either by the institutions themselves with the use of specific passwords or by EKEP’s ploigos team
3. In order to strengthen the dissemination of Ploigos there are plans to promote it by brochures, articles, advertisements in newspapers-TV-radio, presentations in conferences e.t.c. A promotional booklet in Greek and English has allready been handed out to students and guidance counsellors.
The actors involved are:
1. EKEP's "team for support and renewal of Ploigos"
2. ICT company CYBERCE (The company that developed the Greek National Database Ploigos)
3. ICT company EUROPEAN DYNAMICS (The company responsible for the provision of technical assistance to the Commission, in order to ensure the smooth running of Ploteus II portal) and from January 2010 onwards "Intrasoft International"
4. National Educational Opportunities Providers (Ministry of Education, Lifelong Learning and Religious Affairs, Ministry of Labour and Social Security etc)

3. Outcomes

Achievements (Please describe the main outcomes/results according to the following headings. Each option can be answered - up to 50 words)

- Specific results

- Cost effectiveness

- Budget

- Innovative aspects

"Ploigos" is the first official database of educational opportunities in Greece.
It gives valid information to a broad target group about learning opportunities and training possibilities available in Greece in all educational levels and all types of education. It so promotes the mobility of European citizens within the European space and offers them equal access to educational opportunities

The cost effectiveness is high since Ploigos is the first and only such database in Greece. The information it contains helps students, graduates etc in their educational and career decisions and functions as a multiplier of their opportunities in today's labour market.

The project was financed by the Operational Program “Education and Initial Vocational Training” (EPEAEK II) of the Ministry of Education - Action 2.4.1.a.: “Strengthening of the Counselling & Vocational Guidance structures” - “Support of the EKEP” (European Social Fund program). The development of the database was undertaken by the private ICT company “Cyberce” after the conduct of an international open competition announced by EKEP. The overall budget of the project was 143.266,48 Euros. The development of the system started in 10-9-2007 and finished in 15-5-2009

Success factors (What key success factors have led to or prevented success?)

- Lessons learnt

- Unintended impacts (Have there been any unintended impacts? Positive or negative?)

The support we had from the supervising ministries e.g. the Ministry of National Education , Lifelong learning and Religious affairs, helped us very much in the process of communication and collection of educational opportunities of schools, initial vocational training institutions etc. However in the cases of educational opportunities providers that were somewhat independent e.g. higher education institutions, it proved more difficult to collect all the educational opportunities on time. Another lesson learnt is that the value of a good ICT company is very important for the successful completion of the project. Good project managing was also a very important factor as well as good cooperation – coordination of all participating parties.

Strengths and weaknesses

- What areas of the policy can we learn lessons from?

- Are there still challenges ahead?

We can learn lessons about the use of an electronic tool (database) in order to promote access to educational opportunities and education information. Other areas are: The interconnection of such tools in European level into a bigger portal (Ploteus II) which supports european mobility. The cooperation between so many different actors (educational opportunities providers, ICT companies, Ploteus II central authority etc)

The challenge is the continuous renewal and upgrade of both the contents and systems of Ploigos in order for it to be technically modern and uptodate in terms of its contents

4. Additional narrative description of the policy/practice/initiative

Additional information

Name of contact

Dr. Dimitrios Gaitanis

Role (in policy initiative)

Project Manager of "Ploigos" National Database of Educational Opportunities

Organization name

EKEP (National Resource Center for Vocational Guidance)


1 Parassiou str. & 99 Aharnon str.


+30 210 8233669


+30 210 8233772


Website address

Documents and publications

Attached files

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