Student Mobility Pilot

Student Mobility pilot and eduID

Students should be able to register for courses at other institutions at the click of a button. This is one of the ambitions of the Flexible Education zone. To achieve this, the zone is currently working on the Student Mobility pilot.

The Pilot

The pilot is a collaboration with SURF, which designs and develops the technical infrastructure for the pilot, and a consortium of Utrecht University, Wageningen University & Research and Eindhoven University of Technology. The pilot will allow students to register for the courses that the universities all offer starting in 2021. From that time, WUR students will be able to register for a course at TU/e or UU at the click of a button, and vice versa. In time, this should be possible for all institutions.

Why Student Mobility?

The project is led by Ulrike Wild, one of the leaders of the Flexible Education zone. The zone hopes that the pilot will help realise concepts that have been talked about for some time in higher education. Ulrike: “We think that in the future it will no longer be taken for granted that a student will only study at one institution, as we also illustrate in our student route ‘Off The Beaten Track’. We expect that the norm for students will be to also take courses or modules at other institutions. This is already possible, but it poses an enormous administrative challenge.”

In the start-up phase of the pilot, they will look for institutions and courses where collaboration makes sense and which students from the various institutions are interested in. This will result in a portfolio that could be expanded in the future. To this end, it is essential that information about the courses of the various institutions can be exchanged properly.

Improve the exchange of educational supply data

One of the requirements to achieve student mobility is an improvement in the exchange of educational supply data. SURF is working with the institutions to investigate – in various proofs of concept – how they can make data from various educational systems, such as a student information system (SIS) and a timetable application, accessible using technical standards and by standardising processes. The aim is for institutions to be able to present their educational offering automatically and transparently to students, who can then easily follow courses from the various institutions.


SURF is currently building the technical infrastructure to enable this mobility, and hence the pilot. SURF is using eduID to enable this, so that students can log in easily and securely at any educational institution in the Netherlands – during and after their studies – with a single account. SURF is developing a safe and reliable architecture for this in close consultation with the higher education institutions and important stakeholders such as the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and Studielink. This year, SURF wants to make the first version of eduID available in order to gain experience together with students and institutions. To achieve this, SURF is conducting various pilots.

eduID is more than a student number. It is an identifier linked to a person in contrast to the current student number most institutions use, which is linked to the institution. eduID puts students rather than institutions in charge of their personal data, the courses they have taken and the grades obtained. In the eduID project, SURF is developing a single digital identity for students in the Netherlands. The eduID will allow students to be identified by their own institution, but they can then also use it to identify themselves at other institution or to give permission to share data between institutions. But what exactly is it and why do we need it?

Why eduID?

A digital student identity now only exists within one’s own institution. Before and after the study programme or for other institutions, this student ID has no use. We are therefore looking to find an alternative that will help boost flexibility and lifelong learning. With eduID, we will provide a digital student identity across the boundaries of educational institutions, which also makes access to administrative and educational processes considerably easier. You could compare it to the Dutch government’s DigiD online identifier, but for education.

More information

  • For more information about the Student Mobility Pilot, download the one-pager with all the information here.
  • We spoke to Ulrike Wild about the importance of the pilot and enabling flexible education. Read the interview here.
  • Want to know more about eduID? Read more here on SURF’s own website or view the frequently asked questions about eduID.


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