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. That 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

In this pilot, the zone is collaborating 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, in which students can register for the courses that the universities jointly offer starting in 2021. From that moment on, WUR students can register for a course at TU/e or UU with 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. With the pilot, the zone hopes to 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 self-evident 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 will be for students to also take courses or study units 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 in which collaboration makes sense and in which students from the different institutions are interested. This results in a portfolio that can be expanded in the future. To this end, it is necessary that information about the courses of the different institutions can be exchanged properly.

Improve the exchange of educational supply data

One of the aspects required to realise student mobility is improving 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 offer automatically and transparently to students, who can then easily follow courses from different institutions.


SURF is currently building the technical infrastructure to enable this mobility and thus the pilot. For this, SURF uses eduID. SURF wants to use this to enable students to log in easily and securely at any educational institution in the Netherlands, during and after their studies, with one 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 a first version of eduID available 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 a facility that is linked to a person. In contrast to the current student number most institutions use, which is linked to the institution. With eduID students, instead of the institutions, get to be in charge of (personal) data, courses taken and grades. In the eduID project, SURF is developing one digital identity for students in the Netherlands. With this eduID, a student is known to their own institution, but can 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 lives within one’s own institution. Before and after the study programme or for other institutions, this identity has no use. Therefore, we are looking for an alternative to boost flexibility and lifelong development. With eduID, we provide a digital student identity across the boundaries of educational institutions, which also makes access to administrative and educational processes considerably easier. It is comparable to the Dutch government’s DigiD, 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 the SURF website or view the frequently asked questions about eduID.