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eduID vs ECK iD: the differences and possibilities

Since the development of eduID, we at SURF regularly get questions about the difference between eduID and ECK iD. A common question is: "We already have ECK iD, so what do we still need eduID for?". In this article, we address that. We explain what the two are, what the differences are and how they can complement each other.

About ECK iD

ECK iD is used in primary and secondary schools and vocational colleges to exchange pupil data between schools and suppliers of digital learning resources in a privacy-friendly way. When pupils log in with their school account to use digital learning resources, data about those pupils are passed back and forth. The ECK iD ensures that only much-needed pupil data is exchanged. Incidentally, ECK iD is not used in higher education.

The ECK iD is a purely administrative number. It is linked to a student, but he/she does not know that number and cannot log in with it.

About eduID

eduID is the digital identity for education and research. With an eduID, students can log in easily and securely to any educational institution in the Netherlands during and after their studies. It is therefore similar to DigiD, which you use to log in securely at government institutions.

eduID is a personal identity that is separate from institutions. The identity therefore does not change if the student transfers (temporarily) to another institution, for example when taking a minor at another institution.

Differences between eduID and ECK iD

1. With eduID, students can log in; with ECK iD, they cannot.
2. eduID is at the same time an authentication tool, so it proves that the student is who he or she claims to be. ECK iD is not; it is purely administrative.
3. The eduID can be used for life. The ECK iD changes when the student moves to another sector.

Opportunities to complement each other

ECK iD and eduID can complement each other. It is technically easy to manage to link one or more ECK iDs to a student's eduID. The institution ties the two sides together, so the student logs in with eduID at the front while at the back the ECK iD is used in the chain of service providers. This is very similar to how BSN and DigiD relate to each other. Government institutions use the BSN and you log in with DigiD.

The mbo sector is currently having the relationship between eduID and ECK iD investigated to see what is the best option for the mbo: using either one or, for example, a combination.

Also read the article 'eduID: five questions and answers'.

Foto van Peter Clijsters

Peter Clijsters