Working with architecture

As an institution, you want to support your target group in the best possible way. To do this, your information provision must be in order. This can be done by working with architecture, which describes the relationship between facilities. With a joint information strategy, SURF helps institutions collaborate in setting up their information services.

Bovenaanzicht van studenten achter computer met mobiel

Higher Education Reference Architecture (HORA)

HORA (Higher Education Reference Architecture) is a collection of tools you can use to set up the organisation and information management of Dutch higher education institutions

The complexity of higher education institutions' information provision is increasing due to more cross-institutional collaboration, focus on valorisation, internationalisation and digitisation of processes.

Who is the HORA for?

The HORA was developed primarily for enterprise and information architects and other people who focus on the design of information provision, such as information managers, solution architects, functional and technical designers and functional administrators. However, the application is also broader; it can also support organisational issues separate from information provision. This means that the HORA is also intended (in part) for policy officers, consultants and others dealing with organisational and process changes.


The HORA consists of three parts:

  • Part 1 - Architecture Vision provides a perspective on the future by translating relevant developments and ambitions described in the i-Strategy. This makes more concrete the impact on the design of the information provision of institutions. In addition, the architectural vision describes a number of guiding principles and pays attention to a number of specific change themes.
  • Part 2 - Reference models provides a collection of generic and relatively stable models that describe, mainly from a business and information perspective, what a higher education institution does and has. It creates a common language that can improve communication, both within the sector and within an institution.
  • Part 3 - Implementation Tools provides support for the implementation of the reference architecture. Among other things, it describes how to set up the architecture function and how to use the models in the HORA for data management and application integration.

Getting started yourself

Are you going to work with the HORA as an enterprise or information architect? You can find all parts on the HORA wiki.