Innovation zones: using IT innovation to improve the quality of education and research

In the coming years, the SURF organisation will work with its members to improve the quality of education and research with the aid of IT innovation. We will do this in nine innovation zones. On this page you can read which ones they are and what the current state of affairs or ambition is.

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Innovation zone Provide online education and digital assessment

In 2027, students will have these options at their disposal regardless of time and place.


When choosing a form of education, the needs of the student must always be the main focus. Online education is one of the forms that can be, and increasingly will be, appropriate. The ambition is therefore that, by the end of 2027, students will be able to follow high-quality education and take tests independent of time and place. Teachers are supported in providing time- and location-independent education by appropriate educational applications and a flexible digital learning environment that meets current and future needs. The shared preconditions are organised in a SURF context. The aim of this is to remove any obstacles that higher education institutions are currently experiencing when trying to use online education and digital assessment properly under the right conditions. The cooperative organises knowledge sharing on these subjects. We are also working on procurement strategies that allow the secure use of innovative services such as start-ups and scale-ups. Experiences gained during the COVID-19 period are shared so that the best practices become clear. The SURF organisation and the members can ensure that institutions retain their freedom of choice and that more digital alternatives become available.


The possible roadmaps for this priority include identifying and assessing available tooling based on public values, facilitating knowledge sharing, setting up an integrated learning environment, defining standards for digital assessment and setting up joint exam repositories.