Continuing development of HORA & Standards

In this project, SURF is optimising information management in higher education through Architecture and Standards. HORA (Higher Education Reference Architecture) ensures a common language, references, frameworks and models. Standards make a significant contribution to the quality and flexibility of national and international collaboration.

Development of education reference architecture and application of standards

All over the world, the complexity of information resources and technological advancements is rapidly increasing. At the same time the government requires greater accountability from higher education institutions, and more stringent requirements are being imposed on the quality of information processing. When exchanging information with external parties, standards are essential. They’re also relevant for other SURF innovation programmes. Internal ICT platforms are becoming increasingly flexible through the deployment of ICT standards in links.

Out of these developments, a reference architecture wiki and a standards wiki were developed to:

  • Promote optimal management by higher education institutions of the complexity and risks inherent in information resources through the use of architecture and standards;
  • Create cohesion and flexibility;
  • Provide quality assurance.

What is HORA?

HORA is the abbreviation for ‘Higher Education Reference Architecture’. The architecture provides guidance on setting up an information management system and ensures a common language, references, frameworks and models. HORA is best used at a level where institutions must make choices specific to them. It offers institutions guidelines together with the freedom to further develop institution-specific information resources and other organisational matters.

Who developed the HORA and Standards wikis, and for whom?

HORA was primarily developed for and by enterprise and information architects tasked with developing an optimal design for information systems within and between higher education institutions. The Standards wiki was primarily developed for leaders within an institution to help them choose the right standards. Both tools can also be used in a broader context, for instance by those engaged in organisational and process changes.

Continuing development of HORA & Standards

Since 2013, the Higher Education Architects Consultation Platform, comprising enterprise and information architects from higher education institutions, has been maintaining HORA. In 2014, HORA was registered with Edustandaard as a sector-wide reference architecture. SURF supports and facilitates the Consultation Platform in the continuing development of HORA. In 2017-2018, work will be done on upgrading from HORA 1.x to HORA 2.x. The Standards wiki created in 2016 will be further developed with relevant standards and use cases. There will also be an investigation of a possible ‘maturity self-test’ for institutions on working with the architecture and implementing the standards.

More information

Start date
Latest modifications 05 May 2017