Open Education API

The Open Education API is an open standard for sharing educational data. An API (Application Programming Interface) is a set of definitions allowing software programs to communicate with one another. Using the API, education institutions make useful information available through apps, such as grades or timetable information, for example.

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API: indispensable part of integration infrastructure

Increasing numbers of higher education institutions are working on a flexible and personalised learning environment: it is modular in design and made up of a variety of applications from inside and outside the institution. The integration infrastructure is responsible for exchanging data and functionality between these individual applications. And APIs are the interfaces between different software applications and are thus an indispensable part of such integration infrastructure. In this way, education institutions are able to make useful information available through apps, for example: from grades to study credits, from schedules to free workstations.

Continued development of the Open Education API

SURFnet is working on a standard API in collaboration with a number of higher education institutions. This Open Education API makes it easier to develop services based on educational data, which is available within the institution. SURF's Education Product Management team is contributing to the continued development and is promoting the use of this standard. We are exploring the opportunities for SURFnet to provide services in this area. And we are investigating to what extent it is possible to standardise the data in order to also make the data available for other purposes, for example for web applications or mobile apps, which combine or present the information in a new way.

Practical examples

The University of Amsterdam (UvA) and Zuyd University of Applied Sciences are using the API in everyday educational practice. The MyUvA student app by the UvA combines data from the electronic learning environment, the student information system, the timetable system and the UvA website. The Open Education API makes this data available in an easy-to-manage way. When developing a new intranet, Zuyd University of Applied Sciences opted in favour of the Open Education API as a starting point for the underlying source systems.

Community contribution

SURFnet is working on the continued development of the Open Education API together with individual higher education institutions. We encourage participating institutions to make educational data accessible using the standard Open Education API so that application developers are able to develop relevant apps. Are you willing to consider collaborating on the Open Education API? If so, you can register to join the working group by e-mailing And by becoming a member of the community site you can be kept up-to-date on the project.

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