Flexible education organisation
Students expect convenience and freedom of choice, to study what they want, in their own time, place and pace. As long as they study, but also in lifelong development. Institutions should offer flexibility where students ask for it, for instance making the education offer more flexible, facilitating student mobility and issuing digital certificates.
Hogeschool Leiden
Alexander Blanc

Alexander Blanc


Key concepts of flexible education

Core concepts around flexible education helps institutions speak the same language.

Flexible education

Flexible education is education that gives students freedom of choice. This allows, for example, students to follow education independent of time and place, at their own pace and according to their own schedule. Work formats and learning resources can also be offered flexibly. Flexible education can relate to what students learn (freedom of choice in content, education appropriate to their background) and how students learn (at their own time and place and at their own pace, at their own level and in their own way.

Personalised learning

Personalised learning is education that does not assume a fixed programme of study, but can be tailored to a student's needs and preferences. Personalised learning enables students to determine their own learning pathway.

Personalised learning pathways

A combination of learning activities tailored to students' individual needs. A personalised learning path allows students to decide which courses they take part in and which learning activities they do to acquire a competence.


A badge is a digital piece of evidence that allows a student to demonstrate that he or she has mastered certain skills or knowledge. The badge also contains information about the body that issued it and its validity period. The student can display his or her badge in the form of an icon in a digital environment, for example on LinkedIn. Students can collect and combine badges from different bodies. An edubadge is a badge issued by a Dutch institution using the infrastructure provided by SURF for this purpose.


SURF is investigating whether a single student identity, an eduID, can help realise the wishes of educational institutions, programmes and students in terms of digitisation, flexibilisation and internationalisation. Consider the possibilities of an eduID in the context of student mobility, lifelong learning and students who do not yet have a student number or no longer have a student number, such as prospective students and alumni.


Microcredentialing is the 'breaking up' of education into smaller units and certifying them. A microcredential is similar to a mini-degree, or a digital certificate (or badge) for mastering specific content expertise.

Education catalogue

The education catalogue is the central, generic facility in which the total of educational modules or products are defined. These educational products are described through a collection of metadata and refer to the place in the qualification structure (taxonomy) to which they relate. Examination activities and products can also be recorded in the education catalogue.

Education logistics

Education logistics monitors the coherence between processes, systems, information flows and documents produced throughout the cycle from education development to certification. In making education more flexible, many institutions run up against the limits of their current systems and internal processes. After all, these are not set up to support flexible education processes. This requires making these processes transparent by mapping the relationship between education and educational support.