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


Student mobility

To enable student mobility, freedom of choice in curriculum composition is needed. Students must be able to orientate and enrol in the educational offerings of their own and other institutions. SURF is working on technology to make enrolment and feedback of study results as easy as possible for students.

Taking courses at other institutions becomes the norm

We want to make it a lot easier for students to take courses at other educational institutions. In such a way that students remain in control of their data, thus protecting their privacy. That is why SURF, in collaboration with institutions, has developed an infrastructure consisting of 3 main components:

  • orienting to educational offers
  • registering for an educational offering
  • feedback of the result afterwards

What does the infrastructure look like?

Infographic studentmobiliteit

Infographic on student mobility infrastructure

Infographic on student mobility infrastructure

Infographic student mobility
Infographic studentmobiliteit

Component 1: Making educational resources available

It is important for institutions to make their educational resources available in a unified way, so that the total range of courses on offer can be easily displayed online. Using the Open Education API(OOAPI) standard, institutions unlock the range of courses on offer in their (student) information systems. To achieve this, the institutions have implemented an OOAPI endpoint that brings all the data of the educational offering together.

Component 2: Publishing educational resources

Via SURFeduhub, all data from the OOAPI endpoints are routed to platforms that want to display the information. For this pilot, this is the website eduXchange.nl, but it can also be other portals that connect to SURFeduhub. To view the offerings on eduXchange.nl, students do not need to log in. This information is freely available on the internet.

Sections 3 and 4: Registration by the student

Students register with eduID. eduID is used to make the login and registration process as privacy-friendly as possible. The student logs in with eduID at the host institution where she will take the course. She thereby gives explicit permission for the host institution to retrieve from the home institution the data needed for registration, and permission for the result to be reported back later.

Component 5: Data exchange between institutions

After the student has given permission, the host and home institutions can securely exchange the student's personal data, and the data of the course for which she is enrolling. To exchange the data, each institution uses software developed by SURF, a combination of eduID and the OOAPI standard.

SURF's Jocelyn Manderveld explains how the Student Mobility pilot came about and the infrastructure we built.

Read the blog

OOAPI: the road to flexible education

The Open Education API is an open standard for sharing education data. Through this API, educational institutions make useful information available via apps, for example, grade and timetable information. The open standard is powered by SURF.

More information about OOAPI

Student mobility project


The infrastructure is now ready, so we are ready to test it in practice. The UU, TU/e and WUR are experimenting within the Student Mobility project of the Flexibilisation zone of the Acceleration Plan with the exchange of educational supply data within SURF's infrastructure. A new alliance with TU Delft, Leiden University, Erasmus University will also start the pilot in 2022. Based on the pilot, SURF will further develop the infrastructure to enable expansion and upscaling.

Read more on the website of Versnellingsplan