EUNIS 2023:Papers with Abstracts

Abstract. The Strategy and Organisation Working Group of the ZKI Association* conducts an annual survey† on the most important topics and trends of IT institutions from universities and research institutions in Germany. The survey results are intended to help keep an eye on important developments, topics and best practices and to keep pace with the fast changing topics of digitalization. It also helps to monitor the rapid change of technologies for one's own institution.
The core survey addresses the most important topics and changes in the current year in a standardised way. In addition, an individual focus is put on questions about a certain topic each year. In 2023, the focus questions were in the area of changes due to the energy crisis for IT facilities: Furthermore, the models for IT governance implemented at the organization are asked for.
The survey is completed by CIOs, data centre managers, IT directors and people in similar roles. This article presents the results of the 2023 Top Trends Survey.
Abstract. Finland has decided to implement the national open science and research (OScaR) declaration, policies, and recommendations by using the enterprise architecture (EA) method. The OScaR policies drive the Open science and research field in Finland. Succeeded implementation of these policies is a critical success factor in the Open science and research field. The EA method is a tried, tested, and recognized tool for gaining digital transformation because of its important strategic and operational role in public and private sector organizations and service ecosystems. With the EA tool, OScaR policies and objectives can be described and visualized as strategy, business, information, and application architectures.
EA is a holistic tool for understanding and describing the target area in different abstract layers, views, and viewpoints. It aims to serve and provide beneficial information to all stakeholders, which makes it challenging to manage. For this reason, the chief architect of the project has to be very careful with risk management and into the project have to allocate enough resources to gain an appropriate level of maturity in communication and collaboration capabilities.
EA and EA problems have been studied a lot. However, in the field of open science and research, there are hardly any literature on it and no comparable EA projects in the EU. Thus the OScaR project and its deliverables could be a driver to start a discussion on the need for shared open science and research reference architecture among higher education institutions in the EU.
Abstract. Digital change is everywhere. Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are adopting advanced digital tools and pursuing digital strategies. In order to monitor the success of these efforts, the ongoing changes need to be made visible, i.e., objectively quantified. Consequently, there is a need for comparative measures to provide specific guidance and the potential for a neutral overview. Often, institutions compare their development either at the level of management by objectives or in benchmarking initiatives specific to the type of university. Measures are required to continuously deliver data even in the midst of major organisational changes. Currently-used measures often are subjective to the observer and the institution. If so, they are less suitable for the purposes mentioned above.
This paper presents a Digital Maturity Index (DMI), which is generic in its structure but can be easily adapted to a specific sector such as the higher education ecosystem. It consists of 11 simple fact-based, closed-ended questions about the evaluated organisational scope, such as a process or a business capability. The index items have been validated and the relative weights have been adjusted from a broad national survey of one-third of all German universities, hence the derived weights reflect common expectations of this sector.
In addition to validating the index, the results are applied to the rest of the survey data. The status of digitisation in German higher education is presented using the Higher Education Reference Model (HERM). Additional insights made possible by the robust but discriminating measurement of the new tool are presented. A summary discusses the index’s potential, shortcomings, and additional areas of application.
Abstract. Using Software as a Service (SaaS) in a European university can provide many benefits, such as access to powerful tools and applications to enhance academic research and collaboration; however, it could always be a big challenge and a precarious situation. European law states that European universities are required to protect their privacy (personal & academic data, etc.), especially when using SaaS solutions. Choosing a SaaS provider isn't a simple process; it requires reviewing their privacy policies and much more (e.g., transparency about what data they collect, how they use it, and how long they retain it) to ensure compliance with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This paper sheds light on Aristotle university's case, which could help universities to adopt improved methods to prevent unauthorized access or give the necessary access only to their data and protect their privacy, especially when using identity and access management (IAM) or access control solutions. By taking the above steps, European universities can enjoy the many benefits of SaaS solutions without worrying about GDPR issues but contrariwise focusing on their academic goals.
Abstract. In this paper we will look at practical implementations of the Business Capability in a real organizational context. The key to creating a relational model is to harness the structure of a Business Capability. The prime dimension for a Business Capability being information (data), technology (tools), resources (people, skills) and processes enables us to tag each component with the capability it performs. This will create a unique view for management to see institutions functions in the context of the digital environment and services.
We assume the reader is somewhat familiar with the concept of capability, but to refresh the essential and critical component we very briefly introduce the reader to the Business Capability (TOGAF (2023)) and the Higher Education Business Capability Model (HERM (2023)). In the third chapter we describe what data has to be collected to model before capability models can be used. The fourth chapter will lead the reader to different viewpoints, creating an analytical approach compiled by utilizing the capabilities relationship’s structure. We will demonstrate by example how to link the value stream to strategy, solutions (system landscape), development items (roadmap), projects and data (Master Data, ownership, integration flow). In the last chapter we will give some advice for the next steps for you to take to become the analyst of change in your organization.
Abstract. This paper proposes an approach for implementing long-lasting digital transformation in higher education. As a motivation for the approach, we describe four typical reasons why digital transformation does not reach the set goals in higher education institutions. To address the challenge, two steps are needed. Firstly, we need to recognise the true nature of digital transformation – it is a complex process with building blocks both inside and outside the organisation. Secondly, we need to appreciate the size of the challenge – the digital transformation process is directly or indirectly linked to all major parts of the organisation. Consequently, successful implementation of digital change cannot be done as a traditional IT project or programme. Instead, several areas in the organisation will need to be addressed in a holistic way.
The first area is strategy, where we need to ensure the visibility of the digital world and its impact on the business. The second area is the role of digital technologies and the IT organisation. New approaches and working practices will be needed to move IT closer to the business. The third area is value creation, and here we need to combine traditional IT projects with business reengineering. The fourth area to address is structure, and this typically means both processes and the organisation. The fifth area combines culture and skills. We will have to make sure that people understand and accept the change and have the required competences to make it happen.
Abstract. Many European Universities emerged since the first call in 2019, up to now 44 of them. These alliances have some specific goals but also share basic ideas like boosting student, teacher and researcher mobility and cooperation or creating and implementing joint study programmes. To fulfil these shared goals and keep the related processes running smoothly in the alliance, a virtual campus is often envisioned as an information system that will bind the partner universities’ information and fill in the gaps where needed. However, building such a system presents a number of challenges on organisational, informational, and technical levels.
In this paper, the basic functionalities of virtual campuses are identified, and a set of specific principles for building such a distributed information system is stated. The architecture of such a system is presented using the example of a particular virtual campus, along with the lessons learned in creating it. The topic is complemented with information on the current state of the system and the future work on this virtual campus.
Abstract. The studies conducted by HIS-HE in Germany in recent years on the digitalization of higher education institutions have shown that not only technical, financial and organizational framework conditions are important. Rather, the "digital culture" and the eGovernment of the states are decisive for the most comprehensive digitalization possible, especially in higher education administration. And it is precisely in this respect that Germany is not in the top group in a European comparison. Rather, the Northern European countries are considered pioneers in the area of eGovernment - see, among others, the EU report "eGovernment Benchmark 2021" or the UN's E-Government Development Index (EDGI).
In order to analyze the current status, interactions and possible interdependencies between the level of digitalization of public administration in general and higher education administrations in particular, HIS-HE conducted study visits to higher education institutions in Estonia, Finland, Sweden and the Netherlands in 2022. The study visits are intended to gain insights into the extent to which advanced eGovernment in public administration interacts with higher education administrations and what possibilities for action can be derived from this for the higher education system in Germany and Europe. In addition, we can look to the future - what practical insights can be gained? In which direction will the organisation and processes in higher education institutions develop with advanced digitalization? What recommendations for the development of German and European higher education institutions can be derived from this?
Abstract. The transformation to agile governance and development has enabled the Ladok Consortium to be more flexible and able to respond to changes in business requirements faster. Ladok is a student information system for higher education in Sweden with a common database, which provides students with easily accessible documentation from all Swedish universities in one place. During the last years, the organization has focused on continuous delivery, short feedback loops, innovation and agile governance.
Abstract. The collection and exchange of data in distributed systems are challenges for many institutions that deliver IT systems. These challenges are rooted not only in the technical layer, but above all, in proper management and communication. In Poland, data collection on science and higher education is conducted in large centralised repositories that are part of the POL-on ecosystem. These systems were developed during different periods by various teams and subcontractors. This has created a set of uniformed expectations regarding the integrity and interoperability of information processed by them. Good practices related to the data governance framework were used for the proper implementation of this goal. This article presents our conclusions from experience in the implementation of this approach at the National Information Processing Institute (OPI PIB) in Poland. It describes not only the outcomes and final results, but also the benefits of developing similar solutions in science and higher education.
Abstract. The digitalization of higher education services along the student life cycle is a central task that must be tackled by considering both internal aspects of higher education as well as those of digital networking and the law. This topic is explained in more detail using the concrete process "Recognition of academic achievements". This process is currently supported in digital form, but - not only in Germany, but also in many European countries – it is not mapped in digital workflows. In order to implement this successfully, it is not only necessary to harmonize the diverse federal, national and international projects and initiatives. The academic sector within universities must be willing to consider the mutual recognition of achievements and acquired competencies as the normality, and to ensure that the recognition process is transparent. Only if recognition decisions are made on the basis of clearly defined criteria can they be mapped well in digital workflows and thus effectively support the stakeholders involved. And policymakers must keep pushing this as a priority at universities if they want to achieve a high rate of international student mobility as one of their goals.
Abstract. This paper analyses how a common language and a profound communication strategy enable the development of shared services in a digitisation project. In this paper, we discuss how RIS Synergy utilises international standards, such as persistent identifiers, to synergise CRIS systems across the Austrian research landscape. The project consortium consists of 17 diverse project partners with different requirements, processes, and vocabularies. Therefore, we share lessons learned and challenges, along with best practices for establishing a task force on public relations and communications for community-building and to raise awareness of the project and ensure its long-term nature.
Abstract. Interest in digital tools has grown as people seek tools to support distance and hybrid working and learning. In a situation where the range of tools is growing and services are being sought outside the organisation, there is a risk of fragmentation, reduced security and protection, increased costs, "digital anxiety" and lack of support for users.
The presentation will showcase the onion models of digital tools and the customers’ needs management process built in Tampere University. It describes how to manage the set of tools in use, how to manage the demand for new tools and how to communicate them to customers. Through the onion models, users are provided with a description of the digital tools in use and their role in the community. The customers’ need process collects the wishes and questions about new software for expert discussion. The aim of these models is to guide community members in using secure and supported services, while addressing more systematically the needs of the multidisciplinary higher education community. This presentation provides an overview of the process and present the benefits and challenges of the new approach.
Abstract. The European Commission and the educational sector are simultaneously working on innovative concepts that involve credentials and wallets. The EU has high ambitions to create a digital identity ecosystem, while educational institutions are exploring ways to use credentials to support flexible and life-long learning. Both initiatives share similar terminology, technology and standards. Also, common use cases can be defined, but that does not make the initiatives identical from a business and governance perspective. When comparing the use cases and roles the educational sector has with the proposed EU digital identity framework (EUDI), this becomes clear. Diplomas are not issued by an identity framework. The educational sector should take ownership of credentials that are part of its core process. At the same time, interoperability with the EUDI ecosystem must be kept. The sector should explore additional ways to influence the EUDI development in architecture, standards and governance.
Abstract. This paper explores the feasibility of defining a data-driven framework for assessing digital readiness in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). This is part of a project that aims at measuring digital readiness indicators with the ultimate objective to contribute to the quality assurance processes of the institutions. The project involves the design and demonstration of a prototype toolkit and an Application Programming Interface to enable self-reflection, using data sourced from the institutions' information systems, which are aligned with the indicators of the framework, to provide feedback to relevant stakeholders. The reported research examines information sources of the HEIs involved, auditing of proposed framework indicators, and proposals for further review on digital readiness frameworks and other data-driven approaches as well as the first architectural considerations on implementing the Digital Readiness tool.
Abstract. Digital transformation has put Enterprise Architecture (EA) higher up on the agenda. The demands of digital transformation have intensified the need for organizations to have a common framework and vocabulary for understanding their structure and the interrelationship between key organizational components. This paper reports on the work developed by a multidisciplinary team from different European Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to design a program that other HEIs can use to raise awareness of the importance of EA modeling in their organizations to display the impact of changes. The paper describes the program’s goals, the underlying methodology applied, and the insights gathered from two workshops realized in 2022 at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), in Norway, to validate the program’s methodology.
Abstract. The MakeITeasy platform is the backbone of the University of Geneva's "Digital Skills" institutional project. The objective of the system is to allow the actors, students, teachers, researchers, administrative and technical staff to develop and strengthen their digital skills. It is a matter of allowing individuals to evaluate themselves to self-regulate. The design of the platform is organized around a framework of digital skills, which is based on the DigComp framework of the European Commission and the Digital Capabilities Framework of JISC. The MakeITeasy platform is organized around four components: 1) a self-positioning test, allowing people to situate themselves in the reference framework; this test produces 2) an individual digital skills profile, which offers then to compare oneself to 3) target profiles to be reached; and finally, 4) a recommendation system which lists training courses to fill the gaps in one's skills. The platform is currently being developed for the students, doctoral students, and teacher populations. The self-positioning tool covers the generic competencies of the reference framework in its entirety while being as concise as possible so that it can be completed in full. The questions are based on occupational situations because the context to which they are attached makes it easier to assess the mastery of the skill by different categories of members of the university community. The tool presents the same generic competency at least three times in different scenarios and uses the responses to the three situations to decide the level of mastery. The test situations and questions as well as the entire platform were evaluated by various user tests.
Abstract. The education register is intended to support digitalization, automation and streamlining in the education sector. The registry will promote data sharing in the sector and provide smoother user experiences. The aim of a new national education register is to provide a platform for generating and assigning unique identity to education and tamper-proof storage of educational information and the formal accreditation of the education. It shall contribute to quality assurance that education offered is accredited, and facilitate the use of data for analysis, management, research, and statistical preparation.
Norway has currently no digital solution for verifying accreditation. This is a challenge as most higher education institutions in Norway are self-accredited rather than being accredited by a central authority such as NOKUT (the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education). This poses problems for foreign recipients who may not be able to trust that the individual institution issuing the results has the authority to do so. Over time, this will also create problems for domestic data sharing, as the documentation issued digitally today will need to be valid for many decades. A digital accreditation service is essential for fully automating verification of results.
There will be several parties involved in such a system, the educational institution itself, Nokut as the quality organization, Sikt as the manager of the service and data. In addition, there will be several users of the service, such as the Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund, which must control (manually today) whether a loan is approved for an education.
Abstract. Among the refugees of the war in Ukraine, there is an above-average number of academics, who should be able to continue their university studies abroad. Here, digital media can lower access barriers, but lack of knowledge of the language or the education system in the host country hampers participation. In addition, needs vary from person to person, which makes counseling processes complex. This article presents a cross- institutional recommendation system that proposes personalized recommendations for suitable learning paths and makes appropriate educational opportunities accessible. We present the system's structure and mode of operation, based on the currently developed national infrastructure for digital education in Germany, as well as initial findings from its evaluation based on the use case of Ukrainian refugee students.
Abstract. Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are being confronted with a growing number of student applications. This is associated with the verification of documents, which in the case of university entrance qualifications is becoming increasingly complex and error- prone in view of the diversifying education system. Various solutions to this problem have already been proposed, but due to technical, organisational, legal, or financial problems, they have not yet found widespread use. Against this background, this article presents an approach that integrates existing methods and services for digital signatures into a national infrastructure for education and connects them to existing information systems in schools to issue digital diplomas and verify them in HEI application processes. The article describes a technical solution and experiences from a proof-of-concept. First recommendations are given, and an outlook illustrates how the upcoming broad field test will be conducted.
Abstract. European Accessibility Act (EU Directive 2019/882) requires that both public and private sector actors guarantee the accessibility of certain products and services. In the field of higher education IT, the European Accessibility Act is applied to most of the digital services. In many cases the sheer scale of things may feel overwhelming. This paper describes the approach of University of Helsinki IT services in tackling problems and providing solutions in the process of developing and procuring accessible digital services.
Abstract. Higher education in Croatia has a long tradition; there are many strong HEIs with a large student population, and higher education is recognised as essential for the country's development. Public HEIs are developed based on program financing and contracting between HEIs and the Ministry of Science and Education to support economic needs by educating needed professionals. However, reporting and measuring key performance indicators and, finally, recognition or lack of concrete results are missing in this process. One of the primary reasons for that is a lack of a register of students, teachers and diplomas that would enable accurate and easy reporting, data analysis and tracking of developments and trends. The register should also enable other informed decision- making and the creation of policies and measures based on the evidence.
Building an Information System for Higher Education Register in Croatia started in the middle of 2022 and should last for three and a half years. In this paper, we describe the objectives that drive the project, list major information systems recognised as the primary data sources for the Register, and provide basic concepts covered during the system design. Also, we present, in short, a development approach that will drive the project of building the information system for the HE Register. Current status and plans are provided briefly in conclusion.
Abstract. EMREX is a solution for transferring student data internationally in a machine- readable way and in a structured format. The EMREX service network has been in production since 2017. ELMO is the data standard used in the EMREX network to describe student achievements and supporting data.
One of the strategic goals established for EMREX in 2022 by the Executive Committee of the EMREX User Group was to support one or more wallet solutions. For the EMREX-used data standard ELMO a strategic goal was set to keep ELMO compatible, as far as possible, with other European educational standards: European Learning Model (ELM) and Single Digital Gateway (SDG).
The new digital European landscape was shaped by two EU-legislations, bringing into live the European Digital Identity Wallet (EUDI) and Single Digital Gateway, a platform which facilitates online access to information, administrative procedures, and assistance services that EU citizens and businesses may need in another EU country. To fulfil the established strategic goals, some partners from the EMREX community joined the Digital Credentials for Europe (DC4EU) project, consisting of 80 partners from 23 countries. The aim is to create a working pilot installation of a digital wallet that conforms to the EUDI wallet framework. The participation is expected to add value both to the EMREX-community and other organisations handling or in need of educational data. This paper brings all these initiatives into common perspective.
Abstract. The Campuscard Berlin is the largest unified student ID system in Europe with 140 000 student IDs at ten universities. The system has been developed in house by the Service Center Campuscard at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin with major innovations to the student ID process. As a continuation, we started to develop a Campuscard App as a next-generation solution, which should completely emulate the physical cards, so that the users only need to use their smartphones.
With the NFC-based infrastructure in Berlin in place and no way of modification, we needed to find a way to create an app, which can emulate NFC and securely communicate with the card-readers of the service providers. In addition, we had the requirement of data privacy, so that we were very much discouraged to use Google Wallet or NXP Mifare2Go if any other solution was possible.
This was accomplished by creating a ground-breaking solution, which to our knowledge has not been tried anywhere else, the cloud-based secure element.
This enables a host-card emulation with integrated security, without using the local secure-element of the device, which, because of the lack of standardization, would make testing of the app very problematic. Our solution solves this by moving this component to the server side, thereby standardizing it and making testing of the devices more manageable.
The development of our app was started in 2019, and we plan with full feature roll-out by mid-2023.
Abstract. At German universities and universities of applied sciences, a new way of working is currently opening up in the area of the structure and composition of laboratory work: Documentation by means of electronic laboratory notebooks (ELN). Researchers produce and use a colourful mixture of data such as graphic files, formulas, tables or microscopy files. At Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU), advice and support for researchers in the field of research data management (RDM) is provided on a regular basis. In addition to assistance with applications, we also offer support using various RDM tools, including electronic lab books. Why it makes sense to use electronic lab books, how our path with them has progressed so far, and what are the current hurdles to be overcome are presented in this report.
Abstract. Over the past years, several software development teams in the IT Center have continuously improved their development processes. One of the most significant changes was to select GitLab as the central tool for the software-development-life-cycle and to enhance certain processes with the help of this tool in the areas of planning, implementation, interaction in the team and with stakeholders, operations, and deployment. Subsuming the shared knowledge of all these teams, this paper presents the resulting best practices with regards to previously established workflows from the viewpoint of projects supporting university IT services in the areas of student-life-cycle and research data management.
Abstract. Many universities had started designing and implementing digital transformation plans before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, including Audio-Visual (AV) infrastructure for teaching and learning. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for European universities to adapt their teaching methods and embrace new digital tools. Implementing large-scale AV projects for the next generation of digital hybrid classrooms has emerged as a promising solution. Focusing on the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTh) case, this paper examines the challenges, benefits, and things to avoid when implementing AV projects in European universities. The paper also presents a roadmap for universities to successfully implement AV projects from 0 to 10, considering the necessary steps, resources, and expertise required at each stage. The challenges of implementing AV projects in universities include the need for significant investment, the complexity of AV systems, technical expertise (e.g., experienced AV integrators), and the difficulty of adapting teaching methods to the new digital environment. However, the benefits of implementing AV projects are manifold, including enhanced student engagement and interactivity, improved learning outcomes, the ability to reach remote learners, and enhanced inclusiveness. To ensure the success of AV projects, universities must avoid common pitfalls such as underestimating the necessary resources and expertise, failing to involve faculty and students in the design process, and neglecting to provide adequate training and support for faculty and staff. In conclusion, implementing large-scale AV projects for the next generation of digital hybrid classrooms presents a unique opportunity for European universities to adopt modern teaching methods and better meet the needs of today's learners. With careful planning, investment, and collaboration among all stakeholders, universities can successfully implement AV projects and realize the benefits of a new digital era for higher education.
Abstract. Data transfers to and from High Performance Computing (HPC) clusters are a rather well established mechanism since standard Linux file transfer tools like scp and rsync can be used. Nowadays, users are not always familiar with these command-line based mechanisms and prefer more user friendly, and web based solutions. In this article we present a system to use the protocols of enterprise file sync and share systems (EFSS) for data transfers utilizing components of Science Mesh. In addition, this offers a technique to transfer data between different HPC sites without the need for commercial software or exposing the rather vulnerable port 22 to the outside world.
Abstract. Since the joint EUNIS/euroCRIS CRIS/IR survey report was published in 2016, Current Research Information Systems (CRISs) have become even more widely implemented at institutions and in countries all over the world. These platforms traditionally serve a double purpose: as tools to showcase the research activity conducted within its walls and as internal databases to enable evidence-based decision-making processes. Increasingly, they also act as a reliable and comprehensive information source for external systems and services. This text provides a snapshot of the current CRIS landscape – with an emphasis on Europe – and summarises the various ways CRISs are currently used as well as introduces new emerging uses and scenarios. Special attention is paid to the ever-growing number of national and regional CRIS platforms, which are increasingly seen as valuable research information collection systems for the analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of research in specific geographies.
Abstract. Looking at current efforts and strategies for implementing the Once-Only-Principle OOP/OOTS versus former Cross-Border CroB Principles in EU E-Government regulation/projects like SDG/TOOP/mGov4EU, we analyze these developments concerning the HEI/EDU integration, also looking at the different states and (central/de- central) structures in some EU Member States as well cross-border, where already digital services and standards are used, like EMREX/ELMO and EWP. Against this background, we make proposals for some improvements for interoperability for OOTS and CroB implementations for HEI/EDU with standards and security.
Abstract. Information security and cyber threats have been among the top concerns of IT managers for many years. But recently, the level of threat has grown considerably and has reached a new dimension with companies being severely impacted by cyber-attacks, even being driven into bankruptcy. This is also affecting higher education institutions, with several universities spectacularly falling victim to ransomware attacks. For IT managers, it is now crucial to react to this threat, strengthen their cyber defense and also prepare to mitigate successful attacks. We describe the measures Münster university has recently implemented in a massive effort to prepare for the common types of attacks. This is meant to be an IT manager focused semi-technical overview on the topic of threats and remedies to help evaluate the own situation and evaluate possible measures.
Abstract. The report “Building the plane as we fly it: the promise of persistent identifiers” was published last February by the Knowledge Exchange. The report explores the challenges, opportunities, risks and trust-related issues associated with the quickly-developing PID landscape with an emphasis on the six KE member countries (Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands and the United Kingdom). A series of seven complementary case studies were published alongside this report examining more in depth the current PID landscape for specific entities such as authors, organisations, instruments and facilities, grants and projects or physical samples. The report summarises the findings of a series of interviews with PID experts that provided the basis for the study. Sets of recommendations are also provided for a range of relevant stakeholders in the PID implementation domain. The current fragmentation of the PID landscape is one of the main challenges highlighted in the report and the case studies. This contribution provides a summary of the findings of this study and analyses this fragmented PID landscape in some detail, specifically exploring the meaning of “community” in expressions like “a community-driven PID landscape”. The role universities are expected to play in the gradual, unstoppable adoption of a wide range of PIDs is laid out, together with some early best practices in the domain.
Abstract. Digivisio 2030 is a joint programme of higher education institutions (HEI) in Finland with an objective of creating a national digital service platform. The platform will enable compatibility of digital services, provide guidance based on digital pedagogy and curricular data as well as learner’s data, and make the data available for individuals and society.
Interoperability and adhering to standards are important principles of the common enterprise architecture of Digivisio guiding the development of the digital service platform. Integrations should be consistently implemented to ensure the interoperability of information systems, improve data quality, expedite processes, and reduce manual labor . T echnology solutions must adhere to the selected standards, support interoperability, increase the ability to manage systems, enhance user satisfaction, promote information security and privacy, while also being justified from an overall economic perspective.
International standards cannot be taken "as is" to make the basis of the operational model concerning students and their study rights. National legislation in the field of higher education varies between countries, and this field is usually quite strictly regulated. Thus, interoperability support on the international level is a balancing act where there is a need to find a common denominator and enough flexibility to allow extensions for local or future needs.
The presentation suggests that a common integration architecture in Finland built with a mapping to selected international standards will enable national integrations with international systems such as the Europass platform. The same issues that need to be solved on the national level will have to be solved on the European level as well. The changes need to be implemented on multiple levels, including legislation, processes and operational models, as well as the technical and infrastructure levels.
Abstract. In a time of ever-increasing digital transformation, where the amount of data transferred and verified in digital form has vastly increased, new specifications have been released, enabling the exchange of educational credentials in a privacy-respecting manner while maintaining the anonymity of the contributing parties. Hereafter a model is described for educational credentials exchange, built upon the latest W3C and OpenID Connect specifications for Verifiable Credentials and Verifiable Presentations. These emerging technologies and specifications drive the digital transformation towards Web 3.0, while universities can leverage these to provide students and graduates with a secure and self-sovereign method of sharing digital credentials, simplifying the diploma verification process necessary for job applications or when pursuing post-graduate studies. This model encompasses the core principles the next version of the digital diplomas platform of the Greek HEIs (eDiplomas) is based on.
Abstract. As digital workflows evolve around the curriculum life cycle in higher education institutions, advanced digital tools are needed to automate the processing of study regulations. In particular, the use of formal logic is beneficial for any type of validation in the accreditation process. Three key challenges are addressed in this paper: how to model study regulations, how to validate rules contained in modelled programmes, and how to package the contained logic of study rules in flexible communication between different AI services. This report on a case study demonstrates a solution that enables a continuous workflow from editing the rules to automated validation scenarios that support the administrative staff. The use of symbolic logic in conjunction with formal specification languages offers various forms of use cases within the curriculum life cycle.
Abstract. When implementing study regulations in student information systems, teachers’ intuitive ideas often differ from the later IT mapping. In this article, a rationalisation (both economic and psychological) of such processes is being pursued. The ultimate goal is an AI-based assistance system which provides support for the generation, validation, accreditation and use of study regulations. Advanced AI tools could support a wide range of business capabilities within curriculum design as identified in the Higher Education Reference Model (HERM). Further objectives of this approach are to increase the consistency of individual study planning with study regulations and to support study guidance. Our symbolic approach applies common semantics of natural language and abstract logic which acts as a bridge between the legal norm and the course offerings. The article explains the general concept, introduces the developed technological architecture and presents single tools as well as their integration with the existing IT infrastructure on campus. The curriculum design use case involving extraction and interpretation of the coded knowledge, collaborative editing of study regulations, and fine-grained versioning of study regulations within the creation process is demonstrated and discussed. Finally, the resulting benefits, remaining challenges and future directions are discussed.