In Focus Trust and identity

MyAcademicID student mobility platform launches as hand-over to ‘EDSSI’ approaches

A new identity and access management platform and other results of the MyAcademicID project help shape the way in which students and universities participate in student mobility programmes. The MyAcademicID platform was launched in November 2020, with the connection of a first student mobility-related e-service. The platform will be developed into the core production platform for student mobility in the successor project EDSSI. The European Digital Student Services Infrastructure (EDSSI) project was awarded to the MyAcademicID consortium plus additional partners, who will further evolve the MyAcademicID platform and connect more e-services related to student mobility. With MyAcademicID now in its final run, set to end in December 2020, it is passing the baton to EDSSI, which started in September.

MyAcademicID is part of the European Commission initiatives to digitise the Erasmus programme and to address the issue of student data exchanges between Higher Education Institutions. MyAcademicID project work was driven by student mobility use-cases concerning online access to the renewed Erasmus+ services. To address these needs, the project delivered the MyacademicID Blueprint Architecture, which describes a platform to enable electronic identification and authentication for higher education students through a single European student e-identity scheme. The European Student eID for Higher Education is the result of the integration of eduGAIN, eIDAS and the European Student Identifier.

The deployment of the MyAcademicID Blueprint Architecture has already started and the first Erasmus+ service, the Online Learning Agreement tool, was connected at the start of November; thousand of students can already access the tool via the MyAcademicID Platform.

MyAcademidID platform

The MyAcademicID platform is an Identity and Access Management (IAM) service that enables students to apply online for student mobility opportunities, by accessing the services of the European Student Card Initiative and those directly supporting the digitisation of Erasmus+ in a federated way.

The picture below depicts the MyAcademicID Blueprint Architecture. The coloured boxes in the upper part of the picture are the Erasmus+ services.

MyAcademicID IAM consist of :

  • Identity and Access management service, which manages users access. With the identity linking capabilities and the support of bridging multiple authentication protocols, the MyAcademicID Identity and Access Management Service  builds on top of eduGAIN and enables federated access to Erasmus+ services.
  • The European Student Identifier (ESI) is a key component of  MyAcademicID platform and it is the result of months of engagement with key stakeholders in the project and outside. The ESI is a digital identifier needed to uniquely identify students throughout the Student Mobility process. MyAcademicID team revisited the format of the previous ESI (developed by the European Student Card Project) and published the new ESI format specifications with the aim to make it future proof.
  • eIDAS-eduGAIN bridge is a SAML-to-SAML protocol proxy that technically can behave as a Identity Provider  in eduGAIN and as a Service Provider in the eIDAS Network. In the current implementation, the eIDAS – eduGAIN bridge is connected to the eIDAS Network through the Swedish eIDAS Node. The implementation team is already in contact with the eIDAS Cooperation Network in order to investigate how the use of national eIDs can become even more seamless, without having to be routed via one national eIDAS node.

About

MyAcademicID project is co-funded by the Connecting Europe Facilities (CEF) programme of the European Union.

eduGAIN is the infrastructure operated by GÉANT and the research and education identity federations worldwide (68 to date), enabling federated access to web services for higher education students. With just one trusted electronic identity managed by the user’s institution in an identity federation, the user can access services from other federations that participate in eduGAIN. The majority of European students in higher education have access to federated identities provided by their home university; with these identities students can access, via eduGAIN, about 3000 online services worldwide.

The Regulation on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market (eIDAS) was adopted by the European Union in 2014. It aims to enable secure and seamless electronic interactions between businesses, citizens and public authorities across European borders. As of the end of 2018, all organisations delivering public digital services in EU member states are obliged to accept the eIDs of other member states that are notified.

The MyAcademicID final conference on 14-15 December 2020 will share project results: registration is open.