Estonian Online Application Portal (SisseAstumiseInfoSüsteem - SAIS)
SisseAstumise InfoSüsteem (SAIS) provides a Common Admissions Information Portal that enables Estonian school leavers to submit electronic applications to participating universities and colleges securely online.
@Photo from Pixabay.
SisseAstumise InfoSüsteem (SAIS) provides a Common Admissions Information Portal that enables Estonian school leavers to submit electronic applications to participating universities and colleges securely online. They can log-on to the system through the country’s Citizen portal using their Estonian national ID-card or through one of the Estonian internet banks, so the identity of everyone who uses SAIS is fully verified. In addition, SAIS is connected to other educational databases in the country, so it is not necessary to provide evidence of previous educational achievements, examination grades, or higher education qualifications if that data is already recorded elsewhere. However, even if such data does not yet exist electronically, SAIS can issue a request to the relevant school to corroborate any missing or unverified information, and once this data is confirmed and entered in SAIS it can then be used to support any additional student applications. Foreign applicants can enter their application from https://estonia.dreamapply.com/
It is not necessary to provide evidence of previous educational achievements if that data is already recorded elsewhere.
|Start date||1 Jun 2006|
|Nature and status of project||Rolled Out|
|Is the OOP case/enabler mandatory?||Mandatory|
Enabling assets or components
Estonian data exchange layer for information systems (X-Road)
Estonian Public Key Infrastructure
Estonian Catalogue of Public Sector Information (RIHA)
Estonian three-level IT baseline security system ISKE
Interoperability of the State Information System. Endorsed with the Directive of the Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications 11-0377, 22.12.2011, https://www.mkm.ee/sites/default/files/interoperability-framework_2011.doc
Interoperability Framework of e-education, http://www.hitsa.ee/teenused/koosvoime-raamistik
Personal Data Protection Act. Riigikogu, RT I 2007, 24, 127, https://www.riigiteataja.ee/en/eli/507032016001/consolide
Public Information Act. Riigikogu, RT I 2000, 92, 597, https://www.riigiteataja.ee/en/eli/518012016001/consolide
The classification system. Vabariigi Valitsus, RT I 2008, 4, 27, https://www.riigiteataja.ee/akt/12910889
The data exchange layer of information system. Vabariigi Valitsus, RT I 27.09.2016, 4, https://www.riigiteataja.ee/akt/127092016004
The administration system of state information system. Vabariigi Valitsus, RT I
29.03.2016, 6, https://www.riigiteataja.ee/akt/129032016006
Republic of Estonia Education Act RT 1992, 12, 192, https://www.riigiteataja.ee/en/eli/ee/526082014004/consolide/current
Vocational Educational Institutions Act RT I 1998, 64/65, 1007, https://www.riigiteataja.ee/akt/130122015025?leiaKehtiv
Institutions of Professional Higher Education Act RT I 1998, 61, 980, https://www.riigiteataja.ee/akt/13277158?leiaKehtiv
Private Schools Act RT I 1998, 57, 859, https://www.riigiteataja.ee/akt/13340306?leiaKehtiv
Universities Act RT I 1995, 12, 119, https://www.riigiteataja.ee/akt/13224418?leiaKehtiv
Basic Schools and Upper Secondary Schools Act RTI, 05.07.2010, 41, 240, https://www.riigiteataja.ee/akt/13332410?leiaKehtiv
Statute of Information Technology Foundation for Education, http://www.hitsa.ee/sihtasutusest/pohikiri
Statute of Admission Information System, https://riha.eesti.ee/riha/main?araThreadServiceId=gcoFmlnUdrPy&araTopServiceId=application
Socio-cultural influence factors
SAIS reduces operational costs – the cost of managing student applications has decreased significantly through the simplification of processes and electronic sharing of data with students and other educational organisations.
On the other hand, this portal increases productivity – has accelerated administrative tasks, saving time and human resources and freeing up university workers for other activities.
Furthermore, student candidates no longer need to submit individual applications or travel to each university and they receive much faster decisions, which causes higher satisfaction of service for students. Moreover, this case provides a secure and scalable platform to support future educational needs.
Since 2009 SAIS is widely used throughout Estonia and most of its higher education, schools have joined the system.
All registers must linked by use commonly accepted keys:
• personal code for citizens,
• code of institution,
• standardised address presentation.
Secure data exchange layer X-Road (https://www.ria.ee/en/x-road.html) is used for gathering data from different registers. X-Road is a technological and organizational environment enabling a secure Internet-based data exchange between information systems. All registers and Statistics Estonia must be a member of X-Road
Information regarding the X-Road members and the services they provide is available via the Administration System for the State Information System (RIHA). RIHA (https://www.ria.ee/en/administration-system-of-the-state-information-system.html ) serves as a catalogue for the state’s information system. At the same time RIHA is a procedural and administrative environment via which the comprehensive and balanced development of the state’s information system has ensured. RIHA guarantees the transparency of the administration of the state’s information system and helps to plan the state’s information management.
PKI or the public key infrastructure (https://www.ria.ee/en/public-key-infrastructure.html ) enables secure digital authentication and signing. The infrastructure also allows forwarding data by using an encrypting key pair: a public encryption key and a private decryption key. In Estonia, this technology is used in relation with electronic identity (ID card, mobile ID, digital ID). All members of X-Road are using Digital seal certificates for signing messages. Citizens and officials are using electronic identity tokens.
All participants must be implemented three-level IT baseline security system ISKE (https://www.ria.ee/en/iske-en.html). The goal of implementing ISKE is to ensure a security level sufficient for the data processed in IT systems. The necessary security level achieved by implementing the standard organisational, infrastructural/physical and technical security measures.
Data guidelines of Estonian Data Protection Inspectorate (http://www.aki.ee/et/juhised) must followed.
Data handling / data exchange
|Stakeholder name||Stakeholder type||Stakeholder role||Kind of data|
|Applicants (all universities)||Citizen||Data consumer||Education data|
|Official of Universities||Government||Data consumer||Education data|
|The Information Technology Foundation for Education (HITSA)||Government||Database owner||Education data|
|Estonian Education Information System (EHIS)||Government||Data provider||Education data|
|Population register (RR)||Government||Data provider||Education data|
|Examination Information System (EIS)||Government||Data provider||Education data|
|ÕIS (The study information system in universities and colleges)||Government||Data provider||Education data|
|VVIS (System for applicants from abroad)||Government||Data provider||Education data|
|Ministry of Education||Government|
|Universities (all universities)||Business||Data consumer||Education data|
SAIS has been created for the electronic management of the process of submitting applications to educational institutions. The citizens of Estonia can submit required documentation through the system and educational institutions can manage the information and data of candidates in a systemic way. The information system functions over the solid safe Internet-based and ID card-based information technology environment. Similar system for processing the applications of candidates applying from abroad is called Dream Apply.
Data collection will initiated by the reception staff and the candidate. The system will regularly update semantic assets via the secure data exchange system X-road. Data will be collected through the X-Road services and the declarations made by candidates. The data for the candidate are collected from the Estonian Education Information System EHIS, from population registry RR and from the Examination Information System EIS. If the data in the registers do not exist, these shall be submitted by the employee receiving paper documents.
As shown in Figure, the reception staff and the candidate will initiate data collection. The system will regularly update semantic assets via the secure data exchange system X-road. Data will be collected through the X-Road services and the declarations made by candidates. The data for the candidate are collected from the Estonian Education Information System (EHIS), from population registry (RR) and from the Examination Information System (EIS). If the data in the registers do not exist, the employee receiving paper documents shall submit these.
Legend of elements in the figure:
EHIS - Estonian Education Information System (Master data about education)
Rahvastikuregister (RR) – Population register (Master data about applicant)
EIS - Examination Information System (Master data of applicant exam results, needed for competition)
X-tee turvaserver – Security server for secure data Exchange
SAIS – Front End System for submitting and processing applicant’s data
PostgreSQL – SAIS database
ÕIS – The study information system in universities and colleges
VVIS- System for applicants from abroad
In 2009 SAIS widely used throughout Estonia and most of its higher education schools have joined the system, and it has some 40,000 users.
System has used for foreign students also. In this case applicant submit documents in paper or electronically and signed digitally.
Disclaimer: Please note that this article is a result of the SCOOP4C Pilot Project, not an application of a CEF Building Block.
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