The EU Student eCard initiative is part of the Digital Education Action Plan, aiming to improve the quality of student mobility in Europe.
The goal is to make the eCard available to all students in Europe by 2025. The benefits go beyond students, as it will reduce administrative procedures for the higher educational institutions and potential for errors (avoiding manual entry of data, duplications, etc).
The initiative is linked to the EU's electronic identification rules (eIDAS Regulation) and aims at re-using several CEF Building Blocks to provide a seamless cross-border electronic exchange of student data and documents based on the Once-Only Principle.
As a first step, the electronic services of the higher education institutions will be connected with the Member States' eID Nodes implemented in the framework of the eIDAS Regulation. This would make it possible for students to authenticate themselves (or their other academic related data) and use the online services of the higher educational institution in another MS with the national eID means of their country of origin.
The initiative is interlinked with several digital projects of the Erasmus+ programme aiming to simplify student mobility: Erasmus Without Paper; European Student Card project; Erasmus+ Mobile App and EMREX. These projects are monitored by DG Education, Youth, Sport and Culture and are part of the European Student Card initiative.
Support through CEF
The CEF Telecom Work Programmes supported so far the development and deployment of concrete use cases involving multiple universities and service providers in several Member States. The support was linked to the extension of the use of the eIDAS eID Core Services in the educational domain. The following projects (managed by INEA, the European Commission's Innovation and Networks Executive Agency) are currently active in this area:
- ESMO (eIDAS-enabled Student Mobility)
- e-Signature and Erasmus Student eCard in Greece
- SEAL (Student and Citizen Identities Linked)
Information about the latest Call for proposals can be accessed on the dedicated website of the INEA agency.
The "EU Student eCard DSI" (Digital Service Infrastructure) is foreseen in the CEF Telecom Work Programme 2019-2020. The Call for the Core Services Platform will be open on 04 July 2019.
The Commission also supported two studies on the use of the eIDAS framework for the purposes of student mobility:
- Study on cross-border use of eID and Authentication Services to support student mobility and access to student services in Europe
- Study on Information Systems Architecture Solution eIDAS+ for Education
A common European solution
The European Commission, DG CONNECT (Unit G2 Interactive Technologies, Digital for Culture and Education), in collaboration with DG EAC, organised a workshop on 15 January 2019 in Luxembourg, dedicated to collecting opinions from the stakeholders about the features of a future European common solution for a European Student eCard, building on the needs of the higher education community and the online services which have already been developed for students. The minutes of the workshop detailing the discussions is available here.