World Café Summary

ICT-Focus, Interlaken, Nov 10th 2014. Hosts: Rolf Brugger, Lukas Hämmerle

Format: In three discussion sessions (30 min each) we presented the topic of student enrollment processes at universities and discussed it with members of the SWITCH community. In total, 20 participants followed the presentation, gave their feedback and contributed to the discussion.


Host presentation

We presented the student enrollment process at a university. The example consisted of the steps

  1. the student (the applicant) creates a 'throw-away-identity' with verified email address
  2. the student continues to the actual enrollment form
  3. the university decides if the student is accepted
  4. the student recieves an enrollment invoice
  5. the student has to physically present the originals of diploma at the registration desk

We then presented how the edu-ID could be integrated in the enrollment process of a university.


Participant's feedback and statements:

  • At other Universities, the enrollment processes are similar, with only minor differences (i.e. students don’t have to show up in person for the last step, or they have to pay the enrollment fee earlier, etc).
  • Yet, virtually no two universities have the same enrollment procedure.
  • The post address verification at universities is very strong (and important) due to the fact that new students paid the enrollment fee. 
  • At least at one university, the enrollment fee has to be paid by either credit card or Postfinance. This has worked well since 2000 (with only 4 exceptions).
  • Students ideally should already have an edu-ID before they start the enrollment process.
    • data (especially the historical data) is released to services that should not get them.
    • There was a consensus that sharing certain personal data within the university community should be a bit more relaxed compared to sharing data with others (e.g. commercial services or services abroad).
    • Some participants state, that the edu-ID should include a reliable email service. Some participants reject that idea. 
    • The life cycle of attributes should be carefully considered. What data remains at the universities, what should be archived, what information persists, what information fades?Various data privacy questions have to be taken into account with the edu-ID to prevent that personal


Questions and Answers

  • Question: Is there already a solution for digital diploma certificates?
    Answer: This question was addressed in the project 'forgery-proof certificates' ( No standard solution exists yet. In the report it is suggested to build a simple, lightweight document server to host diploma documents in PDF format.

    Question: Could many universities at once migrate to the edu-ID in a short time to maximize the advantages/added values of the edu-ID?
    Answer: It is unlikely that all universities migrate all at a specific time/semester. It’s more likely to migrate in stages.

    Question: When will the edu-ID Identity Provider will be available?
    Answer: A first version with limited functionality will be available around January 2015.

    Question: Why was the AHV/AVS number not used for the edu-ID?
    Answer: It's use is not allowed legally.

    Question: With edu-ID, is the entry point for students still at the universities?
    Answer: The creation of an edu-ID account can take place at a central registration platform. Alternatively, the edu-ID registration could also be embedded into the university environment.

    Question: What about two-factor authentication?
    Answer: This is under discussion. There is a trade-off between security and usability and the optimal approach should be carefully evaluated.