Erasmus Student Mobility
In the last years the Erasmus programme has undergone a monumental expansion growing from 11 participating countries and around 3,000 students in 1987, to 33 participating countries and more than 9 million people having benefited from mobility under Erasmus by 2017. The procedures in place however have remained largely paper based – until recently. The European Commission under the European Student Card Initiative aims to “enable every student to easily and safely identify and register themselves electronically at higher education institutions within the EU when moving abroad for studies, eliminating the need to complete on-site registration procedures and paperwork”. Under this initiative Erasmus Without Paper project was funded to develop core tools to move towards a paperless process for student mobility exchange.
Since 2019, GÉANT with Renater, Sunet and more recently Srce are participating in my MyAcademicID project (co-funded by Connecting Europe Facilities, INEA/CEF/ICT/A20128/1633245 Action No: 2018-EU-IA-0036 ). The project aims to define the specifications of the eID scheme, including the bridges between eIDAS and eduGAIN, the structure of the European Student Identifier, and the functioning of the Service Provider (SP) Proxy that will connect key electronic services for student mobility to eduGAIN and eIDAS.
The team also produced dedicated guidelines to support Erasmus service providers to benefit from MyAcademicID architecture and to enable federated access (via eduGAIN)
This eID scheme will allow students to easily identify and authenticate using their institutional credentials to access electronic student services through single sign-on.
This marks the beginning of a very fruitful collaboration between the Erasmus and the GÉANT communities, and opens new opportunities to interoperate with eIDAS. This collaboration will continue beyond 2020 via a follow up project which was recently approved.
GÉANT, EGI and EUDAT Supporting CORBEL
GÉANT, EGI and EUDAT joined forces to deliver an AARC Blueprint-compliant authentication and authorisation infrastructure to support all the 13 life science initiatives that cluster in the CORBEL project.
In Nov 2017, the three main e-infrastructures, GÉANT, EGI and EUDAT answered a call for proposals from the life science research communities to deliver and operate a single AAI for them, as a more sustainable and cost-effective way to enable users’ access to life science services.
This is the first time that different research infrastructures active in the same field agreed on their AAI requirements and called for the e-infrastructures to deliver an AAI solution.
The active collaboration between CLARIN – the European research network working in the field of archiving and processing of language-related resources in the humanities and social sciences – and eduGAIN – GÉANT’s service that interconnects identity federations around the world – delivers a service that, whilst addressing the specific requirements of a system capable of dealing with the access and identification of a large number of distributed users across several countries, bene ts also the entire R&E trust and identity community.
GÉANT worked with CLARIN to support and collaboration around AAI. The organisations decided to work together in several areas such as the improvement of user error messages and on an attribute release check that could be operated as an eduGAIN reference service for attribute release, hence benefiting the wider trust and identity community.
“The collaboration has proven very useful at least from FIN-CLARIN’s perspective. Users can now quickly inform their home organisations about their AAI needs without having to understand the technical details. Operators are also much more willing to release attributes when they are contacted by their own users, rather than by the Service Provider as this process often required great efforts with limited possibilities of success”. Martin Matthiesen (CSC, FIN-CLARIN)
Read more in GÉANT Connect Magazine
The Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities, DARIAH, aims to enhance and support digitally-enabled research and teaching across the humanities and arts. The core strategy of DARIAH is to bring together national, regional, and local endeavours to form a cooperative infrastructure where complementarities and new challenges are clearly identified and acted upon.
”We see eduGAIN as the best approach to achieve a much-needed Europe-wide Authentication and Authorisation Infrastructure within DARIAH.” Peter Gietz, DARIAH
European life-sciences Infrastructure for biological Information, ELIXIR, is a distributed research infrastructure, where leading organisations from 17 European countries and EMBL (European Molecular Biology Laboratory) joined forces to tackle the challenge of data volumes created by modern life science research.
“The created data has to be annotated and structured according to international standards, and shared collectively with other countries. This is where GÉANT and national research and education network providers play a key infrastructure role. eduGAIN is a prospective component to providing single-sign-on for the biomedical-community services that need login. In some cases data needs to be protected, at least for a certain time, for ethical, legal, societal or business reasons. We have decided to rely on the existing European network of trust, eduGAIN, to first electronically identify researchers who seek and access-controlled dataset for their work. The eduGAIN and GÉANT enabling user actions have been instrumental in getting forward together to work on life sciences data infrastructure challenges.” Tommi Nyronen, (CSC Finland) ELIXIR
Read More about ELIXIR and eduGAIN in GÉANT CONNECT Magazine
The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, LIGO, comprises more than 1,500 scientists, all of whom are working towards a single goal: to capture signs of gravitational waves and decode their meaning. The data gathering happens at massive observatories in the USA and Italy, but the analysis is done in countries all over the world.
The growth of Authentication, Authorisation and Identification (AAI) technologies and the expansion of interfederation between organisations and identity federations using eduGAIN has allowed these rapid collaborations to take place by allowing researchers to use their existing institutional identities to access data on remote systems and securely share results.
“LIGO and Virgo have been preparing to participate in multimessenger observations, such as those from the kilonova event, for years – before we had even detected gravitational waves. The coordination between LIGO and Virgo scientists and astronomers from over 90 other observatories was facilitated through the use of federated identities, made possible by SAML identity providers at universities and research institutes around the world, by national identity federations and by eduGAIN. The foresight of these technologies and organizations really lowers the bar to creating ad-hoc research collaborations and it was crucial to the type of interdisciplinary effort that went into the kilonova announcement and papers. We hope that this is the first of many groundbreaking discoveries that these technologies will enable in gravitational wave astronomy!”
Warren Anderson, Identity and Access Management Lead for LIGO
Read More at GÉANT CONNECT Magazine.
eduGAIN and EduGATE – Supporting R&E across Ireland
HEAnet operates a highly successful Identity Federation service – Edugate – which covers all 45 large undergraduate institutions in Ireland and this federation is Interfederated via eduGAIN to the wider R&E community. This provides HEAnet (and the institutions and students) with significant advantages.
In order to access cloud services, international publishers and library services without eduGAIN, HEAnet would need to negotiate access between each Institution and the publisher on an individual basis. This would have involved complex three-way legal agreements which are time consuming and expensive. Using eduGAIN makes these agreements much simpler as all parties have pre-agreed most of the access rules and procedures. This saves huge amounts of time for all parties and makes the negotiating position of smaller NRENs such as HEAnet much stronger.
“Edugate is becoming central to a lot of our services. It’s vital for UCC student email and VLE log-in. The last thing we want are multiple sets of credentials. Federated access is the way forward, and allows us to leverage credentials across all our services. We will be looking at providing more and more student services via Edugate in the future.” Barry O’Sullivan IT Services, University College Cork
Together Edugate and eduGAIN provide an essential link between students, researchers, institutions and Service Providers.
Read More in the GÉANT CONNECT magazine.