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How eduGAIN can help education: a real life story

The Virtual Campus Hub (VCH) project is the first project to make use of eduGAIN on a production level involving several IdPs and SPs. The four partners in the project, technical universities in Denmark, Sweden, Italy and The Netherlands wanted to develop and implement a so-called 'Virtual Campus network'. After starting the project with support of the FP7 program of the European Commission, the Dutch partner (TU/e - Eindhoven University of Technology), asked SURFnet to support in setting up the technical platform. The national federations and eduGAIN were proposed as part of the solution and proved to be very useful in providing access to the different services offered to the internationally dispersed end users. SURFnet supported the project by coordinating the process with the foreign universities and NRENs, making several technical connections to eduGAIN and providing guest access for ‘homeless’ users through her SURFguest service. The results were a working VCH environment, a document with lessons learned and a document describing the steps to set up an international collaboration environment. The final review in Brussels went very well. However, the road to a working online environment was not always easy. This project makes clear that NRENs are in a unique position to actively shape and support these new kinds of collaborations in higher education and research. The process of setting up an international online environment is not perfect yet, but this project has provided us with useful insights worth sharing. In this presentation the lessons learned and the essential steps to set up an international collaboration are discussed, as well as the things NRENs need to do to improve the user experience.

Speakers

Authors

  • Bas Zoetekouw
  • Sabita Behari

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