The SWITCH edu-ID is the universal login for lifelong learning. With its successful integration into more than half of Swiss universities, it is on a steep growth trajectory.
The SWITCH edu-ID has prevailed in universities as the standard for a universal login. This is made clear through three performance figures:
More and more users are creating a SWITCH edu-ID account and linking it to their university. We recorded over 100,000 new members in the last quarter alone. A huge advantage for members of the educational, research, and innovation community is that they can continue to use their personal digital identity after finishing their studies or leaving an organisation. For example, they can use it as alumni to network with like-minded people or to remain in contact with the university. Private individuals can use their SWITCH edu-ID to download academic publications, log into libraries, or register for continuing education at universities.
Thanks to this amazing growth rate, we’re due to pass half a million accounts in just a few weeks’ time.
More than half of accredited Swiss universities have already integrated the SWITCH edu-ID as a login to access services, and SWITCH has been assisting them with this process. Universities gain many advantages from integration: they can automatically update university affiliation in the SWITCH edu-ID accounts of their employees and students, they can recognise former members who rejoin the institution, and they also reduce operating costs in the long run. In any event, the rising number of participating universities is a vote of confidence in SWITCH and in the promise of the SWITCH edu-ID: it supports lifelong learning and is flexible enough to be expanded with new features, making it future-proof.
The SWITCH edu-ID is automatically compatible with the existing 1,400 services of its predecessor solution SWITCHaai. Added to the roster are services that exploit specific strengths. These include allowing students to use their SWITCH edu-ID to access registration forms for degree programs even before the students are registered at a university. They also include academic services that can be used by people both with and without a university affiliation. Two popular examples are MOOCs (massive open online courses) and the Swisscovery library service. The first university is also about to launch a mobile app with a SWITCH edu-ID login.
A welcome bonus is that innovations can be implemented throughout the identity federation of Swiss universities faster than ever. For example, SWITCH recently introduced strong two-factor authentication across the board. Universities didn’t have to lift a finger. This allows users to protect their account effectively against phishing. The new security protocol OpenID Connect has also recently been added to the range of services, making it possible to use the SWITCH edu-ID to log into mobile apps.
Universities that have not yet completed integration are working together with SWITCH to introduce the SWITCH edu-ID. By the end of the year, one university will finish implementing it every month. Expect more innovations in the near future. Preparations are underway for a login without a password, further increasing security and user comfort.
The SWITCH edu-ID success story continues. We’re thrilled about the strong drive within the community.
Interview with Christoph Graf, Programme Manager of SWITCH edu-ID, about the next steps in introducing an e-ID in Switzerland and the role SWITCH can play in this process.