Markets | Education
Written By John Fieldsend
Applications for ID Education

Identity management solutions in the education sector do more than just provide visual security. If leveraged correctly, they can help provide a secure and efficient environment for learning. For example, in a nursery, children’s ID credentials should identify them as individuals and put stops and checks in place against unauthorised individuals fetching them from school thereby enhancing their safety.

On the other hand, for a university student, their ID credentials should give them access to various facilities on the campus, including library networks, the ability to make payments in the cafeteria and to hold details of sports and social club memberships for example.


One user, multiple roles

Every business has users with multiple roles, but this is exacerbated in the education sector. Take for example a parent who may also be an alumnus of the institution, or a staff member who is also a student. Each one of these roles enjoys different rights and hence demands different access and privileges that need to be configured with their ID credentials.

Huge inflow and outflow of users in the system

Each new term brings in a fresh influx of students as an equal number of students in the form of the graduating class leave campus. Then within different semesters, students may change their classes and tutors, and of course, the teachers themselves may change roles and institutions. To keep pace with all these developments and make changes manually or on a case by case basis can create logistical problems. The identity system in use needs to facilitate quick and automated provisioning/termination of access on the campus. It also needs to cater to temporary guests like substitute teachers or students taking online courses.

Diverse user profiles

by age and technical skill Every organisation experiences diversity in user profile and nowhere is the age and technical expertise gap as extreme as it is in an educational institution where users can range from nursery school students to older faculty members and parents. The identity system must be simple enough to provide a good user experience for both a 5-year-old and a 50-year-old and yet be complex enough to meet different provisioning requirements.

Traditionally, ID cards have been used in education purely as a means of identification in its simplest definition – for example to indicate which school an individual is from, which event they are attending, if they belong to a particular group on a school trip. And so on.

This visual identification – which is little more than labelling – does not serve much of a function. However, current student ID cards are capable of much more than basic photo identification thanks to advancements in ID card technology. Many universities now utilise magnetic stripe, smart card, and proximity card technology to integrate student IDs with everything from access control systems to meal plans and laundry machine operation. Some IDs even work as debit cards for purchases both on and off campus.