Electronic signatures in the education sector. Improving management

Looking at the day-to-day work of any Educational Centre, we notice that many documents are signed and managed: certificates, degrees, internship agreements, enrolments, admissions and scholarship applications, among others. Electronic signatures can be used for all these documents. In this post, we will talk about the electronic signature in the education sector and how it simplifies all the procedures carried out in schools, universities and training centres.

eIDAS regulation, which came into force in 2014, was a turning point for educational centres using electronic signatures. It recognises electronic signatures in any EU member state so that procedures are much quicker and more agile.

Advantages of electronic signatures in the academic sector

The advantages of the electronic signature in the academic sector include the following:

– E-signatures may be used from anywhere and on any device, making it much easier for students to enrol in educational centres, no matter their location. With the electronic signature, students do not have to go physically to the centre to enrol, as they can do it remotely.

– Security with data encryption. With the electronic signature, student data is secured, generating confidence among the signature users. In addition, it complies with the regulations on Personal Data Protection for students and users.

– Protection against fraud. One of the most common problems arising from Internet use is identity theft. With electronic signatures, such fraud is prevented as the signatory’s identity is verified unequivocally, for example, through biometric data such as fingerprints, voice or iris.

– eliminating waiting times. Many years ago, during enrolment periods at educational centres, there were long queues where people had to wait for hours to complete a procedure. Waiting times are no longer a concern with the electronic signature, as any signature procedure can be carried out digitally in just a few minutes.

– Legal validity. The electronic signature of documents in the education sector is fully valid following the eIDAS regulation.

– Reduction of the administrative burden. Departments of schools, universities, and training centres use electronic signatures to cut the administrative burden and reduce staff members’ time on paperwork. This improves efficiency, coordination between departments, reduces errors and optimises administrative processes.

– Mass signing of documents. The educational centre can manage the signing process so that all the required forms are signed by the student at once, thus reducing waiting times and facilitating all the procedures.

– Enhancing the school’s reputation. With the pandemic due to COVID-19, the digital transformation of the education sector has speeded up. Educational institutions have adopted distance learning for some time, in some cases, and in others, hybrid models combining in-class attendance with remote classes. The use of e-signatures rounds off the digital transformation of the education sector and enhances schools’ reputation as they adapt to digital natives.

What can e-signatures be used for in the education sector?

As we have seen above, electronic signatures in the education sector can be used for various procedures such as the following:

– Signing of internship agreements for students between the educational centre and companies.

– Signing academic documents such as degrees, scholarships or admissions.

– Signing documents relating to residences, car parks and other services of the educational centres.

– Signing of bank documents, e.g. to approve payment of tuition fees at the school.

– Signing employment contracts with teachers and other school staff.

– Signing confidentiality documents or documents relating to the protection of personal data.

– Signing of school budgets.

– Signing of image transfer documents.

– Signing of payrolls of school employees.

– Signing contracts, delivery notes and other documents with suppliers.

– Signing of authorisations from pupils’ parents.

The electronic signature in the education sector promotes the sector’s digital transformation. It eases all the administrative procedures of the centres so that they adapt to the needs of today’s students, reduce their administrative burden and comply with the applicable regulations.

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