Frequently Asked Questions


What is the European Student Card?

The European Student Card, or ESC, is simply the university’s current Student ID card, with the addition of certain elements to identify it as part of the European Student Card initiative. In UCC, for academic year 2018/19, this means the addition of the ESC holographic logo on the bottom right of Student ID cards:

Example of a European student card

What is the European Student Card initiative?

It’s an EU initiative, funded by the EU Commission, and its aim is to ease the mobility of students between Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in Europe.

Students who move abroad to study will have identifiable European Student Identifiers, allowing all ESC students to be uniquely identifiable across all HEIs taking part in the initiative. It will streamline the Erasmus application process by cutting down on both the paperwork and legwork involved in joining the Erasmus programme. It will also allow the Information Systems of other HEIs to add non-native students to their databases in order to make services available to them more easily.

I have a UCC ID card already. Do I need a new one?

No. Your UCC ID card will continue to function as it always has. However, newly printed cards from the start of academic year 2018/19 can have the ESC Logo placed on their ID cards by request.

So does my Higher Education Institute still print my ID card?

Yes. Each HEI has full control and authority for any ID card printing or ID card matters.

And I don’t need to get another ID card in addition to my UCC ID card?

No. ID cards will be issued in the same way. The only difference will be the addition of the ESC logo.

I am a registered UCC student with an ESC – what does that mean for me?

It means that you can take advantage of additional services in other European Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) who are also part of the initiative by using your UCC ID card. You will not need to be a registered student in any of these institutions, simply presenting the UCC ID card with ESC logo will suffice. Information on the HEIs participating, together with details on what services you can avail of, will be available on 

I am not a registered UCC student, but the ID card of my home institution is an ESC. What services can I use in UCC when I visit?

You will be able to access our libraries by presenting your ID card to the security staff at the desk. Once they have confirmed you are an ESC cardholder, they will give you access through the turnstiles.

Library Services that will be available to you are:

  1. Access to the library and publications within (including daily newspapers)
  2. Book borrowing – restricted to students remaining in Cork for longer than 2 months*
  3. Open access PCs in the Library and IT Services’ IT labs throughout the campus*
  4. Online resources and past exam papers – once logged into the open access PCs
  5. Access to Special Collection and Archive materials
  6. Full use of the Library Helpdesk facilities
  7. WIFI via Eduroam, or on request of Guest WIFI access if the home institution does not use the Eduroam service.
  8. Booking of the Library Group Study Rooms*

*Made available through consultation with the Library staff at Library/IT Desk

So do I need to be travelling abroad for study purposes in order for the ESC to be of any benefit to me?

No. All students who hold an ESC ID card will be able to avail of some services in other HEIs who are also participating in the ESC initiative. For example, any students from other participating countries will be able to take advantage of certain library services in UCC. These students will not be registered in UCC, but UCCs Library team have made these services available to them on presentation of a valid ESC.

Does this mean that all student services in all EU HEIs will be available to all students who carry an ESC ID card?

No. Each institution defines independently which services are to be made available. The institutions have complete autonomy in determining which services to open up to non-registered ESC students. Remember, Erasmus students will be fully registered on Student Records system of the institution to which they are travelling, so this gives them the same entitlement to services as all other registered students of the institution. But those who are unregistered, and have an ESC ID card, will be able to take advantage of some services in other HEIs in the EU.

Is any of my student data being transfered externally?

No UCC student data is being transferred at the moment. As this initiative progresses, in order to take full advantage of the digital transformation afforded by the project, UCC may assess whether or not to allow even the most basic data to be hosted externally. Any such change will be done with the full protection of EU data protection measures and UCC’s Student Records and Examinations Office, as custodians of UCC Student data, will have full control over if and when that will take place.

Which HEIs are taking part?

Information on the HEIs taking part in this will be published on the main European Student Card website  once it has all been collated. 

How do I find out what services are being made available in the HEIs that are taking part? 

Again, this information will be available on the main European Student Card website  when it is available. 

If I have a problem in accessing a service using my ESC ID card, who will I contact?

Each HEI will have information on its own website with details of how to access services and who to contact in case of any issues. If you can’t access a service, for example, can’t check a book out of the library in another HEI, you need to liaise with the team who provides the service within the HEI itself. 

What are the objectives of this project in the future? 

A proposal for the next phase has been submitted for EU funding. Called MyAcademicID, its focus is on identity management, and is a preparatory stage for a project to produce a single hub for mobility, in line with the digital EU strategy.

The expected specific project outcomes are:

  1. A single European eID for higher education that can be used by various service platforms g. Erasmus Without Paper, European Student Card, GEANT (Europe's leading collaboration on e-infrastructure and services for research and education; the Irish implementation is HEANET)
  2. Connecting existing European service platforms to the above solution  
  3. Impact analysis of the eIDAS connection for local information systems

See for more information


Where do I go for more information on the ESC project?

Further information can be found here:  This website will be updated regularly with new developments.

University College Cork

Coláiste na hOllscoile Corcaigh

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