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HERM Presentation at the Essential Higher Education User Group

At our last Higher Education User Group we were privileged to have jeff kennedy, alan dent, and nigel foxwell deliver a presentation on HERM – the Higher Education Reference Models.  The presentation covered the Business and Data reference architectures currently available and spoke to the Application and Technology reference architectures that will be delivered later this year in the next HERM release.  The models are curated by CAUDIT in warm collaboration with many other HE IT Associations across the globe, including UCISA, EUNIS, EDUCAUSE, and Itana to name a few.

HERM is now being used actively by more than 1,000 HE organisations across the globe.  The HERM provides standardised architectures that communicate a generalised view of how higher education institutions are organised and the information they use. The HERM also include a Business Model Canvas that can support scenario-based planning and is useful for exploring and communicating an institution’s specific strategic drivers and goals.

These resources can be used by institutions within higher education in a variety of ways, such as a starter kit to accelerate EA adoption, a reference point to explore commonalities and differentiators for the institution, and a communication tool to engage stakeholders.

The Higher Education Reference Models help members to:

  • increase the value and efficiency of their architecture teams
  • describe a ‘whole of institution’ view to colleagues within their institution
  • facilitate the exchange of architectural knowledge and good practice in the sector
  • support interoperability and collaboration between member organisations
  • improve engagement with industry in major projects and initiatives


Jeff and Alan took the time to explain the models to the group, and Nigel was able to discuss how he has used them in practise in his university, directly in the Essential Tool.

The group found the presentation extremely useful and enlightening.  We plan to provide the reference models as direct inputs into Essential, and also hope to create a university-specific Launchpad and potentially support for the recipe cards, which are coming soon.

Find out more about HERM – the Higher Education Reference Model here, or about how Essential can support universities in our blog here.

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