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Enterprise Architecture Business Reference Models for Higher Education

The CAUDIT Enterprise Architecture Commons for Higher Education is a repository of standardised reference architectures that describe the structure of higher education institutions.

The models available here are the result of work with fifteen universities over seven years, and provide a generalised view of how universities are organised and the information they use.

These resources can be used in a variety of ways, such as a starter kit to accelerate an institution's business and data architecture, a reference point to explore commonalities and differentiators for the institution, and a communication tool to engage stakeholders.

The Architecture Commons will help CAUDIT members to:

  • increase the value and efficiency of their architecture teams,
  • facilitate the exchange of architectural knowledge and good practice in the sector,
  • support interoperability and collaboration between member organisations, and
  • improve engagement with industry in major projects and initiatives.

The Architecture Commons will be reviewed and updated on a regular basis.  It is curated by the CAUDIT Enterprise Architecture Community of Practice.  Read the media release here

License and Usage

The higher education Business and Data Reference Models provided here have been developed by FromHereOn (previously known as Enterprise Architects) , and licensed to CAUDIT for use by its members.

The Architecture Commons is available free of charge to all CAUDIT members under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License.

You are free to reproduce, customise, and share, in whole or part, the artefacts published here under this licence.

By downloading this material you are agreeing:

  • to make any modifications available for re-inclusion in the Architecture Commons,
  • to attribute CAUDIT and Enterprise Architects in any material produced from these artefacts,
  • to share the material published here, or any derivatives you produce, under the same conditions.

The CAUDIT Higher Education EA Reference Architecture

The reference models published here are provided in formats that will allow them to be loaded into common modelling and repository tools.

Business Reference Model

The CAUDIT Higher Education Business Reference Model describes a standard set of business architecture elements relevant to higher education. It can be used by business stakeholders, enterprise architects and technology strategists to discuss the effectiveness of the organisation, its needs and challenges.


ID Name Description Format
B1 Poster

The poster summarises the Business Reference Model.  It shows value chains for higher education, and the business capabilities that enable them. V2.0.1

B2 Catalogue

The catalogue lists and describes the business capabilities identified in the Business Reference Model. Version 2.0.1 includes the latest community reviewed descriptions, and all major updates to the capabilities as per the change log.

B3 Capability Change Log

The change log identifies all removed, added, and changed capabilities with notes on each change. Note: capability codes have been maintained to align with previous versions, any significant changes to capabilities have resulted in their addition or removal and the retirement of their capability code


Data Reference Model

The CAUDIT Higher Education Enterprise Architecture Data Reference Model describes a standard set of data architecture elements relevant to higher education. It provides a common language for business stakeholders, enterprise architects and technology strategists to communicate clearly.


ID Name Description Format
D1 Poster The poster summarises the Data Reference Model. It defines the primary data entities used in higher education, grouped into topics. V1.0.3 PDF
D2 Catalogue The catalogue lists and describes the data entities defined by the Data Reference Model. V1.0.1 Excel XML

Further Information

Member organisations are welcome to contribute to the development and improvement of the Architecture Commons.

Queries from CAUDIT member institutions can be directed to:

Nigel Foxwell
James Cook University
07 4781 4464
Jeff Kennedy
The University of Auckland
+64 21 446 049

Queries from international representatives can be directed to:

International Higher education member associations affiliated with CHEITA may have access to the material by emailing:

Anne Kealley

This initiative is a collaboration between CAUDIT and FromHereOn under a Memorandum of Agreement signed on 6th April 2016.