University of Tartu

The University of Tartu is a large organisation and therefore uses digital signatures in many different administration processes. In order to achieve the goal of the current study of digital signing client servicing in the UT was observed on the basis of the operations relating to students. There were 18,400 students as of 1 January 2011. The documents that are the most frequently signed by students are tuition
fee contracts, various applications (e.g. admission applications, applications for
the VÕTA (Programme for Consideration of Previous Studies and Work Experience programme), doctorate contracts, etc.

Nine faculties, four colleges and the Office of Academic Affairs work with students.
The servicing process varies in different structural units. In general: contracts are prepared by the university’s specialist and approved internally if necessary. The document is then signed by the student, and then by the representative of the university. As for applications, students send these documents to the university or fill in the relevant form online. It will then be processed on the basis of its content and the area it concerns. Digitally signed documents move electronically, by e-mail.

The UT generally uses three variants having documents signed by hand:

  • the university’s specialists send the contract to the student by post, the student signs it and sends it back
  • the contract is sent to the student by e-mail, the student prints it out, signs it and sends it back
  • the student comes to the specialist to sign the document
Customer service time spent per customer signing the contract by hand 15 min
Average number of pages in the document 2 lk
Average number of copies 2 tk
Documents signed by hand in one month 7120tk
Documents sent by mail in percentage 10%


Implementation of the digital signature:

The first registered digitally signed documents appeared in the UT’s document management system in 2008. Use of digital signatures is growing every year, and it has increased depending on the willingness of the persons
who sign documents to use it. Also on whether digital signing is supported by work and administration processes.

According to the calculator the savings would be

the following: