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Abstract: This article provides a general overview of how portfolio is used in education and then goes on to discuss the development of a generic, institution‐wide portfolio for students. We further provide a succinct summary and critical analysis of the educational principles underlying the use of portfolio in higher education. This is followed by an overview of the growing number of portfolio initiatives currently underway at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. As the use of portfolio is a natural complement to competence‐oriented educational innovations, the Educational Innovation and Educational Service Centre (OSC) of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel is developing a generic electronic portfolio system. The functional and technical requirements for implementation of eportfolio have been established on the basis of the lessons learned from practical experience. The choice of an open source development environment made it possible to get a prototype up and running relatively rapidly, thanks to the availability of built‐in tools such as user management, security management, content management and plug‐ins. The open character of the system offers the best guarantees for its future development, flexibility and the possibility of linking it to other projects and databanks. The article concludes with a description of the portfolio system at its present stage of development together with an exploration of the future possibilities of eportfolio.