heiCHAT - Instant messaging

With heiCHAT, the University Computing Centre offers all employees, doctoral candidates and students an instant messaging service based on the Matrix communication protocol. This service allows encrypted and data-protection compliant communication via chat, audio und video in real-time.

It is not necessary to register with the service in order to use it. You can log in using your Uni-ID.

The website https://matrix-im.uni-heidelberg.de and a mobile or desktop client can be used to access the service.

To use the service on your smartphone or via desktop clients, we recommend the open source client Element, which you can download from the respective app stores or from https://element.io. We have provided links for the corresponding instructions below (English translations will be available soon).

In practice, chat rooms can be used by any number of participants. Audio and video calls are possible between individuals. For audio and video conferences with a larger number of participants you can use the conferencing service heiCONF.

heiCHAT can be used very efficiently in digital education and supports interactive elements of teaching, for example self-organised student group work or question-and-answer chats between lecturers and students.


Operating information

  • For chat communication, all Riot.IM clients were tested successfully
  • For the use of VoIP, the web client was tested successfully with different browsers and the desktop client (Riot.IM) with the operating systems Windows, macOS and Linux (Ubuntu)

Since the service is still new, we would be grateful for feedback in case you encounter any issues.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Communication via this particular Matrix server is transport encrypted. Optional end-to-end-encryption can be activated for rooms and direct chats.

This particular Matrix server is operated by the University Computing Centre. This means that your data is stored in the computing centre of Heidelberg University.

No, we do not take part in the global Matrix federation. Communication is only possible between employees of Heidelberg University.

To use the service, you need to agree to the terms of use and the privacy policy.

At your first login you will be invited to the "Server Notices" room by the automated server administrator "@administrator:matrix-im.uni-heidelberg.de".

After accepting the invitation and clicking on the link provided, you will be taken to the page with the terms of use and privacy policy (currently only available in German).

Read these carefully and, if you agree with them, please click on "Einverstanden".

To ensure that your conversations remain private and are only read by those who are supposed to read them, only closed rooms are allowed on the university's matrix server. Closed rooms cannot be found via the search function, so you can invite the users yourself and determine who enters the rooms.

Additional Links