Groningen Declaration Network Newsletter, Vol. III/i, Feb 2018  
2018 Programme Overview
preliminary programme 18 - 20 april


18 April dr. Georges Haddad, President, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - Opening keynote "(On the Sorbonne Process, Recognition and Digitization") (Title TBC)

19 April dr. Francis Fabri, Permanent Secretary, Ministry for Education and Employment, Malta - Keynote, title TBC

20 April Stig Arne Skjerven, Global Recognition Convention and Digitization (Title TBC)

20 April sir John Daniel, Closing keynote - "Weaving all of this in one" (Title TBC)


18 April Stamenka Uvalić-Trumbić, Former Chief, UNESCO Higher Education Section

19 April dr. Judith Eaton, President, CHEA Council for Higher Education Accreditation, USA

20 April dr. Hillegje van 't Land, Secretary-General, IAU International Association of Universities, France



Andy Dowling, Digitary. Blockchain and other digital credential approaches: an exploration.

Hidde-Jan Jongsma, Groningen Blockchain Field Lab. StudyBits is a blockchain application development that will provide trusted and secured credentials, certificates and diplomas supporting access, mobility and excellence in Education and Science, Talent Management and Life Long Learning.

Caroline Bélan-Ménagier, Confederal University Leonardo da Vinci and French Erasmus+ Agency - The EXTRAsup project toolkit and Endorsement of Open Badges to foster student mobility. As validation arrangements regarding informal and non-formal learning are still a complex issue in higher education institutions (HEIs) in Europe, the French ministry for higher education has launched, with stakeholders, the national EXTRAsup project, funded by the Erasmus + program, on the issue of competences acquired by students during extracurricular activities.

Rodney Parks, Elon University. The Comprehensive Student Record Movement Today in Theory and Practice. Elon's Visual Experiential Transcript is a significant departure from the traditional paper-based student transcript. This digital-only document synthesizes the overall collegiate experience for employers and stakeholders.

Anthony Manahan, University of Melbourne - Everyday digital. Credential accessibility and securit will be explored in the context of how digital credentialing can leverage other technologies, such as robotics and blockchain, as well as micro credentialing, to both improve efficiency but also potentially relieve.

Hennie Bulstra, Vera Mol and Dik van der Wal, DUO. "Embark safely on the wild digital current". In this session we tell you more about Open Badges, Emrex, Blockchain, Encryption and digital diplomas. We will try to explain different new concepts in a comprehensible way, distinguish between hype and reality and show how the future of credentialing and the exchange of digital student data might become reality.

David Vannozzi, CINECA - Open Badges in the Higher Education student lifecycle.

Andy Tobin, SOVRIN - Lifelong Student Identity. A secure, self sovereign digital identity is far more than just a digitised degree on some blockchain …

Franklin A. Shaffer, CGFNS International, Inc. The digital transformation in credentials assessment requires collaboration across multiple stakeholders with a goal of producing a credentials and career continuum superhighway that could be used for pre-professional mobility, continued higher learning and professional development, as well as digital credentials and credentials depositories

Alexander Grech, StrategyWorks, and Natalie Smolenski, Learning Machine - Global, Mobile Learners: A Self-Sovereign Future.

Chris Jagers, Learning Machine - The Blockchain in Education, explaining the underlying technology and its application in the realm of academic records

Tessa Mouha, AHOVOKS - Belgian Blockchain Proof of Concept, presented by the Flemish Government and the Federation Wallonie-Bruxelle, with focus on checking authenticity and exchanging diploma data.


Sharon Robertson, VETASSESS - Beyond Qualifications. Qualifications do not provide the necessary confidence or understanding about an individual's capabilities. What other key areas of understanding are necessary to support global mobility and employment?

Michael Dugan, Federation of State Medical Boards, USA - The use of Digital Credentials in Medical Licensing in the United States.


Jonna Korhonen, EMREX. Update. The Emrex network with its electronic data exchange solution empowers individuals to control their own electronic student data and exchange throughout lifespan across borders e.g. in applying for studies, getting employed or recognizing a degree.


Jay Segeth, My eQuals - My eQuals Program, sharing learnings of the first 18 months in operation.


Joanne Duklas, [ARUCC and more] - Advancing Student Mobility for Canada. Canada's ARUCC Groningen and Student Mobility Initiative is a multi-year project with the vision of advancing national and international student mobility through trusted student data exchange at the national and international level. Our partners include the Pan-Canadian Consortium on Admissions and Transfer (PCCAT), the Canadian Post-secondary Education Standards Council (CanPESC), and the Canadian University Council of Chief Information Officers (CUCCIO). We invite you to join this session to gain an update regarding this Canadian project


Shelly ShiLifang, CHESICC - On the Cyber Security Law of China, enforced on June 1st, 2017, and how CHESICC facilitates global student mobility by providing access to the verification of Chinese higher education student qualification data


Guido Bacharach, Stiftung für Hochschulzulassung - Bracing for Europe and beyond: A German perspective on EMREX


Joydeep Dutta and Amee Shroff, CDSL. CDSL NAD Presentation. CDSL embarked on a journey to bring over 1000 Academic Institutions on one platform - CVL National Academic Depository (a wholly owned subsidiary of CDSL)- to digitalise/demat Academic Awards in 2010. In 2017, the project received an offlicial nod of approval from the Ministry of Human Resource Development and a mandate for implementing NAD was passed under Government of India's 'Digital India' initiative.

Vijay Gupta and Prashant Prachand, NSDL. NSDL NAD Presentation. India has a diverse landscape of academic institutions … these are diverse in constitution, administration, regulation, age of the institution, kind of automation and digitization. The common thread that runs across is to serve the students with quality education. While India has made great strides in the area of IT, education records continue to be an area that is still dominated by paper records and manual processing. In July 2017, the Federal government of India decided that a National Depository (NAD) should be set up to host academic awards from all HEIs. The NAD aspires to bring all HEIs together on a common platform, develop mature data standards, enable online and secure issuance of academic awards to well identified students, and facilitate digital access and verification. NAD is supported by the Indian Aadhaar authentication infrastructure, which uniquely identifies each resident. The NAD is offered through two providers, NSDL and CDSL. This session presents the NSDL NAD experience to its global counter-parts.


Melanie Gottlieb, AACRAO and Rick Torres, NSC. GDPR and Higher Education Privacy Standards: A US Perspective. With the implementation date of May 25 looming, higher education institutions around the globe grapple with this far reaching data protection regulation. Panelists will discuss the implications of GDPR from a US perspective and lead a participant discussion of the implications of international data privacy trends on internationalization efforts in higher education.

Bastiaan van Vliet, Paul Goossens, Ira Helsloot. Integral Safe Higher Education. - HEIs have a unique 'open' character, due to their social assignment. This open character is vital to create the optimal setting to learn, teach and research. HEIs also have to offer a safe environment (digital, physical, social) to their (international) students, teachers, researchers and staff. In the Netherlands, this challenge is addressed by the program 'Safe and Open Higher Education', a cooperation of HEIs. This program would like to present and share three deliverables.

Florian Rampelt, KIRON, Dominic Orr, Peter van der Hijden. "Bologna Digital", Discussion Paper. With support from Kiron, the presenters have taken the initiative to draft a discussion paper entitled 'Bologna Digital". The paper was written with the deliberate intention to influence the political debate in the run-up to the May 24/25 Bologna Ministerial Meeting in Paris and to build a 'coalition of the willing'. The aim is to ensure that digitalization will get a prominent place in the Ministerial Communiqué (agenda setting document) and the subsequent Bologna Action Plan (follow-up). The paper is also a response to the Digital Education Action Plan published by the European Commission on 17 January 2018.


João Bacelar, Erasmus without Paper. How the world's biggest student exchange programme is going digital. This session will present the latest findings from several EU funded projects, explain how they are combining their strengths to address current challenges and anticipate the impact of new flagship initiatives.


Mayela Celis, HCCH. How to authenticate the origin of public documents if the need arises?


Borhene Chakroun, UNESCO - Digital technologies are creating new opportunities and challenges for skills development and recognition globally. Digital learners' records and open data sources are complementing traditional qualifications repositories, while challenging the conventional models of credential evaluation. With these changes, many questions are being asked about trustworthiness of data, interoperability of systems, and most critically the ubiquity of the standards that govern the new and dynamic landscape. The presentation will consider these changes and will argue for increased synergies between these developments and the quality assurance systems that have become closely associated with the implementation of a new generation of qualifications frameworks internationally. The presentation will also offer an update regarding the UNESCO ongoing work on world reference levels to support recognition of skills and qualifications across-borders.

dr Shirley Lloyd: Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) South Africa - South African Steering Mechanisms for Mutual Recognition of Qualifications Agreements: Enhancing student articulation and mobility globally.

Melinda Szabo, EQAR - DEQAR, the Database of External Quality Assurance Results and decisions.


Melanie Gottlieb, AACRAO. The Mobility Agenda - Barriers and Opportunities. Mobility is a multi-dimensional goal that requires a coordination of efforts at every level--government, organization, and institution. As the GDN paves the digital path for student mobility, how does the work of ENIC-NARIC, AACRAO EDGE, and other such organizations align with GDN? How do comparative education research, policy and politics support or impede mobilty? Where are the opportunities for stronger alignment and how do we get there?


W. Matt Bemis, University of South California and Emily Tse, IERF. PESC Geo Code: A Use Case Study.


The stichting (Foundation) Groningen Declaration Network (GDN) was established as an International Public Benefit Foundation under Dutch private law on 20 December 2016. The foundation GDN is incorporated and registered with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce under Business Registration Number 67518613 and RSIN Number 857045283 (RSIN is the legal entities and joint cooperation ventures information number). The GDN is listed in the EU Transparency Register under number 238535130318-52 as of 21 February 2018. The Foundation's Office is located at Nolenslaan 13, 9722 NK Groningen, The Netherlands.