The Groningen Declaration Network Annual Meeting was held in Paris in April, with presenters and attendees sharing a wealth of information that lived up to the setting at the former Université Pierre et Marie Curie, now part of the Sorbonne Universités.
Plenary and keynote topics included the challenges and opportunities presented by digitization, qualifications frameworks, blockchain applications, and GDPR and privacy issues, especially as they relate to student mobility. There were also updates on the work of the various task forces (Dissemination, Empowering Cross Border Enrolment and Student Loan Portability, Pilots, and Verification Policies and Best Practices).
Of particular interest to credential evaluators, however, were some of the concurrent sessions. There were discussions about student records, and what types of information they should include now that they are not tied to paper. Proponents feel that digital records can give a broader view of the overall collegiate experience. Other session topics included an update from Australia and New Zealand on the progress of the My eQuals platform, and an update on the PESC GEO Code.
Highlights of the breakout sessions included two presentations on the state of student records in India. The National Academic Depository (NAD) was developed as an online store house of digitized academic awards presented by participating Indian institutions. The University Grants Commission (UGC) was authorized to enter into an agreement with two organizations to host the records:
Both of these interoperable digital depositories gave a presentation in Paris. These depositories will become essential resources for anyone working with Indian credentials.
Aside from the formal presentations, there was ample time for networking and socializing. A signing ceremony was held as fifteen organizations became new signatories to the Groningen Declaration, and social events were held on a university barge on the Seine and at the Museé des Arts et Metiérs.
Margaret Wenger is Senior Director of Evaluation. She has been with ECE since 1990. She is a member of the Standards Committee of the Association for International Credential Evaluation Professionals (TAICEP), and is the TAICEP representative on the Groningen Declaration Network Task Force on Verification Policies and Best Practices.
ECE and the Groningen Declaration 3-part series: