Nine universities team up to create global infrastructure for digital academic credentials

Researchers set sights on a new standard for issuing, sharing, and verifying academic credentials.
Suzanne Day


While digital technology has started to transform education by enabling new learning pathways that are customized to each individual’s needs, the way that educational institutions issue and manage academic credentials has not changed much. Nine leading universities announced that they have formed the Digital Credentials collaboration in order to create a trusted, distributed, and shared infrastructure standard for issuing, storing, displaying, and verifying academic credentials.

“Currently, those who successfully complete a degree from an institution must go back to that institution — sometimes by mail or even in person — each time there is a need to verify the academic credentials earned,” says Sanjay Sarma, MIT vice president for open learning. “This can be a complicated problem, especially if the learner no longer has access to the university. Such is the case with many refugees, immigrants, and displaced populations.” 

The universities working on this effort include Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands; Harvard University Division of Continuing Education; Hasso Plattner Institute at the University of Potsdam in Germany; MIT; Tecnologico de Monterrey in Mexico; Technical University of Munich in Germany; University of California at Berkeley; University of California at Irvine; and the University of Toronto in Canada. Continue story...