Yearly Archives: 2020


Nebrija University offers its students digital certification of their diplomas

(Article published by Nebrija University with the same title on its website)

Graduates of Nebrija University already have their degree certified in digital mode. With this verification, through blockchain technology and the SmartDegrees platform, graduate students in any of the studies that make up the educational offer of Nebrija can accredit their degree to companies and recruiters in a fast and effective way. Now, some 170 students who have completed their undergraduate studies in the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 academic years benefit from this initiative – listed under the name of Nebrija Smart Portfolio. Later, it will be open to the rest of graduates. Furthermore, the initiative complies with the European Commission’s Verifiable Credentials standard.

Through a simple form, each student, if they wish so, gives their approval to register their undergraduate degree digitally. In this approval, he also has the possibility of accrediting his educational background at Nebrija University as his TFG, his internships in companies or his professional and language skills. According to Clara Vizoso, professor of the Master’s Degree in ICT for Education and Learning Digital and responsible for the Nebrija Smart Portfolio Project, Nebrija University, in its path of innovation and digitization, has decided to put the blockchain system into operation, “an incredibly secure platform”, with great potential that allows through Smart Contracts introduce changes in the way of issuing academic degrees, providing agility, transparency, independence and a new way of transacting with institutions and with students ”. “One of the problems our graduates encounter when applying to a job is that of demonstrating their studies and activities. Thanks to the blockchain technology -which ensures the inviolability of their certificate- and the collaboration agreement signed with the company SmartDegrees, provider of registration services, students will be able to access their certifications in a digital and immediate way, directly through the SmartDegrees mobile application, which facilitates job search, enrollment in new studies and future access to oppositions. Diplomas and certificates go from being a static element on paper or in an electronically signed file, with room for fraud, to being secure digital assets and, therefore, dynamic, under the exclusive control of the graduate”, adds Vizoso.

Nebrija Smart Portfolio is especially useful in this time characterized by the health crisis and the elimination of face-to-face procedures. In addition, it affects the employability of the students themselves by facilitating the recruiter to verify their skills. This proposal will also increase, in a second phase, membership in the Nebrija Alumni Club, the group of alumni of the Nebrija University, which, sponsored by the Antonio de Nebrija Foundation, creates a link between the university and the graduates and postgraduates who have walked the classrooms and hallways of the different campuses.

Media coverage: El EconomistaCoinTelegraphBolsa ManíaBit2Me Crypto News

Building the digital credential infrastructure for the future

Digital Credentials Consortium, was founded in 2018 by 12 universities in Germany, Canada, the United States, the Netherlands, Italy and Mexico, under the leadership of MIT, to modernize the concept of credentials, bringing benefits to learners and to relying parties (such as employers) by improving how skills and competencies are conveyed and recognized. Its mission is to create a trusted, distributed, and shared infrastructure that will become the standard for issuing, storing, displaying, and verifying academic credentials, digitally.

It has just completed his white paper “Building the digital credential infrastructure for the future“, where it establishes the design specifications of the associated system architecture and offers a more powerful and convenient way to share, manage and verify credentials:

  • It has a holistic approach and not biased to specific solutions or platforms, facilitating the convergence of other initiatives.
  • His effort is focused on the “envelope” and the system that provides safe delivery and storage. The “envelope” contains information about who issued the credential and to whom it was issued. Both the identities and the integrity of their content can be verified to detect fraud or tampering.
  • Recommends the Verifiable Credentials (VC) standard and its data model, performed by the European Commission, within the framework of its European Blockchain Services Infrastructure (EBSI) initiative, because it meets the requirements established by the consortium and offers the following properties:
    • Digital, tamper proof and machine-readable.
    • Learner is at the center of exchanges of their data; their consent is required to exchange.
    • Learner may cryptographically prove the credential is about them.
    • Verification does not require consulting the issuer.
    • Content of the credential can conform to a variety of schemas and vocabularies chosen by the issuer.
    • Robust consideration of privacy, security, accessibility, and internationalization recommendations, making it suitable for high-stakes credentials such as transcripts.

Digital Credentials Consortium does not develop commercial products and services, but works with technology companies and platforms to create an ecosystem of options to choose from, as well as with employers to integrate verification services into their contracting workflow.

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SmartDegrees completes a second year of major milestones

SmartDegrees has finished the year 2019 in the best way, with the signing of an ambitious agreement with the Nebrija University. Thanks to this agreement, SmartDegrees will certify by means of its distributed ledger technology, blockchain, all the diplomas issued by this university and, in addition, will do so following the new standard of verifiable credentials, of the European Commission, which allows interoperability between the institutions.

This collaboration culminates a 2019 year of full growth for SmartDegrees, in which the European Commission has provided it with its Seal of Excellence (Horizon 2020 quality certificate – the largest research and innovation program in the European Union – in compliance with its criteria of excellence, impact, quality and efficiency in the implementation), in addition to granting financing to accelerate its expansion. The company anticipates in this way a technology that will become essential in the medium term.

SmartDegrees also already collaborates fluently with the following institutions:

Microsoft for Startups initiative

This innovative and disruptive model has not gone unnoticed and has obtained adherance to Microsoft for Startups initiative, consolidating its university certification platform, by hosting the blockchain nodes in the Azure cloud, improving security and scalability, in addition to multiple advantages for its expansion, for the benefit of universities.

In addition and in order to complement the above, SmartDegrees has expanded its services, incorporating a business strategic consulting activity, which it develops through SmartDegrees Consulting.

SmartDegrees began providing its services for the registration and certification of blockchain degrees at the University Carlos III de Madrid, in July 2018, to help university graduates in the labor market, promoting services around the degree and guaranteeing the validity of diplomas.

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