June 14, 2019

Blockchain diplomas bring international verification to degrees

By Lucy Ingham

A partnership between ODEM and the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) is giving graduating students blockchain diplomas alongside their traditional paper-based certificates.

Under the collaboration, 4,800 students graduating this year at the Calgary, Canada-based institution will receive virtual, blockchain-based diplomas that can be shared directly with recruiters and would-be employers around the world.

The use of blockchain ensures these diplomas cannot be faked or manipulated, guaranteeing both security and authenticity.

“SAIT graduates are well-positioned for success with employers in today’s rapidly changing digital landscape,” said SAIT president and CEO Dr David Ross.

“By making valued SAIT credentials accessible through blockchain, our graduates and employers will continue to benefit from this innovative technology that’s responsive, authentic and widely accessible.”

Blockchain diplomas follow successful trial

The rollout of the blockchain diplomas project, which is built on the Ethereum blockchain, follows a pilot project in December.

That project, which saw 25 graduates from SAIT’s Pre-Employment Automotive Service Technician programme given virtual diplomas alongside their paper certificates, was the first time blockchain had been used to provide academic credentials at a post-secondary level.

Today’s announcement is the largest of its kind at any Canadian higher education institution. It is hoped that it will provide additional verification for graduate’s degrees, protecting holders against claims of fraud and ensuring they have a digital copy that can be easily shared as needed.

“Education is one of life’s most valuable assets,” said ODEM Chief Executive Officer Richard Maaghul.

“We believe that students should have control over their own records, and blockchain technology makes that possible.

“We’re delighted to play a role in empowering SAIT graduates to own their education over a lifetime of learning. By working together, we’ve only just begun to explore how blockchain technology can make education more accessible, affordable, transferable and verifiable.”


Read more: Techxit: British blockchain urged to reject “harsh” EU crypto law for tech-friendly Brexit


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