Norwegian Diploma Registry (Vitnemålsportalen) (by Jan Erik Johansen, PO in Unit for Vitnemålsportalen)
The Norwegian Diploma Registry (Vitnemålsportalen) has seen a large increase in sharing of educational results via EMREX in the last years. The number of EMREX sharing doubled from 2019 to 2020, from 28 000 to 57 000. The reason for this has been the growing number of web services connecting as EMREX clients to the Diploma Registry in the last couple of years, especially recruitment services.
Regular sharing of higher educational results are also on a steady rise, with 71 000 in 2018, 133 000 in 2019 and 164 000 in 2020.
The Diploma registry is a Norwegian service established in 2017 by Unit – The Norwegian Directorate for ICT and Joint Services in Higher Education and Research, commissioned by the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research.
The main goal of the Diploma Registry is to help individuals collect their results from higher education and share them with potential employers, educational institutions and other relevant recipients. The sharing is easy, safe and 100% digital. The use of the Diploma Registry is free of charge.
Since 2017 logins have nearly doubled year after year, with almost 600 000 in 2020. The Diploma Registry is now an established resource among the whole of the population, not only young people in an ongoing education.
Unit is in the process of expanding the scope of the service with other kinds of education, knowledge and skills, e.g. vocational schools, professional certificates, language tests, driver’s licences and more.
More information about the service can be found at https://www.vitnemalsportalen.no/english/
Norwegian Diploma Registry (Vitnemålsportalen)
Norwegian Home Builders’ Association wants to use EMREX
Unit manages the Norwegian Diploma registry – Vitnemålsportalen – which is the Norwegian node in the EMREX network.
Cooperation between Unit – the Directorate for ICT and joint services in higher education and research, and Norwegian Home Builders’ Association has been initiated to support the digitalization of the HSE (Health, Security, and Environment) Card. All those who carry out work on building and construction sites, including both Norwegian and foreign workers, must have an HSE card. To produce these cards, a lot of manual labour is involved, and the input is mostly paper based. The goal is to automate this process.
Among the information needed to set up an HSE card is documentation of credentials from education, which is data already included in Vitnemålsportalen. Addition information like results of recognition, driver’s licences, licences to run heavy machinery, documentation of skills and more is needed.
As part of this cooperation, Unit wants to provide this kind of data in Vitnemålsportalen, enable the owner of the data (the citizens themselves) to share the data with third parties like the home builders. This is also some of the background for the work started in EMREX to add additional data types to ELMO.
Unit hopes more organizations will join the work to describe the need for additional information. The work already done by Europass in providing support for entitlement as part of the EDCI format will be good input to this task.
European Commission’s European Student Card Initiative requires HEIs to exchange more data digitally and to make information more accessible to students. HEIs are expected to use the Erasmus Without Paper infrastructure to exchange data. By 2022 it will be compulsory to exchange inter-institutional agreements digitally. Increased number of student mobilities and virtual mobilities will significantly increase the number of transcripts that will have to be issued and sent to students/partner HEIs. Therefore, it is essential to simplify the process and to lessen the burden on IROs/Student Offices or other units issuing transcripts.
One possible solution is EMREX. “The purpose of EMREX, with its electronic data exchange solution, is to empower individuals to control their own student data and exchange throughout lifespan, across borders for various purposes.”
During the meeting EMREX has been presented in detail:
Technical workshop on changes in ELMO and EMREG
On January 29 over 30 attendants from 15 countries gathered online to discuss need for changes in the ELMO format, further cooperation with other organizations and needs for converters between different formats. Furthermore, a suggestion how to make the EMREX registry more robust and easier to maintain was presented.
EMREG is a centralized service that has to be available to all SMPs. It gives a list of all available NCPs, as well as other information necessary to establish communication with each of them. A proposal was presented for the registry model including technical and policy issues.
Original Architecture of the EMREX Registry
Target architecture of the EMREX Registry
Work with ELMO standard was also discussed. We have already enabled digitally signed diplomas and micro credentials to the existing structured ELMO data. EMREX is also cooperating with Enic-Naric organization within the new DigiNet project (Erasmus+). To do this, ELMO needs to be upgraded to process results of recognition.
Another important task brought up at the workshop was to move forward with exploring the relation between ELMO and Europass Digital Credentials Infrastructure (EDCI). When EDCI was designed, Europass did align this to the ELMO format. https://github.com/european-commission-europass/Europass-Learning-Model. We will bring up concrete examples of mapping between ELMO and EDCI, to ensure there will be no loss of information when converting data from ELMO to EDCI. Any findings of missing data from this exercise will be brought forward to Europass as a change proposal for EDCI. This work may lead to setting up converters to enable automatic data exchange from ELMO to EDCI, and vice versa.
Webinar “World’s smoothest cross-border mobility and daily life through digitalization”
Finland is holding the presidency on Nordic Council of Ministers this year. They are going to launch a project “World’s smoothest cross-border mobility and daily life through digitalization“. One part of the project is called “Studying in other Nordic countries and the three Baltic countries” and the National Agency for Education in Finland will be in charge of this project. The goal is to promote especially secondary school data transfer. In the kick-off webinar EMREX was presented as a possible solution to transfer data.
More information can be found at https://vm.fi/en/-/finland-to-promote-digitalisation-during-its-2021-presidency-of-nordic-council-of-ministers. The kick-off webinar was held in February 2021.
Single Digital Gateway
According to the introductory information which can be found at the SDG web page https://ec.europa.eu/growth/single-market/single-digital-gateway_en:
The single digital gateway will facilitate online access to the information, administrative procedures and assistance services that citizens and businesses need to get active in another EU country. By the end of 2020, citizens and companies moving across EU borders will easily be able to find out what rules and assistance services apply in their new residency. By the end of 2023 at the latest, they will be able to perform a number of procedures in all EU member states without any physical paperwork, like registering a car or claiming pension benefits
The relation to the activities in Single Digital Gateway (SDG), when it comes to credential data, should be explored. SDG has activities in the area of education, to support the following types of evidence:
- Evidence of completion of secondary education.
- Tertiary education diploma evidence.
- Tertiary education diploma supplement evidence.
Github repository for SDG sandbox is available at https://github.com/SEMICeu/SDG-sandbox.
The data sources for EWP, EMREX and Europass Digital Credentials are the same as for SDG when it comes to Tertiary education diploma evidence and Tertiary education diploma supplement evidence. For EMREX and Europass this is also the case for Evidence of completion of secondary education. To ensure a successful outcome of all these EU initiatives, they should be connected to discuss models and standards for exchanging this information.
The EMREX project funded by the Vietsch foundation is well on its way. The first part of the project “Industrializing the EMREX Registry and reviewing the ELMO standard” was finished earlier this year and the project group has reported the activities and results to the Vietsch foundation. The special circumstances with COVID-19 is making especially dissemination work more challenging but, regardless, also the second part of the project is also proceeding.
Additional information about the project and its advancement can be found here: https://www.vietsch-foundation.org/2020/08/05/emrex-project/.
Policy Group to support the EMREX work
According to the EMREX statutes the EMREX Executive Committee has the right to appoint a Policy Group (PG) to support EMREX work. The responsibility of the PG is to provide policy expertise to support the EMREX EC and EMREX work in general. The members of the PG may be invited to participate in EC meetings but they don’t have a vote in the meetings.
As the first member of the Policy Group the EMREX EC has appointed Guido Bacharach from Stiftung für Hochschulzulassung, Germany.