eDiplomas platform reaches new heights in Greek legislative policy and digital transformation of Higher Education Institutes

eDiplomas platform is moving steadily forward in Greece through its recent incorporation within the Greek legislation system and therefore firmly establishing its critical role within the digital transformation process of Higher Education Institutes (HEI).

The aforementioned legislation describes in detail the provisions of the eDiplomas service and the strong association between the information systems of Higher Education Institutes (HEI) and the Hellenic National Recognition and Information Center (Hellenic N.A.R.I.C) towards making the service available to the general public. This legislative action elevates the eDiplomas service from a pilot service to a country-wide standard that via technology innovation is transcending the status-quo when it comes to the authenticity validation of diplomas issued by the Greek Higher Education Institutes (HEIs). The legislation describes in detail the capabilities provided by the eDiplomas platform, the services offered to the stakeholders ranging from, members of the general public, educational institutions, businesses, public and private organizations, governmental authorities, public administration houses, etc. 

The Privacy Issue

Privacy is at the top of the agenda when it comes to personal data and sharing. The platform uses technologies which ensure the protection of private data as well as the authenticity of the degrees' information. By making the submission and degree verification processes simple and fast for the owner as well as the client, it is, at the same time, attempted to eliminate the phenomenon of fake and counterfeit degrees. The key design principles of the platform include: 

  1. It holds no diplomas data
  2. It incorporates signing and encryption mechanisms to offer enhanced privacy, and
  3. It follows a data centric design versus a document centric design.

The platform boasts on its approach to security, ease and interoperability aspects, by using digital signing and cryptography technologies, enhanced UIX and well-defined standards.

The Support System

As far as operations and support is concerned, we have currently implemented the Ticketing Subsystem, where citizens can submit requests if diplomas search fails to bring results, and also completed the eDiplomas Store Driver, for SIS requests dispatching and error handling.  

The list of Greek Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) featured into the platform is constantly increasing and discussions regarding the integration of the Supreme Council for Civil Personnel Selection (ASEP) is well underway.

Moving Forward

The goals of eDiplomas for 2021 include:

  • Expand the deployment across all 25 Greek HEIs, and go beyond by supporting other educational levels,
  • Complete the development of the peripheral subsystems (Registry of Diplomas Templates, Auditing, Organizations Management),
  • Synergize with corresponding initiatives across Europe (EBSI, EMREX, etc.), and
  • Release the platform as Open-Source Software. 

In the framework of the PRIViLEDGE project we are evaluating in a parallel thread, methods to incorporate advanced privacy enhanced and protocols that leverage the latest scientific results of the project mostly in the field of transaction auditing and accounting. The ultimate goal is to enable diploma holders to take control of their own data without sacrificing the usability and the efficiency of the process. Finally, connect with the European Interoperability Hubs for Higher Education to exchange Diploma transcripts is another significant goal in the e-Diplomas roadmap.

Written by Charalampos Vassiliou, GUnet

Picture by Logan Isbell, Unsplash.