Canadian university to issue blockchain-based diplomas to 4,800 students

The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) will issue blockchain-based diplomas to more than 4,800 students, the university announced. In partnership with On-Demand Education Marketplace (ODEM), the institution becomes the first Canadian university to issue education credentials on the blockchain.

SAIT partnered with ODEM in December in a pilot conducted on the Ethereum blockchain to test the issuance of digital diplomas. The pilot involved 25 graduates who became the first-ever Canadian students to receive their credentials on the blockchain.

With the digital diplomas, graduates will be able to share their academic achievements with their recruiters digitally. For the recruiters, the validity of any documents presented by a graduate will be much easier to verify through the use of the immutable blockchain ledger. Background checks will also be easier to confirm, cutting down the chances of fraud.

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

SAIT’s graduating class of 2019 will be the “the largest-ever graduating class at a Canadian higher-education institution to be issued blockchain-based diplomas,” according to the university.

ODEM’s CEO Richard Maaghul said that it was his company’s belief that students should have total control over their own education records, which blockchain technology makes possible. The startup, whose platform is built on the Ethereum blockchain, will continue to work with learning institutions to make education more accessible, transferable and verifiable, Maaghul commented.

Universities have continued to turn to blockchain technology in the issuance of credentials. The University of Basel became the first Swiss university to issue diplomas on the blockchain last year in partnership with blockchain startup Proxeus. The university stated that the move would help solve authenticity challenges in an era where faking documents has become all too common and easy.

The blockchain island of Malta hasn’t lagged behind either, announcing earlier this year that it would issue all the education credentials for graduated students on the blockchain. The country partnered with Learning Machine, an edu-tech blockchain startup to issue all certificates, from universities to high schools, on the blockchain.

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