Picture a student who lost their physical diploma in fleeing a crisis or war back home and is seeking to apply to schools in Canada. Picture a student coming from another country and is struggling to have their credentials recognized in the Canadian labour market. Picture a mature student looking to make a career switch but is struggling to find all their academic documents to apply to school or a new job.
The Power of a Digital Credential Wallet
13 October, 2022
For students, accessing the physical and digital versions of our transcripts, graduation awards, credentials, badges and other academic documents can be somewhat of a nightmare. It often costs money to access our official transcripts and we must manage all our credentials in a safe and secure manner. As a student myself, it took a while to gather all my credentials from previous schools to apply to graduate programs, exchange opportunities and scholarships. Before the COVID-19 pandemic began, we often had to wait days, even weeks, to receive our transcript. Thankfully, a lot of our credentials can be accessed online now, but we are still not fully in control of them.
Members of the Association of Registrars of the Universities and Colleges of Canada (ARUCC) recognized the barriers learners faced in accessing higher education and the labour market. They were also cognizant of the roadblocks colleges and universities were facing in terms of document fraud, credential verification and inefficiencies in document management.
In the fall of 2020, ARUCC along with other post-secondary partners, launched MyCreds™ | MesCertif™, which aims to facilitate learners’ access to higher education and employment by providing document and data exchange through virtual credit wallets. It is the first and only national, bilingual system of its kind in Canada.
As a student, MyCreds™ enables access to a virtual credential wallet that supports your learning journey between and beyond Canadian post-secondary studies. It provides control over your credentials because learners can view and share their official, verified credentials on a 24/7 basis, anytime, anywhere.
For the higher education community, MyCreds™ provides a digital document and data exchange network in a trusted and secure environment. The network advances interoperability through innovative practices, such as self-sovereign identity and blockchain technology, in the post-secondary sector. This will contribute to a better process for reviewing admissions and student exchanges/transfers as well as distributing matriculation documents.
The broader implications of a digital credential wallet cannot be understated. Not only will it be a platform to store diplomas, it will also store your micro-credentials, which is a growing pathway to learning for students and professionals. 24/7 access to credentials means learners can more easily access study permits, funding, employment and other educational opportunities.
The shift towards digital credentials is happening all over the world. Digitary, the underlying engine that powers MyCreds™, is enabling millions of learners to access and share their verified digital credentials and academic achievements globally as part of its worldwide network of over 3 million learners and presence in over 135 countries. In Australia and New Zealand, every major university is participating in My eQuals, their trusted platform for viewing, sharing and verifying tertiary credentials. Significant advancement is also being made on a global scale in the development of Verifiable Credentials and self-sovereign identity to reinforce learner agency and bring all credentials to one secure place.
Since the launch of MyCreds™, 45 universities and colleges have signed on. Just recently, the province of Nova Scotia signed on all its post-secondary institutions to the network. The team behind MyCreds™ is hoping that the platform will be widely used by all institutions across Canada and other countries.
While education has become more accessible over the decades, learners continue to navigate a complex and bureaucratic system to gain access to their credentials. Digital transformation in the post-secondary sector is long overdue. By offering a secure digital wallet for learners, MyCreds™ is seeking to promote learner and social mobility, as well as innovation and sustainability in the field. You can learn more about the platform at mycreds.ca.
Written by Celine Thomas
Celine is currently completing her Master of Public Policy at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy to advance her career in education equity and policy. She is currently on exchange at Sciences Po in Paris and has direct experience living the realities of obtaining transcripts and credentials from different schools from across Canada (McGill University and the University of Toronto) and around the world (National University of Singapore and Sciences Po).