I delivered a keynote address entitled “Towards a Sustainable Future for International Student Mobility” at The Eighth Annual Groningen Declaration Network (GDN) Meeting hosted by UPAEP in the city of Puebla, Mexico, from 24 to 26 April 2019.
One of my core argument was that the issues of access and affordability are becoming more severe for international students from low and middle-income countries. This is because of increasing tuition fees on one side and decreasing work opportunities on the other side. Sustaining the mobility of international students requires that higher education institutions recognize the diversity of international student segments and innovate by complementing traditional student mobility with innovative modes of cost-reduction through unbundling, digitalization, and transnational partnerships.
.@DrEducationBlog kicking off day 2 of #GDN2019 with nice stat that we’ll have 2.3 m more globally mobile students but lower income countries seeing no change in tertiary enrolments- rising tide not raising all boats pic.twitter.com/METyjJVNKz
— Amy Baker (@amybakerThePIE) April 25, 2019
The theme of the GDN conference was “Creating the New World for Academic and Professional Mobility.” The mission of GDN is to enhance student mobility and provide credential integrity and security for digital student academic data globally. More than 100 organizations have signed the Groningen Declaration in support of the building a digital credentialing ecosystem.
UNESCO in its report entitled “Digital credentialing: implications for the recognition of learning across borders” calls for in its report, “to reach a common international approach where all aspects of a person’s learning are electronically documented, authenticated and can be accessed at any time and anywhere, shared and amended by the owner or by an authorized party”.
Some of the examples of digital credentialing practices included:
– The initiative of Linnaeus University, Sweden to go paperless by issuing digital degree certificates to students
– Adoption of Blockcerts, the global open standard for blockchain credentials at Tecnológico de Monterrey
– My eQuals platform of Australian and NZ universities to securely host and authenticate digital academic records and transcripts
Keynote Address by Borhene Chakroun, Director for Policies and Lifelong Learning Systems Division, UNESCO shared the upcoming UNESCO’s Global Convention on the Recognition of Higher Education Qualifications and its goal to establish universal procedures for the fair, transparent and non-discriminatory recognition of foreign higher education qualifications.
Keynote Address by Dr. Venkataraman Balaji Vice President, Commonwealth of Learning highlighted the importance of Data Sovereignty for stakeholder collaboration in managing cross-boundary student mobility especially in the context of online learning and digital credentialing practices in the developing world.