Digital Diploma: agility and security for students from Higher Education

- 15/01/2021

The Digital Diploma is considered a milestone in the digital transformation for students from Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).

The National Education and Research Network (RNP) developed the service together with the Laboratory of Digital Video Applications (Lavid) of Universidade Federal da Paraíba (UFPB). On 12/16/2020, the Ministry of Education (MEC) launched the service for issuance and preservation of Digital Diploma for all education institutions of the Federal Education System, and aims to serve all these institutions participants in the RNP System by the end of this year.

Understand:

What is Digital Diploma?

Digital Diploma is a new technological solution which enables issuance and authentication of the academic diplomas in digital format.  Thus, in addition to debureaucratization of the diploma management process, the technology provides more agility and security to the Higher Education students and institutions.

Benefits of the Digital Diploma

In addition to enabling agility and transparency in the diploma issuance process, Digital Diploma is also a more sustainable solution, resulting in higher savings and easier access. The cost of issuance and verification of a digital diploma tends to be lower than the cost of the traditional printed diploma.

A study by Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC) in 2019 estimated the cost of the Digital Diploma at R$ 85.15, compared to the cost of the printed diploma, R$ 390.26, which may enable forecast of annual savings of R$ 48 million for the Ministry of Education (MEC).

But it is not just the savings for the public treasury that make this solution a positive revolution for the users. With the reduction of the bureaucratization of the material, the Digital Diploma can be delivered to the students within 15 days, which used to take around 80 before.

Access to Digital Diploma is now on-line directly on the website of the Education Institution that has issued it, with no need of the student's signature. Thus, the responsibility to generate digital certificate and time stamp, which validate the document indefinitely, is also stipulated to the institutions.

Combat to frauds

The reduction of the time for validation of a diploma by the issuing institution is done in a few seconds, it enables a wide and accessible validation any day and time, which is important contribution to combat frauds.

Security

The Digital Diploma has an electronic signature with digital certificates from the Brazilian Public Key Infrastructure (ICP-Brasil), maintained by the National Institute of Information Technology - ITI, associated with the Staff of the Presidency of the Republic. The use of the time stamp proves the date and the time when the document was issued, and the digital signature of the issuing institution and the registering institution guarantees the legitimacy of the issuance of the diploma.

Blockchain technology

Another great point to be commented regarding the Digital Diploma is the technology to guarantee and provide security to the information with blockchain. Thus, the technology is used as a system that tracks the submission and the receiving of the information, enabling codes to be generated on-line and make information available in streams.

The network is responsible for several security layers, where any attempt to intrusion is blocked, thus, making it extremely difficult to succeed intercepting or falsifying the content.

How to verify the authenticity of the Digital Diploma

Upon the announcement of the new electronic solution, RNP and MEC develop the National Validation Portal for the digital diplomas issued by HEIs integrated to the solution to be checked and verified.  Thus, the purpose is to provide such access already in the first half of 2021, so that in 2022, all institutions and students will be able to use the new format.

How the Higher Education Institutions can adapt

RNP estimates that the process of adopting the system will be implemented at 69 federal universities and 41 federal educational institutes by the end of 2021. Subsequently, there is a plan for the private institutions to join the service as well.

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