Case Study: Digital Credential for Universities

Case Study: Digital Credential for Universities

A University’s Attempt to Achieve Sustainability through Digital Credentials

Assisted the university in Leeds reduce credentialing costs up to 39% with a laser-focus on sustainability.

The Overview

Sustainability is a controversial issue. Universities around the world have been actively exploring sustainable practices to reduce their carbon footprint. One such initiative involves the implementation of digital credentials, an innovative approach that aims to replace traditional paper-based certificates with electronic versions. This case study examines the efforts of a Leeds-based university to embrace sustainability through the adoption of digital certificates & badges.

The university in question offers a Master’s program in Environmental Change and Management. Every year 600+ students enroll in this program. But soon the institute management realizes that the authority of the educational establishment is not following sustainable practices. The credentialing rules of the university play a leading role in the lack of green solutions. Thousands of trees are cut down every year to reward the students of the university. The added cost of printing, credential delivery, and mailing them to the student’s address not only increases the budget for certification programs but also impacts its green credit score.

The Organization

The Leeds-based university is a leading institution known for its commitment to creating a green environment. The 236-year-old educational institute started to invest in sustainable choices in the past decade. The university management identified digital credentials as a replacement for paper certificates. They partnered with a credentialing software but its lack of customer support and complex setup made them shift to traditional certificates. The production, distribution, and storage of these documents consumed significant resources, contributing to deforestation and waste generation. The university sought to leverage the digital credentials of CertifyMe to streamline its credentialing process and reduce its greenhouse effect.

Objectives:

  1. Environmental Sustainability: Reduce paper waste and associated carbon emissions by transitioning from paper-based certificates to digital credentials.

  2. Efficiency and Accessibility: Streamline the credentialing process by providing secure and easily shareable electronic certificates that can be accessed anytime, anywhere, enhancing convenience for graduates, employers, and other stakeholders.

  3. Enhancing Reputation: Demonstrate the university’s commitment to sustainability and position it as a forward-thinking institution in higher education.

Implementation Process

  1. Technology Adoption: The university collaborated with CertifyMe to implement a secure and user-friendly system for generating and issuing digital certificates. Blockchain-enabled technology ensures the integrity and authenticity of the credentials.

  2. Stakeholder Engagement: The university formed a cross-functional team involving representatives from various departments, including the registrar’s office, IT services, and communications. This team collaborated with us to define the requirements. We communicated how we can help them and how we address the concerns of stakeholders such as students, faculty, and employers.

  3. Pilot Programme: The pilot program conducted by the university involved a selected group of students and alumni to test the feasibility and effectiveness of the credentials. Feedback and suggestions were actively sought to fine-tune the system and address handling or set-up issues.

  4. Integration and Training: The digital credentialing platform of CertifyMe was integrated with the university’s existing learning management system (LMS) to ensure seamless issuance and management of credentials. Training sessions were conducted to acquaint the staff with the new tool and educate students on accessing and sharing their digital certificates.

Outcomes

  1. Environmental Impact: The university reduced its paper consumption and carbon emissions (96%) associated with printing, transportation, and storage of traditional certificates.

  2. Improved Efficiency: The implementation of digital credentials streamlined the credentialing process, reducing administrative duties, and costs and enabling faster certificate issuance and verification.

  3. Enhanced Accessibility: Graduates can easily access their digital certificates through the CertifyMe platform. The credentials remain stored in our digital wallet. Along with the certificate & badges, students also get a shortcut to the ‘Add to Linkedin’ button. Sharing and showcasing the newly gained knowledge & skills among potential employers or educational institutions became simpler.

  4. Positive Stakeholder Feedback: Students, alumni, and employers appreciated the convenience, security, and sustainability offered by digital credentials. This initiative positively impacted the university’s reputation and brand image.

  5. Scalability and Cost Savings: The digital credentialing system of CertifyMe is scalable. It accommodates the growing number of graduates each year. Eliminating paper and printing expenses has reduced the credentialing cost of the university by 39%.

Conclusion

The plan of implementing digital credentials has proven successful for the Leeds-based university. The newly-achieved sustainability objectives exhibit the institute’s commitment to environmental responsibility. By embracing digital technology, the university reduced its ecological footprint and eliminated paper waste & the associated carbon emissions. The transition to digital credentials also improved efficiency, making the credentialing process faster and more convenient for students, employers, and other stakeholders.

The positive feedback received from learners, alumni, and hiring organizations highlighted the accessibility and security offered by digital credentials. Graduates were able to easily access and share their electronic certificates on 40+ social channels. It provides them with a competitive edge in the job market. Employers appreciated the streamlined verification process and the ability to quickly authenticate the qualifications of applicants from the university.

The successful implementation of digital credentials also contributed to enhancing the university’s reputation as an institution at the forefront of sustainable practices in higher education. The university was recognized as a leader in the adoption of innovative solutions to address environmental challenges and showcased its commitment to preparing graduates for a digital future.

Continuous evaluation of their experience and feedback collection played a crucial role in identifying areas for improvement and refining the digital credentialing system. The institute embraced a culture of constant improvement and adapted to evolving needs and technological advancements.

The collaborative partnership with CertifyMe proved to be instrumental in the successful implementation and maintenance of the system. Choosing us allowed the university to accommodate the growing number of graduates while optimizing costs.

Averitt Hughes, the Head of the Human Resource Department of the university announced CertifyMe as ‘the best choice I have ever made’. He is the one who suggested us to the university’s Sustainability Program Manager and was proud of us. According to him, ‘is a 236-year-old prestigious educational institute with an ongoing MSc program in Sustainability and Change Management, the paper certificate was affecting our reputation. For a very long time, we were scrolling through the internet and comparing & checking several credentialing platforms all over the world. But nothing met our expectations as CertifyMe. This collaboration taught me how our one step can extend the earth’s life by 20 years. When this is so simple, why not invest in it?’