Case: Transfer of diplomas across borders – Norway

Students who want to study in other Nordic or Baltic countries are facing a time-consuming process to transfer diplomas to employers and educational institutions. Open digital borders in the Nordic-Baltic region will enable the exchange of diplomas and other performance data in an efficient and trusted way.

Published: 29. Oct 2018, Last modified: 15. Jun 2019


Sector: Education

Service provider: UNIT, Norway

Contact person: Geir Magne Vangen

There is a strong need for good identification of foreign applicants and students throughout their lifetime. For those applying for a place to study and for those that have completed the studies it is beneficiary to have easy access to trusted and shareable information about themselves.

A prerequisite for the exchange of performance data is that each country in the Nordic and Baltic countries has national systems for exchange of diplomas. Iceland and the Baltic countries do not currently have systems for exchange of diplomas. 

The Diploma registry in Norway

In late 2016, the Diploma registry (Vitnemålsportalen) was launched in Norway. The solution is developed by UNIT, the Norwegian Directorate for ICT and Joint Services in Higher Education and Research, on behalf of the Ministry of Education.

The Diploma registry collects results, i.e. diplomas and grades from colleges and higher education, and is also to be extended to include upper secondary education and vocational education. Those who have results in the Diploma registry can share them with employers. The primary users will, in addition to the one to which the result applies, be employers, educational institutions and possibly others who need access to these results. The information exchange is based on data, not documents, enabling the receivers to digitalize/automate their processes using these data.

A Diploma registry has two main goals:

•  Give the owner of the data the control to dissemination of its results

•  Give the beneficiary (universities, employers and others), access to trusted results

In parallel with the development, UNIT has participated in the European project EMREX in the period 2015-2017. EMREX is established in order to be able to exchange data on a standardized manner between educational institutions in different European countries and potentially globally (i.e. China and the United States). The Diploma registry is part of the EMREX network, and Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Italy, Poland, Netherland and Croatia also offer solutions to deliver data to the network.

Diploma registry with national eID

There are two main processes in which these documents are included:

  1. Application for work - students share their results with Norwegian and foreign companies.
  2. Application for education - National and local application portals are integrated with the Diploma registry so that students can automatically transfer their diplomas and results.

The Diploma registry provides the student with the opportunity to communicate results to employers safely and to communicate results to other educational institutions. Sharing results with companies occurs either by recruitment systems integrate directly to the registry, or by student sharing results via a link.

In relation to Norwegian educational institutions, the student agrees to that the institution should be able to obtain results from other institutions. The consent is registered in the Diploma Registry and the student has control of these data. Against foreign educational institutions, the student must share results by sending a link or transferring these via the EMREX network.

For login, the national ID-gateway is used.
This provides a unique identification of a person in the form of a social security number, which could be used to obtain information from other data sources. The person's name will be retrieved from the population register after signing in.

After signing into the Diploma registry, the name will be displayed. This information cannot be provided by the ID port, and there is a need for a referral in the population register to present this. It is necessary to be able to retrieve the person's name from the population register based on a social security number.

What are the benefits?

There is a strong need for good identification of foreign applicants and students throughout their lifetime. From those applying for a place to study, and their access to information about themselves after they have completed the studies.

Identifcation, with a stable eID, across the region can contribute to the following:

  • Building trust between the institutions, student, business and public sector
  • European citizens shall have access to data about themselves and should thus be able to have digital access to their data on lifetime.
  • Efficiently sharing of trusted documentation between all parties
  • Secure diplomas and other documents (from editing and change)
  • Make it possible to sign documents electronically.
  • Build security by connecting foreign eID with D number/social security number. Facilitate login with overseas eIDAS eIDs where the user already has a National Person Identifier (PID).
  • eIDAS offers 4 attributes (current family name, current first name, date of birth and unique and persistent identifier) and 4 additional attributes (name of birth, place of birth, current address and gender). It is possible to extend the list of attributes to the needs of identifying the users in the educational sector.