The SGroup European Universities’ Network has signed the Groningen Declaration at the at the Fifth Groningen Declaration Network's Annual Meeting in Cape Town held between 17-19 May.

Digital student data portability and digital student data depositories are becoming increasingly concrete and relevant realities, and in the years to come, they will contribute decisively to the free movement of students and skilled workers on a global scale. The SGroup Network has already been involved in this process indirectly in the process by an active participation in the Erasmus Without Paper projecting aiming at the creation of a digital network for the student data exchange within the framework of the Erasmus+ Programme.

The process of the digital student data portability involves a number of stakeholders starting with students through education institutions at the primary, secondary and tertiary level, national ministries of education to employers etc. In order to make it happen a number of issues such as  privacy rights, ownership of data, identification, access, and forwarding/sharing of data, next to compatibility of systems and comparability of data have to be properly tackled in order to unleash the full potential of digital student data depositories.

The endorsement of the Groningen Declaration provides for further opportunities to promote and expand this process onto higher education institutions. We therefore invite higher education insitutions from Europe and beyond to support this initiative and to collaborate jointly to establish a global area of convergence on digital student data depositories through sharing best practices in digital secure systems and to co-ordinate our policies on:

• the purpose, feasibility and cost-efficiency of worldwide exchange of digital student data
• comparability of data
• sharing or forwarding of data through designated systems
• promoting acceptance, for purposes of recognition, of digital student data in lieu of paper documents
• adherence to national or federal privacy rights, both at the sending and at the receiving ends, when data are transferred
• phasing out of paper based documents and of paper based authentications (legalisations) where practicable
• establishment of a Global Standing Secretariat on Digital Student Data Depositories Worldwide, to develop a follow-up structure, consisting of a “consultative group” of representatives of all signatories, plus a smaller “follow-up group”, in order to organize future events.


More information about the Groningen Declaration you can find here: