The European Diploma Supplement (EDS) is issued to graduates of Higher Education Institutions in addition to their degree or certificate. The Supplement is designed as an aid to support the recognition of academic qualifications of higher education graduates. It allows graduates to ensure that their degrees are recognised by higher education institutions, public authorities and employers in their home countries and abroad by providing information such as the skills and competences acquired, the level of the qualification and the results achieved.
A European project supporting the digitalisation of the Diploma Supplement recently completed a survey on the current practices and plans of higher education institutions in Europe. NARIC Ireland is a partner in the Erasmus+ project Aiding Digital Diploma Supplement Usage and Promotion (ADDS UP) with UK NARIC, National Europass Centre Finland, National Europass Centre Ireland and NCHFE Malta.
Three hundred and fifty responses from higher education institutions around Europe - including 23 Irish institutions - revealed the following:
The Diploma Supplement is widely used and 78.31% confirmed that they issue the Diploma Supplement.
84.16% indicated that they issue Diploma Supplement automatically and upon graduation as an additional document to the degree awarded.
21.69% do not issue the Diploma Supplement at all but would consider issuing it.
The results of the survey also suggest that the Diploma Supplement is mainly issued in English. A few institutions responded that they issue the document in both their national language as well as in English.
Readiness to issue a digital Diploma Supplement
An important goal of the survey was to find out if institutions issue Diploma Supplements in a digital format or if they are planning to do so. The survey found that 32.02% already issue the document in a digital format while 67.98% do not. However, 28.46% are planning to issue the Diploma Supplement in a digital format, and 56.15% have indicated that they might do so. Those who already issue the document digitally have indicated that they issue it in the following formats:
- 41.18% - PDF
- 32.35% - Secure PDF
- 16.18% - Online digital credentials platform
- 5.88% - Institution’s own student records system
- 4.41% - Some other system
The next steps for the project will be to look more into the details of digitalisation in different higher education institutions. The project aims to organise peer learning opportunities, and a possibility to share experiences and knowledge between interested organisations. NARIC Ireland plans to establish a focus group to discuss these findings in the autumn and would like to hear from interested higher education providers.
Contact Angela Lambkin at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.