The University of Pisa, the first in Italy and among the first in Europe, is adopting state-of-the-art Blockchain technology in order to enhance mobility and internationalization in students' careers. The project, born from the collaboration between the University of Pisa and CIMEA, the Italian Information Center on Mobility and Academic Equivalences, member of the ENIC-NARIC network of the EU, the Council of Europe and UNESCO, and financed by the Ministry of Education, Universities and Research (MIUR), represents an important step forward towards placing the student at the centre of the learning process.
In fact, using Blockchain technology, students will always be able to make available their own "portfolio" of information, containing key records and information (such as that which has given them admission to the university and showing how these correspond to other national systems), in a permanent, unchangeable but accessible manner. Upon enrollment, Unipi students can then permanently record the qualifications they receive according to international standards, so as to make them "legible" in Italy and abroad. In addition, the Blockchain system will allow them to add other qualifications later on, certifying and sharing them securely and permanently with other institutions or future employers.
The partnership between the University of Pisa and CIMEA adds a fundamental element to the process of recognition of qualifications and the analysis of the comparability of foreign qualifications in the Italian system, through the use of the main international classification systems and the portability of comparability assessments received from foreign institutions.
"Our University - comments prof. Paolo Maria Mancarella, Rector of the University of Pisa, - has always been attentive to internationalization and innovation in both research and teaching. This project combines both aspects, with innovation that becomes a tool both to facilitate student mobility and to strengthen the international dimension of our University. A project that leads me to imagine a future world in which students can move from one university to another, in different countries, without having to physically exchange documents, with a view to complete dematerialization".
"The project originally stems from the desire to speed up the process of matriculation of international students in our University’s programmes" - adds prof. Francesco Marcelloni, Pro-Rector for Cooperation and International Relations of the University of Pisa, - “giving the possibility to submit all the documentation in digital form through a simple interface and proceeding with the validation of the qualifications presented by the candidate through the service made available by CIMEA. Thanks to Blockchain, this verification will remain certified and available to the student who can use it throughout his/her life. This first prototype will then be extended to manage the careers of all students enrolled at the University of Pisa".
"I am particularly proud of the partnership with the University of Pisa for this extraordinary innovation in student life. - declares Luca Lantero, Director of CIMEA - The main objective for our Center is to promote academic mobility in all its forms. The possibility of having a digital certificate on Blockchain will help students during and after their academic career, facilitating the work of securities assessors".
"We are facing a real innovation in the university sector" - adds Prof. Antonella Martini, President of CIMEA - "in line with the current internationalization policies of the Ministry of Education, Universities and Research and the objectives of the recent Paris Communiqué of Ministers of Higher Education, getting closer and closer, thanks to the impulse given by Italy and the University of Pisa, to the realization of procedures for the automatic recognition of academic qualifications".