GDN Newsletter December 2020

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Groningen Declaration Network Newsletter
Groningen Declaration Network
Newsletter December 2020

Season's Greetings and Happy New Year from the Board of Directors

Dear Colleagues,

On behalf of the GDN Board of Directors, it is our pleasure to offer season’s greetings to you and your dear ones and to wish you excellent health and prosperity in the New Year! Let’s also hope that 2021 starts with widely available vaccination programmes to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic. 

COVID-19 wrought innumerable losses, both in terms of human lives and in terms of economies. At the same time, though, it brought home the realization that digitalization has come of age and permitted organizations and individuals around the globe to continue their activities online, thanks to the massive embracing of digital tools and digital data. One could say that the pandemic accelerated the uptake of digital tools, solutions and data, albeit at a price that none would have imagined a year ago.

The pandemic also upset corporate and government finances around the globe, and the GDN is not immune. Most of our operating revenue is generated by the annual meeting.The cancellation of that one event has dealt a blow to the GDN finances. While we realize that many of your organizations’s finances may have been similarly affected, we hope that you might be able to show your continued commitment to the vision and mission of the GDN to create a secure, accessible and equitable digital network that supports global mobility with a year-end contribution. The global pandemic has highlighted our mission as not only desirable for our learners, but also crucial for institutions and organizations worldwide.

New website, introducing My GDN signatory login and signatory benefits 

By the time you read this, the new GDN website will not only have migrated to a new environment  but will also feature new benefits thanks to the integration with an online database. Both changes were needed to improve the visitor experience and to bring in additional benefits to those that contribute to the sustainability of the GDN. Please check out the new website here, with access to the benefits provided through the MyGDN login here, choose a password and enjoy access to:

  • the GDN contacts database entries (name, organization, contact details)
  • all ten webinars of the 2020 Annual Meeting Online Conference 

In time, further benefits may be made available through the MyGDN login, thus requitting those that support the GDN. 


Moving GDN 2021 Annual Meeting - Save the Dates:  13 - 15 October, 2021

The GDN Annual Meeting is where the world meets, where ideas are sparked, and international collaborations are nurtured. Following a difficult year, and with the wellbeing of the GDN Community at front of mind, the Board has arrived at several decisions regarding the 2021 Annual Meeting.  

Our decisions:

  1. The GDN 2021 Annual Meeting originally scheduled for May 2021 will be postponed;
  2. It has been rescheduled to occur on October 13-15, 2021, in Canada; 
  3. We are planning for an in-person conference, the GDN community’s preferred modality. The planning will be informed by pandemic-related restrictions (availability of vaccines and travel). Although not our preference, a virtual conference may still be necessary, even in the autumn of 2021. We will provide regular updates;
  4. This timing change will affect future GDN Annual Meetings, which will occur in the autumn each year from 2021 onward; and,
  5. The 2022 Annual Meeting, GDN’s 10th anniversary, will occur in Groningen, Netherlands in the autumn of 2022. 

Access to 2020 Online Annual Meeting Webinar Series Recordings 

Making up for the cancelled April 2020 in person meeting that was supposed to be hosted in New Delhi, India, two series of five webinars each were run in June - July and September - October, respectively. The ten webinars represented part of the conference programme content that was intended to be offered at the cancelled in person meeting and encompass a wide range of topics. The recordings of the webinars are now available to our signatories.

To access, log in here

Profuse thanks to Victoriano Giralt and the University of Málaga 

As we launch our new website, the GDN Board would like to formally acknowledge and profusely thank GDN’s Inaugural President Victoriano Giralt, Director of Innovation at the  University of Málaga who for many years provided his university’s IT environment and his own vast expertise freely for the hosting and management of the first GDN website, database and newsletter platform. It is this kind of unconditional generosity, support and commitment that helps to sustain our network and rather than taking this for granted, credit is given where credit is due, so once again, many, many thanks, Victoriano.   



Introducing new categories of involvement
Ambassador, Founder; Patron, Signatory - organizational or personal

With the approval of the GDN’s new revised statutes, the ways in which organizations and individuals can get involved in the network has been extended. The Board of Directors proudly presents to you now the following categories:

  • Ambassador. The title Ambassador may be bestowed by the Board of Directors on individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the work of the GDN
  • Founder. The organisations who established the network prior to incorporation as a Foundation – the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO); the Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs (DUO); the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC); China Higher Education Student Information and Career Centre (CHESICC); Stanford University; University of Málaga; South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA); University of Melbourne.
  • Patron. This is a designation determined by the Board of Directors. Organisations that have signed the Groningen Declaration and have thereby pledged to subscribe to the Foundation’s Statutes and Bylaws and made a financial commitment to support the work of the GDN for a period of no-less than 3 years may be eligible.
  • Signatory. All organisations and persons that have signed the Groningen Declaration and thereby have pledged to subscribe to the Foundation’s Statutes and Bylaws and have paid the annual fee as determined by the Board of Directors 

Accommodating new signatory applications in times of COVID-19

Moving from the in-person annual meeting to the online meeting, the GDN Board of Directors decided to initiate online signatory applications, resulting in the following seventeen new signatories joining the GDN throughout this year 


  • Joe Samuels
  • Organisations

  • Belgium: ARES; ESU; FEANI 
  • Canada: BCCAT; CICan; Duklas Cornerstone Consulting; EducationPlanner BC; University of Lethbridge
  • Denmark: Diplomasafe
  • France: CNOUS-CROUS; ORA
  • Germany:  Fachhochschule Bielefeld
  • Japan: RECSIE
  • United Arab Emirates: Dataflow Group; VFS Global
  • USA: IEE

  •   Invitation to join - introducing the GDN new signatories self application tool  

    With the launch of the new website, the GDN Board of Directors is proud to launch a new service - the moderated GDN new signatories self application tool. Prospective signatories can now submit their organisation’s data and documents at leisure, ensuring consistency of applications and providing at the same time a tool that will send out an alert each year, requesting signatories to review and update their organisation’s details whenever appropriate. 




    Recent appraisals: My eQuals; MyCreds; and RECSIE’s Japan National Network Initiative

    The strength and success of the GDN comes from the inclusive, open minded nature of the network that makes newcomers feel instantly at home. And it is precisely this characteristic that brings about great new  departures, as borne out by the following  appraisals coming from the Australian - New Zealand based My eQuals, Canada’s ARUCC National Network MyCreds and Japan’s National Network initiative.

    ARUCC Launch MyCreds™ | MesCertif™

    The Association of Registrars of the Universities and Colleges of Canada (ARUCC) announces the official launch of MyCreds™ | MesCertif™, the national, bilingual credential wallet supported by a comprehensive website for Canada’s post-secondary community and learners.

    With this new credential wallet and website, ARUCC is helping Canada’s colleges and universities deliver digitized and portable transcripts and credentials - including badges and microcredentials - to post-secondary learners online – anytime, anywhere.

    Read more about this exciting launch.

    Follow us on LinkedIn for quick access to news, articles and events

    The GDN LinkedIn Followers Group has grown to close to 900 followers, with the number still rising by the day. Given the size of the group, our LinkedIn presence is increasingly used to serve as the communication channel for day to day news updates, event announcements, articles and more. If you would like to join the GDN LinkedIn Followers Group, please do so today.


    Kathleen Massey
    President, GDN (2020-2021)
    On behalf of the Board of Directors



    GDN Founders