Hennie is the convenor of the working group on “diploma and credentials” of the European Blockchain Partnership. He is also the contact person on Blockchain developments DUO (Executive Agency of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the Netherlands).
Hennie’s analytical skills enable him to master complex matter in a short space of time, without losing sight of the big picture, the goal and the results to be achieved.
He can switch between strategic and tactical levels in relation to various organisational issues.
Hennie is currently secretary of the knowledge platform Blockchain for Public Executives and contact person DUO for developments Blockchain.
Cross Border Blockchain for diploma data in the EU – a network of trust for Education
Since 2017-2018, more governments, institutions and students have been convinced that Blockchain technology can make an important contribution to reducing the barriers around student mobility. Within the EU, many Member States are actively exploring the potential of Blockchain to provide a decentralised, transparent, validated and indelible management of student/citizen diploma data. This can make it considerably easier to start a new study program in another Member State or to apply for an interesting job inside or outside the country. In this way, student mobility within the EU can be facilitated and increased.
There are a lot of individual initiatives, but all of these project do not bring a European solution to the problem any closer. In order to achieve a sustainable solution and avoid fragmentation, the issue should be tackled at the EU level. For this reason, the Netherlands and Belgium (Flanders & Wallonia) have contacted other partners within fellow EU Member States who are working on similar initiatives and are interested to form a coalition-of-the-willing.
The partnership aims to create a blockchain to exchange diploma data between diploma owners and institutions across the EU. Their ambition is to create an open ecosystem that puts the student or citizen first and offers the potential to connect other partners both inside and outside education. The governance and management of the decentralized network will be handed to central educational administrations and trust will be guaranteed by the interconnection of authentic sources. The decentralized network demands a clear architecture and secure infrastructure, which needs to be based on privacy-by-design. All personal data must be processed in a GDPR compliant manner. The development of this system can be based on existing platforms and on the first experiences and insights of the fellow EU Member States.
In September 2018, Belgium and The Netherlands, in cooperation with member states of the EU, have submitted a use case ‘Network of trust for education aka “Cross-border Blockchain for Diploma Data in the EU” for the call for Ideas of the EU blockchain partnership. In February and March 2019 workshops on the diploma use case were held with several interested member states . This resulted in a vision and plan for 2019 which was presented to the European Blockchain Partnership on April 9th.
At the international Conference on Blockchain , Education and Digital Citizenship at the University of Lille , we would like to give an update of the (provisional) results of the partnership and further steps to be taken in the coming years.