Parchment press release – Two Large U.S. Electronic Transcript Networks Merge

January 2020 saw the merging of two of the three largest U.S. academic credentials networks: Parchment, signatory since 2015 and an active member, and Credential Solutions, who attended their first GDN meeting in Paris in 2018 and signatory since then. The new combined organization, named Parchment, is dedicated to its mission of helping learners to more easily turn their academic and professional credentials into opportunities across a range of enrollment and employment pathways.

Integrated Network

The new combined Parchment organization offers a comprehensive platform supporting the issuing and receiving of digital transcripts, diplomas, certificates, and digital badges. Parchment’s exchange network spans 5,240 U.S. secondary schools, 1,500 university registrar offices, and 10 U.S. state education agencies, as well as 7,750 receivers world-wide. Over 18 million credentials were exchanged through the combined Parchment network in 2019.

Through its participation in GDN, Parchment has also forged exchange relationships with agencies and networks around the world, including CHESICC and the Swedish Council for Higher Education.  According to CEO Matthew Pittinsky, a key consideration of the merger was to provide a more scaled network of U.S. education organizations to accelerate the formation of global exchange partnerships.  This is why Parchment’s engagement with GDN is so important and strategic.

Key Priorities and Trends

According to the merger announcement issued by Parchment and Credentials, the new combined organization is focused on five industry trends related to academic credentialing:

U.S. Enrollment pathways: The secondary school transcript is becoming the central source for undergraduate admissions and post-matriculation advising, while credit transfer between institutions is increasingly important for postsecondary students as they move between schools to earn a degree.

Credential innovation: Colleges and universities are reimagining the scope, form, and function of their credentials to translate their learners’ education into successful employment pathways.

Lifelong learning: Traditional barriers between secondary, postsecondary, and professional education are blurring as learners expect greater control of their knowledge profile.

Open standards: PESC and IMS Global are enabling substantial innovation in digital credentialing based on interoperability.

Interoperable learner records: An open, learner-controlled ecosystem enables the exchange of verifiable credentials without aggregating large amounts of student data as a single source.

GDN 2020 Conference Venues

Institutional limitations on the availability of meeting space during the time of our annual meeting led us to select two top New Delhi hotels for the 2020 annual meeting: The Oberoi New Delhi and the Taj Mahal Mansingh. Both are situated approximately thirty five minutes from the international and domestic airports and are splendidly located in the heart of New Delhi’s government district, close to embassies, the central business district of Connaught Place, the fashionable Khan Market, sprawling Lodhi Gardens, the Delhi Golf Course and Humayun’s Tomb. In short, we hope to welcome you to the Annual Meeting in an astounding area that leaves nothing to be desired, except to return.

Oberoi, New Delhi 

Centrally located in New Delhi, minutes from Nizamuddin Dargah and the Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple, the Oberoi New Delhi enjoys views of the UNESCO World Heritage site of Humayun’s Tomb on the one side and a calming view of the forested golf course on the other. Its proximity to the seat of government, the city’s diplomatic corps and business district has furthered the hotel’s reputation as one of the preferred convening centers in New Delhi.

Thoughtfully detailed throughout its public spaces, with luxury rooms, restaurants and guest facilities, and state of the art clean air technology offering the healthiest air in the city, Oberoi New Delhi goes out of its way to make you feel that the guest is everything, continuing that “each guest is seen and valued as a person, a friend, a family member who has come to stay. Something no other hotel or resort can emulate. The astonishing effect one feels from an act, a gesture, a word that are heartfelt.”


Taj Mahal, One Mansingh Road 


Taj Mahal, New Delhi on Number One Mansingh Road is one of the most distinguished addresses in the national capital. Its proximity to the seat of government, the city’s diplomatic corps and business district has furthered the hotel’s reputation as one of the preferred convening centers in New Delhi. Taj Mahal, New Delhi is known for its timeless hospitality for over four decades and has pioneered many a food and service innovation in the field of hospitality. It is a tribute to hospitality and service, complementing the broad boulevards and leafy splendor and celebrating the rich cultural fabric and charm of the Capital. From its windows, one has unique views of the heart of New Delhi, the Rashtrapati Bhawan, the Parliament, Lotus Temple, Humayun’s Tomb and the Commonwealth Stadium. 


Taj Mahal, New Delhi offers personalized butler service to its Club Rooms and Suites, where the butler plays the role of guide and assistant to cater to all your needs. The Concierge is also proud to facilitate special experiential tours and heritage walks to discover the charms and rich heritage of the Capital city.

Why Now is the Right Time to Form a GDN-PESC Standards Task Force

Standards help make the world go round.  From finance and banking to health and transportation, standards are everywhere in our lives.  Remember, though, that no single standard answers all our needs, and no industry or sector depends on only one standard. Education and the labour market are no exception to that. Stakeholders in the GDN Ecosystem need multiple, different standards and will continue to need multiple, different standards.


How to achieve interoperability with different standards? 


 Institutions and learners across the globe use a wide variety of data systems and they will continue to do so. These various data systems invariably bring a plethora of different standards. For communications and exchanges between these various systems to succeed, there have to be protocols that enable the translation, comparison and mapping from one standard to another. That way, users understand what data is being communicated without either party needing to make changes. In addition to that, standards enhance business efficiency as a result of the streamlined services and higher level of data quality and integrity they enable.


Call for the launch of a Task Force on Data Standards 


Both PESC and GDN understand the raison d’être of standards, and they are also both convinced of the importance of coordination among standards around the world.  PESC and GDN had been discussing the idea to form a global standards group for a couple of years already, and it is now time we believe to launch it. The GDN Board of Directors will be discussing the proposal in its upcoming board meeting early December. With PESC users and members convinced of the need to be able to connect with third parties around the world, regardless of standards used, PESC is committed to put its weight and membership behind a GDN Standards Task Force.  

Travel & Safety Tips

Preparing for the 8th Annual Meeting

Creating the New World for Academic and Professional Mobility:
24-26 April 2019 in Puebla City

The Eighth Annual Groningen Declaration Network (GDN) Meeting will be held in the city of Puebla, Mexico, and will be hosted by UPAEP, the Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla. The UPAEP campus is located downtown, enjoys excellent traffic infrastructure, and is blessed with a spectacular landscape view.

Puebla City






Area: Municipality – 534.32 km2 (206.30 sq mi); Metropolitan area – 689,87 km2 (269.48 sq mi)

Altitude: 2,135 meters above sea level  (7,005 ft)

Population:  Municipality – 1,576,259; Metropolitan area – 3,250,000

Languages: Spanish

Time: UTC−6

The city of Puebla de los Ángeles was founded in 1531, among the boundaries of the indigenous dominions of Tlaxcala, Cholula and Cuauhtinchan, following Spain’s regal recommendations to not take possession of indigenous territories. The city is situated in the Valley of Cuetlaxcoapan at the foot of one of Mexico’s highest volcanoes, known as Popocatepetl. It commands a strategic location on the commercial and cultural trade route between the Port of Veracruz and Mexico City, approximately 100 kilometers to the west, which allowed Puebla to be an important intermediate point and a core part of the Atlantic axle for over two centuries. The original city was laid out according to a Renaissance urban grid formed by rectangular squares laid out in a northeast-southeast orientation. It has preserved its great religious structures such as the 16th–17th-century cathedral and fine buildings like the old archbishop’s palace, as well as a host of houses with walls covered in tiles. The new aesthetic concepts resulting from the fusion of European and American styles were adopted locally and are peculiar to the Baroque district of Puebla.

Being the fourth most important city in the country, after Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey, with a population of almost 3 million in its metropolitan area, the city of Puebla combines history and pre-Columbian and colonial culture with development and modernity, being internationally recognized for its splendid gastronomy and hospitality and, more recently, has been named as a “university city,” due to the large number of higher education institutions that have been established in it and the number of students from all over the country and other parts of the world that reside here. In addition, Puebla was announced by the Wall Street Journal as the second most interesting city to visit in 2018 (leaving only the Faroe Islands in first position), in the article “Where to travel in 2018”, signed by journalist Christian L. Wright.


Here are some logistical details to plan for the trip.

Official Tourism Site:Puebla es mi destino”  offers trusted information on tourist packages, restaurant recommendations, events and experiences to live at the city.



Country Code:  +52

Puebla City Code: 222

Emergency reports: 911


Electricity: In Mexico the common voltage is 127 V, 60 Hz for frequency. Plugs can be A or B type:


Money Matters


Currency: Mexican Peso ($1 MXN @ 0.052 USD; $1 MXN @ 0.046 €), depending on the exchange rate of the day.

Value –Added Tax (VAT): Mexico has a value-added tax of 16% on purchases and services. For more information consult this link.

Banking hours: 9am to 4pm (weekdays).

International banks available in Puebla: Citibank (Citibanamex); HSBC; Santander; BBVA (BBVA Bancomer); Scotiabank (Scotiabank Inverlat).

Credit cards: Most shops, restaurants and hotels accept major credit cards. Prepaid debit cards are also accepted. American Express is not well accepted in some consumption or service places.

Tipping: A 10 percent tip is standard in restaurants.

Practical Safety Tips

  • Avoid carrying large sums of cash. Do not carry cameras in plain sight, and do not leave belongings unattended.
  • When walking, hang your bag over your head, across your torso and keep it in front and closed.
  • Avoid walking in deserted and dark places at night.
  • Do not take a car service on the road, only use certificated transportation as: “Taxi UPAEP”, Uber, Cabify, Easy, Didi.
  • Carry photocopies of your valuable documents as passport; keep other documents in a safe place.


Weather forecast (Celsius):

Click here for the most recent weather forecast


For more information please see: