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.

European Commission consultation on draft data model for learning credentials, being part of the New Europass Framework

The European Commission developed a draft data model for a learning credential. The model aims to capture the outcomes of any non-formal, informal and formal learning across Europe [read on]  and is designed to provide a single format to describe certificates of attendance, examination results, degrees and diplomas, diploma supplements, professional certifications, employer recommendations and any other kind of claims that are related to learning. Please consider participating in this important consultation by the end of December 2019 on JoinUp or GitHub.

For more information on digital credentials and the Europass initiative check here.     

For further information on digital credentials and the Europass project please visit:

Interoperable Data Ecosystems – an International Review to Inform South African Innovation

Interoperability, data, and ecosystems: Three concepts that, to date, have not been used together enough internationally, and even less so in South Africa.  Researchers Kelly Shiohira and Barbara Dales-Jones from JET Education Services, Johannesburg, South Africa review the international state of things to inform the development of systems to link workforce (the supply side) with existing and new opportunities (the demand side), while bringing analytical techniques applied to big data that now can be used in ways not possible before.

Interoperable Data Ecosystems – an International Review to Inform South African Innovation

Digitization of Credentials: The Quality of Shorter term Educational Experiences

The Council for Higher Education Accreditation/International Quality Group (CHEA/CIQG) has released Digitization of Credentials: The Quality of Shorter-Term Educational Experiences, authored by higher education expert Peter van der Hijden (download the report here).

The report draws on the discussions of an expert group meeting convened by CHEA and AACRAO, the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers in March 2019. 

Chief take-aways: 

  • The basic features of quality do not differ between long-term or shorter-term learning experiences.
  • New delivery modes, e.g., online and blended learning, will require some specialized knowledge and expertise to be developed among providers and accreditors.
  • Accreditors should include shorter-term educational experiences in their periodic review of institutions and programs and organize reviews of shorter-term educational experiences offered by alternative providers.
  • Ensuring easily accessible and reliable information on the quality of shorter-term educational experiences is a challenge for the years ahead. Has Quality Assurance Become Obsolete in the Digital Era?  by James Keevy, Chief Executive Officer of JET Education Services in South Africa, addressing issues related to the growing digitization of credentials internationally.

Digitization of credentials and quality of shorter-term educational experiences will be among the issues addressed at the CHEA 2020 Annual Conference and CIQG Annual Meeting, to be held January 27-30 in Washington, D.C.

European Students’ Union Statement about Digitalization

Gohar Hovhannisyan, Vice-President of the European Students Union is one of our keynote speakers at the GDN Annual Meeting 2020 in Delhi. She  introduces herself and explains the ESU’s interest in digitalization.

I am the current Vice President of the European Students’ Union and I was interested to learn about the Groningen Declaration Network from our previous President Adam Gajek. After some research about the GDN, it seemed to me that there are many common areas of work. At different European platforms and expert groups, ESU is doing advocacy about internationalization and mobility within higher education,  based on its’ policy paper on this topic. Besides, we have also recently developed a statement about digitalization in HE. As a stakeholder organisation ESU is  involved in different advisory groups of the European Commission – from the Europass group where micro-credentials are being discussed to the development of the European Student Card initiative”

European Students Union Statement about digitalization

eIDAS Initiative Roadmap for Digital Credentials

The eIDAS Regulation seeks to make electronic transactions in the EU more secure,  to increase users’ trust in them and make online services and electronic trade in the EU more effective.  This means creating standards for secure interaction, such as e-signatures, e-seals, e-time stamping, e-delivery, and website authentication certificates – in short, the key functionality that is needed to make digital credentials fly. Please check out the state of affairs here

Introducing the 2020 GDN Annual Meeting: Delhi, India and our Conference Venues:  Oberoi and Taj Mahal Mansingh 

Atithi Devo Bhava, “A Guest equals God”, thus an Indian saying that captures the dynamic of the host-guest relationship. This may begin to explain why India is one of the most enchanting destinations for tourists from all around the world. Thanks to its world-class hotels and the development of its infrastructure, it is also one of the top MICE – Meeting, Incentives, Conferencing, and Exhibitions – destinations. Our chosen venues – the New Delhi based Oberoi and Taj hotels – are world-class, combining professionalism and true, legendary Indian warmth and hospitality at the same time. 

India equates diversity. The subcontinent is home to nearly 90,000 types of animals, including over 350 mammals, 1,200 bird species and 50,000 plant species. India is also home to many religions, with Bahâ’is, Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jains, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, Parsis, Zoroastrians (etc.) providing a rich tapestry of vibrant religions, cultures, and traditions. And let’s not forget India’s stupendous linguistic variety. India is home to some 400 different languages, deriving from the Austroasiatic, Dravidian, Indo-Aryan, and Sino-Tibetan language families, making India the country of born linguists. The average Indian speaks at least four languages, mostly including English and Hindi, besides several indigenous and foreign languages. 

India also equates innovation. The number zero and pi (π), Ayurvedic medicine or  “Ayurveda” for short, one of the world’s oldest holistic healing systems, chess, diamond mining, and shampoo all originated in India.

New Delhi is one of the most vibrant capitals of the world. Not only because of its world-class modern public infrastructure but also because mesmerising monuments reminiscent of its rich history have shaped the soul of this unforgettable metro. History and modernity beautifully blend to render a unique experience. Various cultures and traditions, drawn from different corners of the country and the world,  melt here into a perfect cosmopolitan blend. New Delhi has a vital sense of public policy; governance flows from the corridors of power of the national capital. The voice for development and sustainability are strengthened by the presence of a strong and vibrant diplomatic community, international organisations, and prestigious institutions from across the world. No wonder Delhi exudes a special kind of optimism and confidence, of being the ideal place to host a progressive meeting of minds, to take stock and look ahead with pride and hope. 

All these features make India a Unique Country in the World, or, to put it in the words of Incredible India: “What makes India stand out from any other destination is the myriad of experiences it offers. This is one land where the ancient and the modern co-exist. India has everything that a visitor wants to experience and offers people a complete holiday, both physically and mentally. This is perhaps the reason why we have so many repeat visitors.

Come and experience the magic of India!!!  

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.  

GDN’s ongoing quest to refine the network’s  formula. Enhancing benefits, ensuring inclusiveness, furthering empowerment

At its strategy retreat last October in Montreal, Canada, the Board of Directors decided to introduce a new financial year, to run parallel with the annual meetings. This change will take effect from May 2021 onwards, yielding the happy side effect of the current annual fee for the year 2020 covering 16 months instead of 12 months.

During the same strategy retreat, the Board also agreed to revamp the categories of involvement with an eye to provide more benefits, ensure more inclusiveness and further empowerment to all stakeholders in the network.  These new categories will be included in draft revised statutes and bylaws that the Board will share for your review in the running up to our Ninth Annual Meeting, to be approved by the network at its Business Meeting in Delhi. 

Help us expand the Groningen Declaration Network by encouraging your colleagues to become involved.  Becoming a Participant is easy to do and begins here.  Registering now will save you and new Participants money, because the 2020 registration year has been extended to May 2021.  Receive sixteen months of involvement in the GDN for the price of twelve!  Participants also receive a reduction in the annual conference fee.