ESDES Lyon Business School is the business and management school of UCLy, the Catholic University of Lyon. In 2021, in order to have a successful graduation ceremony despite the health context and campus closures, the business school innovates by choosing to issue 100% digital, tamper-proof diplomas via the BCdiploma blockchain solution.

Let’s take a look at this success story with Emilie Sotton, Marketing and Communication Director of ESDES Lyon Business School.

How did the idea of using blockchain for your graduation ceremony arise?

In March 2020, due to the first lockdown, the graduation ceremony was postponed and eventually canceled. Worse, with the campus closed, the 300 graduates could not receive their diplomas or pick them up. We have faced understandable discontent from graduates and their families. For them, the graduation ceremony is a time of celebration, reunion and a “rite of passage”.

The ESDES team was then interested in the question: “How to deliver the diploma to graduates without being physically present?”. There are many constraints because the golden ticket must be given in person with verification of identity…

In 2020, ESDES was looking for a dematerialization solution for diplomas, and after a study of available offers, turned to the blockchain solution BCdiploma, implemented at emlyon business school in 2019.

Esdes credential

How did the virtual ceremony in 2021 go?

We prepared this virtual ceremony with one main objective: conviviality! So, we went phygital, and each graduate received a “champagne, mortarboard & surprise” package before the ceremony… not forgetting their blockchain diploma certificate issued with the BCdiploma solution. It is an unforgeable URL link, valid for life and giving access to an online version of the diploma, perfectly adapted to the smartphone format.

During the ceremony, the school’s management was present from a television set installed on campus, in the school’s historic building in Place des Archives in Lyon (the former St Paul and St Joseph prisons).

How did the graduates react?

We had a great surprise: the blockchain certificates issued on the BCdiploma platform were widely shared on social networks by the graduates themselves. We could feel real pride in their messages! The blockchain certificate is the final step in the curriculum and carries the symbolism of a rite of passage previously celebrated at the graduation ceremony.

Will you continue to use blockchain?

The ESDES team intends to leverage this successful experience for years to come. For our international students or those simply doing an internship far from Lyon, BCdiploma blockchain certificates are an undeniable asset. They allow all graduates to keep a permanent link with their school and an inalienable access to the diploma: this is… brilliant! And it’s a practical service: have you ever looked for your paper degree several years after graduation?

Any final words?

The BCdiploma project was quick and easy to set up: the solution is fully packaged. The service provided by the solution is logical and necessary.

Find out more:

What are the benefits of a Digital Credentials platform?

Blockchain can restore security and trust in digital technology