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Digital diplomas now compulsory

The Brazilian Ministry of Education (MEC) published an ordinance in April requiring that all diplomas and academic documents be issued in digital format. The rule applies to higher education institutions (public and private) nationwide and includes enrollment forms and school transcripts. The agency plans to announce the digital emission systems and procedures to be adopted by higher education institutions in the next three months. From then on, universities will have two years to adapt their procedures to the digital certification guidelines of the Brazilian Public Key Infrastructure (ICP-Brasil). According to the MEC, the measures are designed to prevent fraud and make the issuing of documents more efficient. Despite being obligated to offer digital versions, the institutions are free to also continue issuing the documents on paper. Data from the Brazilian National Institute for Information Technology indicates that more than 1.1 million diplomas were issued by federal institutions in 2016.