How Blockchain is Helping Universities Be Digital and Improve Trust

How Blockchain is Helping Universities Be Digital and Improve Trust

Date: 16th December 2020
Post Type: Blog

Blockchain has been hailed as the best tamper-proof technology in the world. There is no known way to fool it. The decentralized ledger system is being experimented with around the world in many sectors, including Education.

For example, the Central New Mexico Community College provides new graduates with a diploma that is authenticated and recorded on a Blockchain., reducing fraud, improving validation responsiveness, and reducing costs.

The technology hasn’t made its way to the majority of universities yet, but it is slowly catching on. Education Technology firm Ellucian took a survey in which 52% of recruiters and 58% of students said they trust digital credentials.  And, of course, there’s no safer credentialing than with Blockchain.

So here are just a few ways that Blockchain can help universities around the world. 

Blockchain Credentials 

In 2018, the University of Basel in Switzerland issued certificates with Blockchain. They were registered on the Ethereum Blockchain. The technology comprised two parts; the first component would create the certificate and register it to the Blockchain with a unique hash identifier. The second component was a public tool for anyone (student, recruiter etc.) to use to verify the certificate

Muroran Institute of Technology in Hokkaido Japan did something similar. They have piloted a Blockchain initiative to authenticate their students’ academic records. The project was scheduled to begin in March 2020. Five other Japanese universities are set to follow suit.  

Another example of this technology came in 2019, when 9 of the world’s top universities gathered together for academic credentialing. The challenge was issued by MIT vice president Sanjay Sarma. He highlighted that students would always have to look to their university for credential verificationAs a result, employment, placement, and admission processes would be held up.  

To answer this challenge, UC Berkeley, MIT, Delft University in the Netherlands, Hasso Plattner in Germany, and several others came together. They’ve vowed to develop a free service through which students can store and share their academic credentials through Blockchain.   

The initiative has caught on in India as well, at the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University Hyderabad. The university has deployed Blockchain in its academic credentialing system as a response to forgeries. Students were applying for visas using fake certificates in the state of Telangana.  

Blockchain Student Records  

For universities Blockchain can be more than just a way to improve how credentials are provided. For example, the University of Nicosia in Cyprus is using Blockchain to record students’ achievements and is proving very popular. The same is being done at the Holberton School of Software Engineering in San Francisco. The school announced that it would share academic certificates through Blockchain from 2017 onwards.  

ECPI University in Virginia has done the same thing. They’ve partnered with a Blockchain digital credentials start-up and had uploaded over 1000 diplomas as of August 2018. This has allowed students to share digital certificates with employers and recruiters without the need for them to send the certificates through mail.  


At least one major country has made use of Blockchain to make examinations tamper-proof. In 2019, the Russian Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Education and Science announced that they would use blockchain technology for the graduation exams. They would use it to ensure quality control for the Unified State Exam in the country.   

In Conclusion 

It’s still early days for Blockchain use in Education but as summarized above, the potential is clear right across the student lifecycle – from admissions to assessment and certification to student records. Legacy investments in integrated Student Information Systems (SIS) are not the barrier they may seem as Blockchain can naturally play a role of bridging the information gap between students and the institution, their potential employers and the many other untrusted parties in the student eco-system such as banks, accommodation providers and public authorities.  

If you’re looking for a partner to explore how blockchain could be put to use today to increase trust, create value and differentiate your institution then contact us. 

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