While many universities and colleges are involved in research about blockchain technology, not many of them have put their feet in the water and actually used the technology. This is unfortunate, because blockchain technology can play an immense role in improving several aspects of higher education institutions, included the following:
Improving Record Keeping
Many colleges and universities currently use antiquated record-keeping systems that have been in use for decades. Those systems can no longer cope with the current realities in higher education. For example, students can now take a variety of course units offered by different schools or even campuses. Those legacy systems struggle to capture such studies undertaken at different institutions. Blockchain technology is perfectly placed to track those records because each course unit completed by students can be entered into this decentralized database, making it is easy to verify the authenticity of such records.
As a matter of fact, a number of higher education institutions are already conducting pilot programs to see how blockchain tech can be harnessed to track different degree requirements and how each student is meeting those requirements. Arizona State University is one such institution; the university is leveraging MyPath to follow students beyond their university days as they pursue their careers after graduation.
Another obvious use case of blockchain technology in higher education is in the finance department. It is almost obvious that the deployment of a blockchain system can expedite the speed with which financial aid is processed for the students who need it the most. Using blockchain in this process also enhances transparency and ensures that those who are awarded aid comply with all established conditions prior to the disbursement of the aid.
Some higher education institutions have taken the extra step of accepting payments in the form of cryptocurrencies. Examples include Bentley University and U.K.-based University of Cumbria. By accepting crypto as payment for tuition and other fees, these universities have broadened the payment options that their clients can use, and that proactive approach boosts the institution by making it attractive to a wider range of students.
Higher education institutions may have been slow to adopt blockchain technology, but the case for this technology is so compelling that it is just a matter of time before penetration picks up steam. The good thing is that many companies such as Riot Blockchain Inc. (NASDAQ: RIOT) are working to design blockchain systems that are useful in many aspects of ordinary life, so there is a high likelihood that blockchain will become commonplace in the years to come.
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