Higher Education And Blockchain Prove A Convenient Combination

Rob Jonkers

In today’s day and age, the Internet is the connection point for billions of people around the globe. There is no question, the Internet is a powerful online tool for simple communication and collaboration. However, it is only built for moving and storing information.

What happens when and where the needs extend to validating the authenticity and security of data?

The answer: Blockchain.

The blockchain works as an independent, secure, safe, and transparent platform on which institutions such as universities can create a worldwide network for their students, faculty, or staff. Blockchain can help reinvent higher education in such a way that the basic flow of Internet information cannot. It is also a technology that many think will disrupt commercial and government organization interactions, financial transactions, and credentials fraud.

Higher education is becoming more diversified, democratized, and decentralized, and institutions must keep close tabs to maintain their reputation and the community’s trust in the degrees, certifications, and education they deliver. This is an opportunity for blockchain in higher education.

Blockchain is a public massive open online system with a very secure database, which can create a secure, publicly accessible ledger of academic qualifications and degrees. Universities can issue a graduate’s degree on the blockchain, providing the student a verified and secure information source for any future HR recruiting processes.

Blockchain as centralized database for credentials

The current system of degree certification is neither efficient nor particularly secure. Degrees are crucial documents that follow the graduate’s entire life span, and the traditional paper-based system is easily subject to loss and fraud. The population of students is increasing and diversifying, making it more challenging for institutions to track students, within and between institutions, for example when they are eligible for enrollment, transfer, or graduation. Digital credentialing with mobile and seamless access will be the answer. This integrated database may also prove helpful when students don’t have physical copies of their degrees, such as when they move between international jurisdictions. Blockchain-based digital credentials can follow them, regardless of their address or record-keeping.

Personal identity and student records contain very sensitive, life-long identifying information. A person’s data record usually begins with a birth certificate issued by a licensed medical professional, and everything else from that day forward, from academic achievements to medical treatment, builds a collective record. Maintaining the privacy and security of student data stored by academic institutions is of paramount importance, but it’s not always easy: The answer: Blockchain!

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Rob Jonkers

About Rob Jonkers

Rob Jonkers is a solution director for Higher Education & Research (HER) at SAP. He is responsible for enabling and driving the HER cloud solution portfolio.