Can Blockchain Help the World Meet the UN’s Higher Education Goals?

While the use of blockchain technology is still in its infancy, it is already beginning to help solve some of the world’s major problems. Blockchain technology is often touted as the future of the world by the tech community, but most people have no idea how it works or why it could be important to them.

Since blockchain is a decentralized, public ledger system, it creates a permanent, unalterable record of all transactions. This record can be accessed by multiple people at the same time, but it cannot be changed, hacked, or destroyed. So, if we start using blockchain to improve industries, such as education, what would it look like?

What Are the UN’s Higher Education Goals?

In 2015, the United Nations set 17 Sustainable Development Goals, its most ambitious global agenda yet. In order to achieve the ambitious targets laid out in these goals, the world’s human resources will need to be optimized. According to the World Economic Forum, this will require the world to invest $2.5 trillion to achieve these goals by 2030.

We all know that education is the key to unlocking the potential of people around the world—without it, people are less likely to escape poverty and inequality. The 4th Sustainable Development Goal references higher education, and is based around three major aims: ensuring that all people have access to higher education, establishing a culture of lifelong learning, and promoting gender equality. The goal is that by 2030, all people everywhere will be able to afford quality education, including university. 

The question is, can blockchain become a part of achieving this initiative?

Barriers to Higher Education

Higher education is a vital part of a healthy society, as it provides people with skills to earn a living and participate in their community. However, more than 100 million learners will not have access to higher education either due to the costs or unavailability in their region. 

This is largely due to the fact that most countries do not have the resources to invest in education for all of their citizens. Additionally, there aren’t enough qualified instructors to teach online. Governments are now starting to realize the long-term benefits of supporting educational systems and the economic growth they produce. 

While more countries are investing in improving their educational systems, Blockchain has been recognized as an important resource for making online distance learning more available globally. Online learning has been around for a while, but the pandemic has increased the availability of online courses.

Blockchain for OER

Open educational resources, or OER, are free educational materials that are available for you to download, use and share. Simply put, OER is the digitization and presentation of educational resources for the purpose of education. The purpose of OER is to remove the need for physical textbooks and related educational materials. The implementation and use of OER have grown exponentially within the past ten years, especially in the higher education community.  

OER is increasingly promoted by governments and non-profit organizations as a way to promote the accessibility of high-quality education. While OER isn’t a brand new concept, the explosion of the Internet has made OER a reality for educators everywhere. OER can take a variety of formats, from textbooks to videos to graphics.

In education, blockchain can be used to track and verify student-produced course content, which could be a boon to OER since many educators are uncomfortable with putting their courses online without a way to verify the content is authentic. Blockchain technology is a decentralized and encrypted ledger where information can be tracked in a way that’s public, secure, and anonymous. As a result, the technology can help support the dissemination on a global scale by benefitting the maintenance and distribution of data.

Easier Payments

The implementation of blockchain technology into the educational system has the potential to revolutionize the way the world makes payments for tuition. With the help of blockchain technology, students will be able to streamline the payment process, while universities will be able to avoid the headache of having to deal with an influx of online payments.

The New York-based King’s College began accepting payments made in cryptocurrency for tuition and other school-related costs. This is the first time a university has ever done so. The college has partnered with the digital currency processing company BitPay to make this possible. The college is encouraging students to pay school fees using their favorite cryptocurrencies, as opposed to credit cards, with the hope that this will also encourage more students to apply.

Record Keeping

Blockchain is a technology that can help education in a variety of ways. While there are many entities that could benefit from this, higher education institutions are in a unique position to capitalize on the blockchain. The reason for this is that the blockchain can help them to create a level of transparency that is currently not available.

Blockchain technology is being used to record and track all data related to educational certificates and degrees. In the future, blockchain technology could be used to store all of the information related to students’ educational progress, including course grades and test scores. That means that the blockchain could store student records and provide a transparent, secure ledger of a person’s academic achievements. This data would be both accessible and secure, preventing any tampering or modification.

In a move that could improve the overall quality of education, schools from around the world are turning to blockchain technology to store students’ records. For example, the University of Nicosia in Cyprus began to use blockchain to store students’ grades, exam scores, and other information way back in September 2014. Other schools around the world are considering uniting to create a shared infrastructure to store students’ credentials and other data.

The Foundation of a New Financial Literacy

The cryptocurrency industry is giving the world a profound gift: the chance to break free from decades of financial enslavement. However, there is a problem with the way that most cryptocurrency users understand and use this gift. That problem is a lack of financial literacy, and it’s making many would-be cryptocurrency users sink their money into scams and schemes that promise easy riches at the expense of the user’s financial security.

Still, cryptocurrency’s potential is important for financial literacy because it lays a foundation for understanding how central banks and governments manage their currencies. One of the most appealing characteristics of cryptocurrency is that it is an alternative to the existing financial system, and it is worth knowing about it even if it doesn’t replace the current system. To understand the importance of crypto, it is necessary to understand the role of money in the world.

Blockchain technology is slowly but surely revolutionizing the way we do things around the world. Every day, new use cases are being developed across a wide range of industries. The same goes for blockchain technology. It is slowly but surely making its way into the education sector. While it may not have a direct impact on the education industry, the ability to store and share information in an immutable, secure, and decentralized manner has immense potential to change the way we store and share information and hopefully bring us closer to achieving accessible education for everyone.

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