Blockchain Technology Integration Grows in Higher Education

9 Oct 2023 00:00 | Entrepreneurship

In a rapidly evolving world, the significance of integrating and teaching blockchain technology in higher education is on the rise. This emerging technology, originally associated with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, has now found a broader range of applications. Blockchain technology not only promises to enhance data transparency and security but can also transform higher education in ways previously unimaginable.

Blockchain technology has swiftly evolved into a revolutionary force offering novel and innovative approaches to conducting transactions, streamlining processes, and simultaneously enhancing transparency and security. Blockchain technology functions akin to a digital ledger, recording a history of all transactions ever made. Each block in the blockchain contains a unique cryptographic hash (data converted into a unique string) linked to the previous block, creating a continuous chain of blocks. Instead of a single central authority overseeing everything, a blockchain is shared across multiple computers, making data manipulation nearly impossible. In essence, blockchain is a means of storing and securing data without the need for a central authority. It's as if everyone collaborates to ensure the accuracy of the information, which makes it invaluable in various applications, including higher education.

Benefits for Higher Education

The advantages of integrating blockchain technology into higher education are abundant. This integration allows students to learn about emerging technologies and explore the applications of technological advancements in various sectors, fostering the development of innovative ideas and business models. “Business schools in the Netherlands and Europe understand that teaching about blockchain is a new and diverse field of study. This is because blockchain technology is still evolving and doesn't have all its rules and concepts clearly defined. There are different approaches. Some focus on real-world applications and hands-on learning. Others cover the basic ideas and principles behind blockchain, while others look at the legal and governance issues related to blockchain, ” explains Mike Russell, senior lecturer and blockchain researcher at AUAS. As a result of the diverse nature of blockchain technology, students carry this new piece of technological innovation into a diversity of professional fields where a shortage of blockchain-savvy experts exists. Within entrepreneurship education, for example. "For entrepreneurship students, it is crucial to learn more about new technologies in general, and blockchain technology in particular. Just like the internet at the beginning of the century, blockchain will become a broad platform for the development of genuinely new products and services and how we share information with each other," explains lecturer Ingrid Wakkee (Research Group Entrepreneurship). Overall, the presence of blockchain courses in higher education promotes innovation and provides students with the opportunity to stay ahead in a rapidly evolving blockchain industry where the demand for blockchain experts is continually growing.

Generation Blockchain

The Generation Blockchain project aims to enhance knowledge about blockchain technology, concepts, and applications among students and educators, integrating them into academic disciplines, education, research, industry, and governance. This project comprises a European consortium and is partially funded by the European Union. The Dutch project partners, AMSIB and the Entrepreneurship Research Group at AUAS, focus on exploring how and where blockchain technology can be integrated into education, potential developments within student entrepreneurship, and how blockchain can contribute to the development of new (innovative, sustainable, and inclusive) business models.

Are you an educator interested in learning how to integrate blockchain technology into your lessons? Then, participate in the Generation Blockchain event on November 21 for more information on innovative blockchain educational materials and discover how students engage with blockchain technology.