The executive arm of the European Union has issued a new report on the potentials of blockchain technology in the education sector.
Called "Blockchain in Education," the European Commission report explores the feasibility, challenges, benefits and risks of applications of blockchain technology in schools and universities. Aimed at policymakers, the study represents an exploratory review of the topic, focusing on the state-of-the-art of the field in Europe.
The report explained:
"This exploratory study addresses the value... blockchain may bring to stakeholders within the educational sector, with a particular focus on its potential for digital accreditation of personal and academic learning."
The report goes on to propose eight scenarios in which the authors believe blockchain can be applied to challenges in the industry, including digital certification, multi-step accreditation, the recognition and transfer of credits and student payment transactions.
On a concluding note, however, the study cautioned that blockchain applications for education are still in their infancy, stressing that only "fully open" implementations can achieve the real goals and the promise of blockchain in education.
That said, blockchain interest is growing among educational institutions.
MIT, for instance, recently issued digital diplomas to over 100 graduates as a part of a pilot project using blockchain technology. This project was followed closely by a pilot focused on digital certifications and led by a U.S. non-profit medical board group for medical graduates.
Likewise, governments are showing an interest in pushing the tech forward here as well, with Malta's government even trialing blockchain to track academic certifications.
Disclosure: CoinDesk advisory board chair Michael J. Casey contributed to this report.
EU Image via Shutterstock