CoinDesk announces our 2022 ranking of the 50 universities with the biggest impact on blockchain. We examined each of 240 schools based on metrics that include the number and influence of its research publications, the number of courses, degrees, conferences, clubs and industry partnerships or grants, where graduates get jobs, its reputation and many other measurements.
This piece is part of CoinDesk's Education Week
For more on the methodology, including details of these metrics, read Best Universities for Blockchain 2022: CoinDesk's Methodology. For a brief profile of each of our 50 outstanding schools, click on each of the names below. And to get insight and analysis on what our data reveal about the biggest changes regionally and across the globe concerning blockchain research, and what that might indicate about the regulatory temperature for blockchain, see The Best Universities for Blockchain 2022: Where Is Research Having The Biggest Impact?
CoinDesk embarked on this months-long project even as well-known rankings of universities are being scrutinized, especially after Columbia University's data was called into question on the U.S. News and World Report's (USNWR) 2022 and 2023 lists.
Our methodology, while not perfect, avoids some of the problems massive university rankings often do. CoinDesk pulled its own data from publicly available databases and the websites of the universities themselves, rather than relying on self-reported responses from our sample of 240 schools. While our data retrieval method could be incomplete, it's unlikely it could be manipulated.
We also had to reflect on the meaning of ranking universities for their research and pedagogy in the emerging technology of blockchain. Our readers are unlikely to be teens – or their parents – looking for the best schools to attend as undergraduates. We know our audience to be older and with jobs, whether in crypto or a related field, or not. So why rank universities for our audience? For one reason, fair or not, universities are graduating the people who will be working in blockchain for years to come. Employers may find our research useful. For another, we measured whether schools offered graduate degrees and non-degree certificates, and included those details in each of our stories for the crypto curious who want to take their education further.
Finally, taking one of the most traditional institutions in the world for measuring professional success, the university, and measuring how it is adapting to teach and study a transformative emerging technology, is illuminating. For instance, the tiny nation of Singapore, which covers just 283 square miles (733 sq. km) and a 2021 population of 6 million people (similar to Johannesburg), had two of its universities in this year's top 10.
This result may be due to the city-state's crypto-friendly regulatory environment (though that stance may be undergoing a change). But it also may reveal something positive about blockchain generally.
"Singapore is punching way above its weight on the global stage," said MIT researcher Reuben Youngblom, who advised CoinDesk on the methodology for these rankings. "It's a fun commentary on what blockchain is capable of, being somewhat of an equalizer."
"At this point in these rankings, something like adding one class could add a significant bump," he said. "Adding a degree program would have a huge impact. It speaks to how nascent this field is in education."
Our rankings are an opportunity to take a step back from the unrelenting news and attention-grabbing events of this fast-moving industry to provide yet another lens for looking at the crypto universe as a whole, and taking stock.
The CoinDesk Best Universities for Blockchain 2022 was produced by Cathy Choo, data researcher and analyst, and Joe Lautzenhiser, editorial researcher and strategist, in consultation with Reuben Youngblom, lecturer/researcher at Stanford University/MIT, with tremendous assistance from the editorial staff of CoinDesk and especially Trista Xinyi Luo, features and opinion intern, and Kurt Christenson, photo editor.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.