Times Higher Education Reveals Academia Is Adopting Blockchain Technology

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2018 uses 13 “carefully calibrated performance indicators to provide the most comprehensive and balanced comparisons, trusted by students, academics, university leaders, industry and governments.” The findings for their 2018 international league table were independently audited for data accuracy by PwC, making this the “only global university rankings subjected to full, independent scrutiny of this nature.” A quick glance at the list reveals many of the world’s top schools are also ones adding blockchain education to their courses and modules. This is an indication that jurisdictional competition between universities is going to now include blockchain technology offerings as institutions compete to attract the best academic talent.

Many industries have already turned to blockchain, and recognized it alongside machine learning and artificial intelligence as fundamental to the transforming global economy. Organizations like Goldman Sachs, Microsoft, and IBM already have a presence in the space. It was only a matter of time before academia and government followed suit. To better understand how universities are remaining relevant by incorporating blockchain technology into their curriculums, ETHNews spoke with Dr. TAN Chuan Hoo of the National University of Singapore, one of Times Higher Education 2018 top performing universities. TAN told ETHNews:

“Blockchain is an emerging disruptive technology that has critical applications in the financial sector. It is important that our Information Systems students are equipped with a robust understanding of latest technologies and have updated skillsets to deploy them smartly in key industry sectors, such as the financial industry. This year, we are launching the financial technology specialisation in our Bachelor of Computing (Information Systems) degree programme. In this specialisation, we have three core modules and three elective modules. The module on blockchain technology is one of the three core modules under the financial technology specialisation.”

Perhaps there is an equation that describes how technological adoption plays out at institutions of higher education. That might explain why forward thinking academics arrived at a consensus about blockchain’s importance after the power brokers of big business. Regardless, it seems both industry and academia will be exploiting the benefits of blockchain technology long before many governments of the world. If such an equation that describes these relationships does exist, it may be found by one of the following world class academic institutions. While nearly every school on Times Higher Education’s 2018 list is likely to offer some form of blockchain related course, club, or society, ETHNews took time to identify a few of the pack leaders.

Times Higher Education’s 2018 #2 University of Cambridge, UK

The University of Cambridge has been maintaining academic excellence and has been a world class research institution for nearly 1000 years. Its Centre for Alternative Finance at the Judge Business School recently published a landmark study on cryptocurrencies

Times Higher Education’s 2018 #8 Imperial College London, UK

Imperial College London often plays second fiddle to the Oxbridges of the United Kingdom; however, their Centre for Cryptocurrency Research and Engineering is already world class.  

Times Higher Education’s 2018 #15 University of California, Los Angeles, USA

UCLA’s Blockchain Lab beats out stiff competition in California. 

Times Higher Education’s 2018 #19 Cornell, USA

Cornell might be frozen over half of the year, but it’s one of the hottest blockchain universities on the planet. Cornell is where Citi sends their employees to learn from professors like Emin Gun Sirer.  

Times Higher Education’s 2018 #22 National University of Singapore

The National University of Singapore has blockchain partnerships with IBM as well as unique course offerings.

It will be exciting to see what developments will come out of universities, now that they are catching up to the blockchain technology revolution. TAN continued:

“We see teaching blockchain technology as a very good fit in our Bachelor of Computing (Information Systems) degree programme. Our students are not only trained in programming, but also in enterprise platform design, development and deployment. Teaching blockchain technology as an advanced module is a natural, fitting choice.”