The University of Bahrain (UOB) announced that they have become one of the first universities globally to issue certificates and credentials to students using blockchain. UOB has collaborated with Learning Machine who last year implemented a similar project with MIT and are recognized as the global leader of using blockchain in education.
Blockchain verified certificates would mean that any certificate issued would be secure, tamper proof and directly shareable with employers and other universities anywhere in the world instantly. The project began as a result of gaining feedback from graduates and employers that the validation of student credentials often took too long. In addition UOB is took the policy decision to ensure that UOB certificates could not be forged due to the value of having a certificate from one of the leading national universities in the MENA region. Through blockchain , both universities and employers can validate student credentials in 4 seconds through opening of an encrypted file.
University of Bahrain President, Professor Riyad Hamzah, explained the rationale for using the blockchain platform for academic records:
“We at UOB are delighted to be the trailblazers in using blockchain in the MENA region in order to better serve our students. This technology provides an encrypted platform to issue credentials to students with cryptographic proof that they were issued by UOB. Students will also have their own digital file, which means that they or indeed their employers will not have to wait for us to validate their credentials. As a pilot we are starting with our postgraduate programmes and hopefully in due course expand to undergraduate programmes.
As Bahrain positions itself as a technology first country and makes significant progress towards the national 2030 economic vision, I am excited that UOB is playing its role as a pioneer of blockchain and as the regional leader in embracing technology to better serve the country.”
Cameron Mirza,Head of Strategy, pointed out that “What is exciting about this initiative is that through blockchain we can start to look at skills and competency gaps through our work with employers. The use of Blockchain will allow us to capture the credentials and certificates of graduates in real time and if we have solid employer data, we can do the analysis immediately. Often there is a lag in understand skills gaps, through real time data we can now address issues far quicker than before and start to plan ahead to address future skills requirements.”