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Does competency-based education with blockchain signal a new mission for universities?

Williams, Peter


Peter Williams


New technologies and the knowledge economy are destabilising graduate professions, with artificial intelligence and the analysis of ‘big data’ making significant impacts on formerly secure jobs. Blockchain technology, offering automated secure credentialling of undergraduate students’ activities and achievements, may significantly erode existing systems of assessment. The challenge for universities will be not only to maintain the relevance of their curricula but also to manage erosion of their current near-monopoly in awarding degrees. This paper envisions a landscape in which universities must outsource parts of their course delivery and assessment in order to remain competitive. It examines a potentially sustainable mission strategy: to move away from narrow academic disciplines towards an authentic learning curriculum focusing on the development of students as whole persons with rounded educations. This paper examines implications for the academy of the convergence of artificial intelligence, data analytics and blockchain technology.


Williams, P. (2019). Does competency-based education with blockchain signal a new mission for universities?. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 41(1), 104-117.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 4, 2018
Online Publication Date Sep 19, 2018
Publication Date 2019
Deposit Date Sep 27, 2018
Publicly Available Date Jan 28, 2021
Journal Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management
Print ISSN 1360-080X
Electronic ISSN 1469-9508
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 41
Issue 1
Pages 104-117
Keywords Learning analytics; Artificial intelligence; Mission strategy; Soft skills; Authentic assessment
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Peer Review Statement: The publishing and review policy for this title is described in its Aims & Scope.; Aim & Scope:


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