Woolf University: First Blockchain-Powered University to 'Alter the Economics of Higher Education'

  • Woolf University aims to be the first institute of higher learning to use blockchain technology to manage its operations.
  • Woolf's developers, who are mainly University of Oxford academics, believe that blockchain can help make tuition fees more affordable while allowing teachers to earn more by eliminating intermediaries.

Woolf University will reportedly be the world’s first “fully-accredited, borderless, blockchain-powered” university. According to its official website, Woolf will aim to ensure “regulatory compliance”, “reduce bureaucracy”, and provide custodian solutions for users’ financial and personal information by using blockchain technology.

Oxbridge-Style Tutorials

Woolf is currently developing software which will allow students to communicate with teachers throughout the world. The university’s website notes that the student learning process will be guided by Oxbridge-style tutorials.

These tutorials are conducted by assigning a student mentor to a small group of five learners. The mentor usually meets with the learners about once a week and offers helpful suggestions on how they can move forward with the work they’re doing.

Notably, the Woolf platform will “support both in-person and distance learning.” As described by ABC News, the blockchain-powered learning institute will “provide a system of one-to-one education that will prove cheaper for students and pay more for teachers.”

Both in-person and distance learning sessions will be logged on Woolf’s blockchain once its development is complete and the university officially starts operating. As explained by Woolf University, “the [learning] session is logged on the Woolf blockchain when the teacher and student use the app to 'check-in' at the start of class. This allocates credit to the student, salary to the teacher, and cuts out the middle layer of bureaucracy between the classroom and the accreditation regulator.”

Woolf Platform Whitepaper

The Woolf platform’s whitepaper states that it will have its own native token and will use smart contracts to “protect relationships between students and educators.” Developed by faculty members from the University of Oxford, the Woolf education system aims to become a “decentralized, non-profit, democratic community.”

As described in its whitepaper: 

At its core, Woolf makes possible the oldest and most venerable form of human education: direct personal, individual apprenticeships in thinking ... this will be increasingly valuable as artificial intelligence and robotics gain an ever-greater share of the current jobs.

Woolf Platform Whitepaper

At present, the creators of Woolf are working on obtaining regulatory approval to offer degree-granting study programs. The development and deployment of the Woolf network is reportedly being managed by an entity called Woolf Development Ltd.

Blockchain Courses In Turkey

As CryptoGlobe reported in August, Turkey launched its first blockchain research and innovation center called BlockchainIST. The center aims to facilitate “scientific studies and publications” in blockchain technologies.

Also as covered by CryptoGlobe, London’s School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) offers a six-week online course to help people learn how to start investing in blockchain-based digital assets. The course intends to assist students in developing "the knowledge to understand both the technology and the markets underpinning cryptocurrencies, focusing on the practical aspects of these assets including wallets, exchange, ICOs and regulation."