University of Twente Student Theses


Blockchain certificates : the impact on the organization of public values in higher education

Vonk, Jeroen H.J. (2021) Blockchain certificates : the impact on the organization of public values in higher education.

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Abstract:Blockchain is a popular emerging technology and its application is considered in higher education, especially certificates. Whereas certificates are stored by universities, blockchain promises ownership to students. It offers opportunities for universities to get more authority in accreditation. Blockchain promises exclusion of the third party from interactions, self-sovereignty, transparency and security. As blockchain comes with a set of promises and expectations, its embedding in higher education raises questions about the discourse of public values. While the authority lies with governmental institutions, public value organization is delegated to the universities through a principal-agent relationship. Hence, the research question of this paper is: “How will blockchain certificates change the socio-technical regime, and thereby affect the governmental organization of public values?” The methodology includes empirical investigations of initiatives analyzed through two approaches: Actor-Network Theory and Multi-Level Perspective. The findings show there are two fundamental elements in embedding of blockchain certificates: governmental involvement in initiative consortia, and the type of educational innovation of blockchain certificates. While innovation affects public values directly, governmental involvement determines division of responsibilities in organizing public values. These findings suggest that the relationship between national governments and universities becomes more asymmetrical, resulting in power shift.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:08 philosophy, 88 social and public administration
Programme:Philosophy of Science, Technology and Society MSc (60024)
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