South Africa university using blockchain for student registry

South Africa blockchain student registry

The University of Cape Town (UCT) is working with blockchain startup Registree to build a blockchain-based records for students.

The Registree blockchain application aims to connect students with a network of employers for the efficient sharing of data between parties.

South Africa, like the rest of Africa, has a high youth unemployment rate mainly due to the lack of opportunities and a persistence skill shortage. The labour demand-supply mismatch—caused largely by inadequate education and lack of productivity is costing jobs.

Registree blockchain platform

Registree’s mission is to bridge the gap between job seekers and employers by using blockchain technology to enable seamless and secure exchange of information relating to academic credentials.

Co-Pierre Georg, associate professor at the University of Cape Town and co-founder of Registree said:

“We started Registree because we realized that universities struggle to fully use of the vast amount of student data, they collect due to information sensitivity. The consequence is that students sometimes fall through the cracks and struggle to find suitable employment.”

“Employers also struggle to find the ideal graduate, which in turn can hinder their ability to attract great talent.”

Students at UCT together with their professor started working on the blockchain registry platform more than two years ago but did not disclose its development until now. Built on Ethereum blockchain, the digital database leverages distributed ledger technology to protect and secure student’s data while sharing with employers only what’s necessary. It also gives students unparalleled privacy protection and control over their personal data.

Sabine Bertram, Chief Technology Officer of Registree and Ph.D. student at UCT explained further:

“Protecting student’s privacy was paramount for us when we designed Registree. By using blockchain we are able to strike a fine balance between the universities’ responsibilities as data custodians, the students’ right to privacy, and third parties’ demand for these data.”

Georg, meanwhile, added that their blockchain company will essentially be able to provide “world-class data analytics” solutions without having to own user’s data.

Academic transcripts

The platform also allows employers to search thousands of students through filtering by degree, grades, and other factors to identify the right talent. Besides, educational institutions such as universities and colleges can use the platform to integrate sensitive student records into a decentralised data ecosystem that guarantees complete control over personal information.

UCT in collaboration with McKinsey & Company recently trialed Registree blockchain platform to demonstrate its functionality. During the pilot programme, students were asked to register through the platform and they were consequently issued with blockchain-verified digital transcripts.

“We are already working with other universities in the country to create a truly inclusive data ecosystem and help more universities to provide the best possible support for their students,” Georg concluded.

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About the author

Vincent Olago

Vincent Olago

Vincent Olago is the Managing Editor of Ledger Africa and has been active in the blockchain space for three years now. He's passionate about entrepreneurship and the potential of disruptive blockchain technologies to reshape our world. He supports startups to tackle blockchain challenges, address strategic problems and optimize growth.