Blockchain in Higher Education: Payment Control

Smart contracts enable/enforce bilateral accountability. Payments could be withheld conditionally, released pending satisfaction, and matched in high resolution to service usage. Smart contracts ensure punctuality of payments but also force service providers to accept payment-according-to usage. For HE, such flexibility represents pedagogic challenges. Learner commitment cannot be assumed. Wherever possible, teaching would have to be packaged into stand-alone compartments, to allow students to attend according to their requirements.

Via smart contracts, all forms of HE finance – loans, fees, grants, etc. – could be automatically billed, issued, and otherwise processed. This would obviate another administrative duty and allow resources to be diverted to time-strapped academics for value addition, i.e. quality in practice. 

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