Ivy League in China: Education for all or censorship for all?

A network of Chinese universities has created the Ivy League. With a decentralised autonomous organisation (DAO) based on the blockchain, they want to improve the exchange of knowledge between different universities and thus create education for all. A message that has a flavor.

In total, the Tsinghua University platform currently comprises 14 universities from China

The distribution of education and its price is an issue that sometimes makes many people’s heads smoke, and rightly so. In one way they must be financed, in another they must be distributed. At the moment, these are problems that need to be solved – as we know, education is the only effective weapon against stupidity.

In order to tackle this problem, at least to some extent, a coalition of Chinese universities created the Ivy League. The Tsinghua X-Lab of the Tsinghua University is in charge, which according to an official announcement is reacting to the 19th National Congress. In it, the Chinese government encouraged the use of blockchain technology to promote higher education. The Ivy League has now committed itself to this:

“We will promote the innovation of the underlying technology of the blockchain and promote the integration of the blockchain technology and industry, while helping China become a country of strong education, science and technology”.

The catch on the matter

The ultimate aim is to combine two essential power factors in contrast to the USA: “Unlike the elite education concept of the United States Ivy League, the Ivy League advocates the concept of universal education and technological power”. This should make education accessible to all instead of making it an elitist good, as in the USA.

To this end, the Ivy League is relying on a decentralized autonomous organization. It provides for the establishment of distributed nodes for alliance members and member units in cooperative institutions, scientific research institutes and related institutions. These then have the appropriate voting rights to vote by consensus on who can learn what, when and how.

This is exactly where the catch lies. In theory, the decentralized organization of education and the associated shortening of paths is desirable for a better distribution of knowledge. However, if one follows José Herranz from the University of Bochum, DAOs lead to the formation of new central points. In the case of the Ivy League, the problem is that – despite a decentralised “autonomous” organisation – there are new power centres that ultimately vote on the learned content. Here one can assume that the contents are strongly controlled and selected in the sense of the government.