A Framework to Implement Advanced Technologies in Higher Education Institutions: A Blockchain-Based Solution Case Study

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
The main drive behind this research is a statement made by Haugsbakken and Langseth (2019) that higher education institutions (HEIs) have a history of being slow and ineffective in adopting new technologies. The United Arab Emirates has encouraged HEIs to adopt new technologies to reinforce services. One of the main operations in HEIs is managing students’ credentials which requires HEIs to implement smart solutions rather than following traditional practices such as filling paper-based forms and getting approvals via emails. However, smart solutions, technologies, and advanced systems are associated with several challenges that might drive decision-makers away from replacing the traditional practices with new advances solutions in HEIs. This research proposes a general implementation framework that can guide decision-makers in HEI when implementing new solutions and technologies. The research also takes Blockchain Technology as a case study to customize the proposed framework and use it to implement Blockchain-based solutions. The researcher has conducted several qualitative and quantitative methods. First, highlighting challenges of implementing new solutions that were discussed in literature; with the focus on Blockchain as one of the most promising technologies. Second, building an online survey questionnaire in which HEIs stakeholders participated in to rank the challenges and provide further insights. Third, studying the case of a private university in The United Arab Emirates to highlight the issues of the current traditional credentials management practices and use the new proposed framework to implement a new Blockchain-based system in the same university. For the validation, the research was presented and published at two international conferences. It was also validated with the experts’ feedback and a live demo. This research does not focus on the technical aspects of Blockchain technology or any other technology but serves as a guideline to motivate decision-makers and stakeholders in HEIs to adopt new technologies.
advanced technology, higher education, framework, credentials management systems, United Arab Emirates (UAE), blockchain, Higher Education Institutions (HEIs)