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Have you ever landed your dream job, but were held up because of the possible long process of validating your academic credentials by the employer? Thankfully, the University of Bahrain (UoB) graduates don’t have to worry about that because their certificates will be stored safely. How you may ask? The UoB have announced at the “Blockchain Unlocked Summit” that they have become one of the first universities globally to issue blockchain certificates to students! The blockchain certificates were created in collaboration with Learning Machine, a well-known system that is specialized in blockcerts – secured digital records. Blockchain verified certificates mean that the students’ certificates will be completely secure, and directly shareable with employers and other universities around the world within seconds.

Speaking of the blockchain certificates, UoB President Professor Riyad Hamzah told StartUp Bahrain, “We at UoB are delighted to be the trailblazers in using blockchain in the MENA region in order to better serve our students. This technology provides an encrypted platform to issue credentials to students with cryptographic proof that they were issued by UoB. The key to blockchain is establishing digital trust, transparency, and security, with this project we give these benefits to students, employers, and other universities.”

Prof. Hamzah explained that, as a pilot, the certificates will be introduced to the postgraduate students, and will eventually expand to undergraduate students. “As Bahrain positions itself as a technology first country and makes significant progress towards the national 2030 economic vision, I am excited that UoB is playing its role as a pioneer of blockchain and as the regional leader in embracing technology to better serve the country,” he said.

This isn’t UoB’s first venture into disruptive technologies as they have introduced twenty new programmes within the last two years related to cybersecurity, and a big data science programme validated by Liverpool John Moore University in the UK. Around 1000 students have enrolled in UoB’s coding program, giving them over three weeks of training in data science, machine learning, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Early this year, UoB collaborated with Google Developer Group Manama, headed by Lana Al-Attar, to host workshops for students from all areas of study and universities that focused on developing programming skills. The workshops focused on disruptive technologies such as IOT, data science, and flutter and autonomous vehicles.

Cameron Mirza, Head of Strategy said, “In the recent CEO survey released in Davos, 91% of CEOs in the Middle East believe that AI will significantly change how they do business in the next 5 years. 61% cited a lack of data analytical talent and that cybersecurity remains a substantial concern for business leaders in the region.  UoB prides itself as an institution that is preparing the future workforce for the new skills that will be in demand and are proactively dealing with digital disruptions. We are one of the few universities in the region to introduce programmes on cybersecurity, big data, and AI. Our view is that Bahrain will be the go-to destination to solve these pressing concerns through our skilled human capital.”