The online education market is seriously big business. Forbes valued it at $165 billion in 2016 and predicted that it’d be worth as much as $240 billion by 2023. The recruitment industry is even bigger, bringing in $150 billion in 2016 in the USA alone.

However, both sectors are also riddled with inefficiencies and are ripe for disruption by the correct technology, properly applied. The Open Source University believes that it can transform two industries in dire need of overhaul.

The need for a better system is obvious to anyone who has applied for a job, taken a course or tried to hire a new employee.

Glaring inefficiencies in the current system

Potential employees have to spend their time presenting themselves in the best light, and constantly have to update and redraft CVs rather than being free to concentrate on building their skills.

Recruitment is expensive and time-consuming for both employers and future employees. Businesses must sift through piles of applications from unqualified candidates, while applicants can all too easily miss an opportunity which perfectly matches their skills and experience.  

Then there are the difficulties in being able to trust the information presented by candidates. Verifying credentials can take weeks so can only be undertaken for a few select applicants. Meanwhile, job-seekers may be wasting their time developing skills which are unwanted by business; if they knew what employers actually valued then they could choose where to put their attention.

These problems can be grouped into two types. The first is information problems, which are down to certain pieces of knowledge (for example, the skills that businesses want from their employees) not being adequately shared with academia and job candidates. Then there are the verification problems: the difficulty in knowing that someone really has the skills they have claimed to have.

The Open Source University Solution

Into this mess comes the Open Source University. Described as the world’s “first Distributed University,” it plans to leverage “distributed ledger technology to provide acquisition, verification and validation of knowledge and skills.”

Broadly speaking its solution comes in two parts: a blockchain verification system and an online marketplace, powered by the EDU token, which uses “sophisticated matching algorithms” to partner the needs and opportunities of businesses, academia, students and employees.

Candidates’ achievements are saved to the blockchain and are therefore much more trustworthy than the claims made on current employment sites which are expensive and time-consuming to verify.

The second part of the model is as a global marketplace for talent and education. Currently there are thousands of online courses and MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) spread over hundreds of websites. OS.University puts everything in one place, opening up “access to high-quality education and career development opportunities to hundreds of millions.” This “distributed university” will start with integrating “700+ of the world’s top universities and 60+ million MOOC learners.”

Algorithms will match students with courses likely to meet their goals, while also identifying potential employees for businesses. This will reduce search costs and inefficiencies for all parties in the ecosystem.

For the Open Source University this amounts to a re-engineering of the current model and creates a new “system to enable smarter transactions of information and value through institutional and national borders.

The ICO is currently in progress, with EDU tokens available at a 15.3% discount until the end of the week.

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