Interview: Professor Jan Veuger – Saxion University of Applied Sciences

By Alex Speirs Published: October 29, 2020

Bitcoin Association’s partnership with Saxion University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands was announced earlier this month, with a series of Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) to be made available beginning early-2021.

Saxion University, with almost 27,000 students, is already renowned for embracing blockchain technology, appointing Dr. Jan Veuger as the Netherland’s first Professor of Blockchain in 2019 – part of a broader commitment to embracing emerging tech.

‘Blockchain is not a hype, but a fundamental change in society; the impact on education and the future professional is therefore very big,’ says Veuger.

Jan Veuger

The partnership will entail a series of four co-run Bitcoin SV-focused MOOCs, all offered free of charge and set to focus both on the immense power of Bitcoin’s protocol, as well as offer practical guidance as to how to build with the Bitcoin SV blockchain.

Veuger’s role as one of the world’s first blockchain professors means he has been given a unique vantage point to the pipeline of future tech leaders that are moving through the university, as well as effect initiatives like this can have on those who participate. This is a big reason why the MOOCs are so important to Saxion; maintaining and nurturing the talent pipeline is good for everyone, says Veuger.

‘There are several opportunities for students to develop themselves. Learning to learn is the most important thing and we as Research Group Blockchain want to contribute to this by giving lectures, Blockchain masterclasses and more,’ says Veuger.

‘A good example is that the first MOOC that we are developing, together with Bitcoin Association, provides introductory insights into the Blockchain, with the follow-up MOOCs offering students the chance to develop that knowledge further.’

Blockchain’s capacity for disruption across every industry makes investing in the growing community of developers who are interested in the technology not just a positive for the next wave of students to come through the University, but also society at large.

‘As a professor, I am convinced that systems change societal developments – but also vice versa,’ says Veuger.

‘Through Saxion’s establishment of the Research Group Blockchain and the commitment of all members of this group, we are getting more and more insight into what is happening worldwide in this field.’

The Bitcoin Association-Saxion University MOOCs will be offered for free, so that anyone wanting to take their first steps in learning more about Bitcoin is able to do so, regardless of means or location – an important point, with development and adoption rates differing significantly between geographies.

‘Adoption is quite different globally; you see in the Western European world, dominated by institutions, that adoption is slower than in other areas. Unknown makes unloved! It is therefore even more important to share knowledge,’ explains Veuger.

‘There have always been changes in society, and new developments can be a threat to some institutions – but technological developments can bring society to a higher level. You now also see many movements around the adoption of currency such as the Dutch Bank, the German government and within the European Commission. Together we can make a difference by showing that blockchain and Bitcoin actually work, and that they are based on actually working systems and, above all, continue to develop.’

The first of the MOOCs is planned to launch in early 2021. To find out more and register your place, visit https://mooc.saxion.nl/courses/course-v1:SAXION+BC1+2021/about