University College London has emerged as the UK’s leading academic crypto hub, new research has revealed.
The Russell Group university ranked highest in the UK in the Academic Crypto Hub Index, devised by crypto tax software company Recap – closely followed by the University of Edinburgh.
The index comprises five criteria, including the number of crypto-related courses and short-courses, crypto-related apprenticeships offered, number of crypto, blockchain and fintech societies or clubs, and the number of specialist crypto or blockchain research centres, at each university.
Along with offering 16 crypto-related full-time courses and four short courses for undergraduates and postgraduates, UCL boasts a state of the art Centre for Blockchain technologies and two crypto related societies for students to explore.
Out of all the cities in the research, London was home to the highest number of crypto specific research centres, helping to attract and enhance talent in the crypto landscape.
The University of Edinburgh comes in second place as it pushes to become the leading university for blockchain, following the launch of their first blockchain and AI accelerator programme in 2018 attracting start-ups and entrepreneurs nationwide.
Swansea University and the University of Reading are also pioneering education in the digital landscape offering 16 crypto-related courses each, ranking in third and fourth place respectively.
In the city that made 2018 headlines for a local cocktail bar accepting cryptocurrency for the first time, the University of Kent came in fifth place, offering 15 crypto-related courses for its students to choose from.
In the South, the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford and Imperial College London have all become established crypto research hubs, with each of their specialist centres contributing research into blockchain and related technologies to create a securer, fairer and more transparent decentralised society.
The top 10 academic crypto hubs in the UK:
- University College London (UCL)
- University of Edinburgh
- Swansea University
- University of Reading
- University of Kent
- University of London
- King’s College London
- Birmingham City University
- University of Liverpool
- University of Sussex
Daniel Howitt, co-founder and CEO at Recap, commented on the research:
“Crypto has sparked significant change in global markets and financial systems, creating a booming demand for a UK workforce skilled in the field, so the fact that so many UK universities are adopting crypto-currency academia is a positive sign for future prospects.
“Our research shows that higher education providers are in a race to be the most advanced in the digital landscape, with London universities currently taking the lead with three top ten spots. However, with increasing R&D in the field adding fuel to the academic crypto boom, the top providers of crypto higher education are something to keep an eye on in future.
“As the industry becomes more regulated, especially in terms of crypto tax, there needs to be an emphasis by education institutions to include cryptocurrency in modules in relevant courses – whether this be accounting, fintech or blockchain-specific courses.“
Jamie Nuttall, Head of Crypto Tax at Myna, shares his thoughts on the topic:
“As a guest speaker for universities, a lot of the questions I received were around how to get more education on all things crypto related without forking out a huge deal or ingesting sub par material.
“We are seeing more steps towards crypto related education with extremely reputable organisations, for instance, The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) recently included crypto within their syllabus and actually tested it in one of the latest exams. I cannot see a future where crypto is not being built into the current syllabus much like how IT was before it became its own subject.
“Despite Universities such as UCL demonstrating adoption of crypto in the research, there are still very few crypto-related courses, educational content and/or readily available sources for students. We are still early adopters and until we, as a collective, fully embrace and build structure for the next generation, we will fall behind.”
The full report can be found here.
For this study, our researchers analysed data from all higher education establishments across the UK, and compared them against 5 relevant index points to find which universities are leading the way as crypto-education providers. The data points included:
- The number of full-time and short-term crypto-related courses offered for undergraduates and postgraduates, in addition to crypto-related apprenticeships: Crypto-related courses and apprenticeships we those mentioning the keywords “Crypto”, “Blockchain”, “Web3”, “Bitcoin” or “FinTech” within the title or specifications.
- The number of crypto-related clubs or societies available for students: A crypto-related club or society is one that mentions the keywords “Crypto”, “Blockchain”, “Web3”, “Bitcoin” or “FinTech” in the name.
- The number of crypto-specific research centres as part of the University: A crypto-specific research centre is one that mentions the keywords “Crypto”, “Blockchain”, “Web3”, “Bitcoin” or “FinTech” in the title or key research area description. Universities with a crypto-specific research centre were given an extra weight in the index.
Once the data had been collected, a tally score was given to each university in each data set. Following this, an index score was given to each university based on the combined total tally of each data set, those with a higher tally ranking higher in the index for crypto-readiness ranging from scores of 100 to 0. E.g. The universities with no crypt-related course, club or research centre ranked last and received a lower score out of 100; whereas those with the highest amount of these desirable offerings ranked on top with a higher score; Universities with the highest index figure being most crypto-ready, and vice versa.