With the development of the university as a center of research and education, the human species turned on the engine of intellectual and cultural development. We saw versions of this is China, India, North Africa, and in cities like Baghdad, Bologna, Paris, Oxford, and Cambridge. Everything that we ever learned as a species is encapsulated in our universities, but our universities are fragile communities and they face serious and growing difficulties.
Dr Jonathan Duquette, University of Oxford
In this technology-driven world, people are exposed to an increasing flow of data and information day after day. Never before in human history have we had access to such an enormous amount of knowledge and so easily: online encyclopedias, digitized libraries, YouTube videos, and so on.
Dr Miles Pattenden, University of Oxford
I think the greatest challenges facing academia today are job security and the freedom to pursue what we value. At my university, over three-quarters of staff are on fixed-term contracts and many of us don't know what we will be doing in six months time. At the same time, even academics who have long-term contracts face an ever-increasing administrative burden, and often have to teach according to a one-size-fits-all model, which suits universities, but not necessarily teaching or students.
Dr Andreas Winkler, University of Oxford
Much of the money in academia doesn't go to the core tasks of academics like teaching and research but feeds into a heavy administrative organization.
Universities are our essential institutions for the advancement of society and for the development of the next generation. But right now, they're struggling to support their members. We need clear-eyed, long-term, and practical solutions. At Woolf, we've developed practical solutions for tuition costs and academic employment.
At the moment, online learning has it back-to-front: they keep all the back-room management of a traditional university but produce a generic end-product. At Woolf, we want to do something very different: to automate the administration and to provide personalized, bespoke teaching, one-to-one.
Our team will use blockchain technology and smart contracts to build a platform on which students will be able to connect with world-class academics to receive a high-quality, person-to-person teaching wherever they are in the world.
Dr Diana Rodríguez Pérez, University of Oxford
Being based on blockchain technology allows teachers and academics to do what they do best and devote more time for the students, and that means happier academics and happier students.
Dr Rachel Wood, University of Oxford
It's very difficult to overstate the value of tutorial teaching for a student's development, particularly when it comes to critical thinking.
In a dialogue, the student can get immediate feedback and have his or her ideas challenged.
It's not about memorizing facts—it's about questioning and about being questioned. It's like a journey to the unknown because you know where you start, but you never know where you will end, and that's the magic about it.
Dr Joshua Broggi, University of Oxford
Woolf is geographically-agnostic. This is not about online teaching. This is about computerized administration and organization which can be used in a physical setting like a traditional university, but which also facilitates distance learning in a one-to-one tutorial setting.
We believe that the future of human education needs to be more direct and personal: that's the best use of our human resources. Yes, we need books and podcasts and MOOCs and videos of lectures, but those aren't enough. We need wise and experienced academics to help students chart a course across growing volumes of information. Machines and artificial intelligence and robots are good at many things, and they are likely to be getting better, so we need an education that prepares people to do what only people can do—and Woolf is going to make that possible.
• Read our whitepaper: https://bit.ly/WoolfWhitePaper
• Read our token economics paper: https://bit.ly/WoolfTokenPaper
• Visit our website: https://Woolf.University
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