Chinese universities embrace Metaverse | Times Higher Education (THE)

Chinese universities are increasingly embracing the metaverse concept, opening virtual reality campuses and funding research positions in a bid to establish their leadership in this field.

It has always been promoted to create virtual worlds where students can learn and interact with each other The next big technological innovation In higher education, experts say that China wants to put itself first.

Nankai University in Tianjin announce Launch of China’s first Metaverse School of Journalism and Communication, with plans to develop ‘meta professors’ and virtual reality classrooms. Northwest University In Shaanxi, the first one was opened campus metaverse Based on real life equations.

Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology in jiangsu Renamed Its Department of Information Engineering as a “Metaverse Engineering Department”, believed to be the first of its kind in China, offers skills training in the sector. At the same time, Hong Kong Polytechnic University launched one year Master of Science in Metaverse Technology.

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) has a “long-term plan that seeks to ride the wave of the coming digital age to enhance teaching and learning experiences,” said Wang Yang, its vice president for institutional progress. This ambition is led by MetaHKUST, a blueprint for the development of the world’s first Physical double campuswhich was announced in July.

Professor Wang, who leads the school, said the Hong Kong Foundation is working with its campus in Guangzhou in mainland China to develop mixed reality classrooms, “with the view that students from both campuses can eventually attend classes together in an extended reality environment.” MetaHKUST.

These developments indicate that Chinese universities are eager to embrace the future and have begun preparing their staff to teach in new environments, said Fu Xiaolan, professor of technology and international development in the People’s Republic of China. Oxford universityDepartment of International Development. It also reflects China’s ambitions to lead the “march towards [the] global technology frontiers, particularly in emerging technology areas,” she said Times Higher Education.

However, this trend is not without challenges. “Apart from the need to constantly create a massive amount of content to keep pace with education and research needs, infrastructure is another major challenge that researchers are striving to overcome,” said Professor Wang. He noted that network reliability and students’ sensory experience were the main issues that needed to be addressed before the university could use the metaverse for teaching and learning more broadly.

Professor Fu said oversupply could be a potential problem, if all universities choose to set up their own introduction schools.

Sun Jiashan said, expert in Digital Cultural Industries and Associate Professor of China Academy of Arts. “But they need to be careful about the financial intentions behind these ‘luxury concepts’ and to integrate both basic research and applied research.”

Dr Sun said the failure of the “metaverse” real estate market – where average virtual land prices fell this year – revealed a lot about the speculative nature that remains to be seen. He added, “Progress in any academic subject requires sufficient time to be embraced and developed.”

karen.liu@timeshighereducation.com

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