The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology has announced plans to build an online-based metaverse campus called Metahkust.
The institution will take its first step towards this goal with the construction of a mixed virtual reality classroom that will allow students from other latitudes to attend classes as if they were in the same space. The virtual classroom will host the launch of the new Guangzhou campus.
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology bets on the metaverse
Institutions are finding more features and applications for metaverse spaces, and are gradually integrating these technologies into their everyday processes. The University of Hong Kong announced its plan to create a joint metaverse that will integrate its two campus locations as one. Called Metahkust, the application will allow students of the institution in different latitudes to attend classes and events as if they were in the same campus.
The first event in which this metaverse-based system will be tested is the inauguration of the Guangzhou campus that the university will host next September. Pan Hui, professor of computer arts and media at the Guangzhou campus, stated:
Many guests may be overseas and unable to attend, so we will host you in the metaverse.
Benefits of a virtual approach
The institution explained the benefits that metaverse-based classrooms and campuses can offer compared to a more traditional remote classroom setup, which involves using video conferencing tools like Zoom.
Hui stated that metaverse environments offer more interaction for students, who can feel as if they are attending lessons in the real world.
Using Zoom feels like you’re just looking at a 2D screen. But through virtual reality, you can feel as if you are there. I believe that interaction is very important for learning. The way you interact with the students around you will increase your learning outcome.
In addition, Hu stated that this new approach would promote a sense of ‘unity and participation’ that would otherwise be impossible to achieve due to geographical limitations. To achieve this united virtual campus, the university will install a series of sensors and cameras to feed information to the metaverse system.
Recently, the University of Tokyo also announced the integration of metaverse technology into its learning processes. The institution reported that it will begin offering introductory engineering lessons in the metaverse later this year.