HKUST Designs First Virtual Campus in the Metaverse

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Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) has chosen to ride in the waves of digital innovation and blockchain technology.

In a press release, the academic institution announced its intention to establish the world’s first physical-digital twin campuses in the Metaverse. 

This, the university believes, would enhance the teaching and learning experience. Therefore, the students will now take classes, interact with peers, and attend the open days and other events on a virtual campus.

 

With the use of visualization tools, cameras,  virtual reality (VR) headsets, sensors, and extended-reality classrooms, students in both Hong Kong and Guangzhou can take their classes at the same time, and in the same place. The campuses will be part of the MetaHKUST, an extended-reality classroom project co-led by Wang Yang and Pan Hui, both professors at HKUST.

 

Wang Yang is the Project Lead of MetaHKUST while Pan Hui is the director of the Center for Metaverse and Computational Creativity. The HKUST’s sudden advancement into the Web3.0 space is scheduled to officially take off in September. Specifically, one of the university’s students is likely to have his graduation ceremony in the Web3.0 space in December.

 

HKUST Leads in Academic Innovation 

Special teaching and learning aids like VR headsets, XR classrooms, and sensors will be installed for the initial testing stage. Thereafter, members of the University, both staff and student will be onboarded in a crowdsourced scanning of the physical campuses. The purpose of this is to provide the needed images for the design of the virtual twin campuses. 

 

The completion of this project will open HKUST to a broader network in the Metaverse. HKUST members will be permitted to come up with contents of their own. They could develop their own avatars, and design non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and other tokens or virtual artworks for the virtual world.

 

HKUST prides itself as an academic institution that is always the first to inculcate innovative teaching and learning processes. It was amongst the first universities to introduce interdisciplinary teaching and electronic learning (e-learning), although many universities had been integrating blockchain in some form over the years. 

 

Based on the University’s website post; 

 

“MetaHKUST is yet another major initiative of HKUST to facilitate immersive learning and connect students and research activities across different geographical locations.”

Image source: Shutterstock

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