Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) is jumping into the Metaverse by building its own virtual campus in the virtual reality space. The institution will set up its MetaHKUST and design a learning environment that will virtually connect its two campuses located miles apart – in Hong Kong and Guangzhou.
As per CoinTelegraph, the university announced it would be hosting a launch party for its virtual reality campus on the Metaverse on Sept. 1. The event will mark the kickoff of HKUST’s plan to foster immersive learning by having virtual classrooms in the Metaverse.
It was also reported that the creation of the mixed reality classroom is part of the opening of the new campus in Guangzhou city in Hong Kong. With the connected campuses, the HKUST in the Metaverse hopes that students will be able to deal with geographical constraints when going to their classes.
The head professor of computational media and arts at the Guangzhou campus, Pan Hui, further said that since “A lot of guests might be overseas and cannot attend the opening, we will host it in the metaverse.”
Hui said that while most educational institutions around the world use Zoom or other services to conduct online classes, he thinks that the Metaverse is the better option since it offers a greater level of interaction between professors, students, and classmates.
The professor explained that through the Metaverse, students and teachers would feel as if they are actually on the campus. Hui said he believes that this setup will actually increase the learning outcome of the students.
“Hong Kong has all the elements required for the future-shaping development of Web 3.0 amid a fast convergence of our physical and digital worlds,” HKUST’s vice president for institutional advancement, Prof. Wang Yang, said in the announcement. “As what I believe as the world’s first University to build a digital twin for our two campuses, HKUST is ready to take the lead to create a sustainable XR ecosystem to better supplement research and learning.”
Finally, Yang added that the online and offline interaction would not just clear the way for genuine integration of the Hong Kong and Guangzhou school grounds under the “Unified HKUST, Complimentary Campuses” but will also help them figure out the full potential of Metaverse in education.