Hong Kong university - HKUST to build world’s first Metaverse campus
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) announced its plans to open the world’s first physical-digital twin campuses called MetaHKUST, in the Metaverse.
MetaHKUST will serve as an extended reality (XR) learning environment for students from different places to attend classes as if they were in the same class by connecting the two campuses in Hong Kong and Guangzhou. This aims to help students overcome geographical constraints when attending classes. In addition, provide an immersive university experience for them as well as to function as a ‘holistic platform’ to bring students, professors, and alumni together to create and innovate.
The launch party of the virtual reality classroom will take place on the Metaverse on September 1, with the inauguration of the Guangzhou campus.
Chair professor of computational media and arts at the Guangzhou campus, Pan Hui said that many overseas guests may not be able to attend the event and therefore, ‘we will host it in the metaverse.’
As opposed to conducting classes on Zoom, which ‘feels like you’re just looking at a 2D screen’, Hui said that through virtual reality, ‘you can feel as if you’re there’ and promotes interaction. ‘How you interact with students around you will increase your learning outcome,’ he added.
MetaHKUST will initially introduce physical infrastructures including XR classrooms, sensors, cameras and visualization technology.
Members will then be able to create their own content in MetaHKUST, including their own avatars, NFTs and more.
For the future, the university will implement Web3 applications in their administrative procedures such as awarding diplomas and transcripts as NFTs.
HKUST’s Vice-President for Institutional Advancement, Professor WANG Yang, who also leads the MetaHKUST project, remarked, ‘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. 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. The online-offline interaction will not only facilitate a genuine integration of the two campuses under the framework of ‘Unified HKUST, Complimentary Campuses’, but will also help realize the potential of metaverse in education.’