The University of Tokyo to Offer Study Programs in the Metaverse

Quick take:

  • High school students and adults in the workforce can take up the courses.
  • Students will receive certificates after completing the courses.
  • The project aims to address the lack of professionals in “digital transformation” and “advanced technologies”.

The University of Tokyo, also known as Todai, announced over the weekend that it will be offering study programs in the metaverse. According to a report from Japanese news outlet, The Asahi Shimbun, the courses will be offered to high school students and adults in university and the workforce.

The courses will not be run by a faculty that offers degrees, but will instead operate under the university’s engineering-related graduate schools and students will receive a certificate after completing the courses. 

Despite the classes being held in the metaverse, the courses make no mention of Web3-related topics. Junior-high and high school students will get an introduction to the virtual space while learning about how they could find work in the engineering field. Classes for them will be held online and in real life.

University students and adults in the workforce can reskill and upskill via courses focused on artificial intelligence (AI), next-gen communication tech and entrepreneurial education. 

The project aims to address the lack of professionals in “digital transformation” and “advanced technologies”. To balance the male-dominated engineering-related fields, the university will also push to attract more women to study the programs.

The metaverse is becoming a strong use case for e-learning as students regardless of age, gender, social standing, and place of residence can take up the courses offered. 

In Japan, other use cases of the metaverse include a virtual support group from Fukuoka on the SecondLife metaverse platform. The support group works on helping Hikkikomori – social recluses who refuse to leave their homes due to severe social anxiety – on reintegrating into society.

In April, about 3800 students from 29 trade schools under the NSG College League in Niigata attended their 2022 commencement ceremony in the metaverse, allowing everyone to attend without facing the risk of being infected with Covid-19.

However, not all metaverse e-learning platforms have been smooth sailing. After raising $5 million to build the metaverse of education in February, India’s Invact Metaversity was staring at a shutdown in late May, before co-founder and former head of Twitter India, Manish Maheshwari, agreed to step down from his position as CEO and director after “irreconcilable differences” with the other co-founder and CTO Tanay Pratap.

The company is now under the leadership of Tanay Pratap. Last week, Invact Metaversity tweeted that it is launching a new program soon.

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