City, University of London (UoL) will get the UK’s largest AR, VR, and Metaverse design facility, thanks to Office for Students funding.
At the facility’s core is a three-year partnership that UoL has entered into with the ARuVR extended reality (VR) platform.
UoL will provide engineering, computing, and mathematics training for School of Science and Technology students.
ARuVR will supply the hardware and software platform, allowing teachers to interact with multiple students simultaneously in a virtual environment.
ARuVR will also provide teacher training and practical work placement for students.
“Our partnership with ARuVR enables us to provide students with a scalable, cloud-based industry-leading AR and VR rapid application building platform which will help them to develop the skills required to meet the demands of business across multiple sectors,” says SST Executive Dean & Professor Rajkumar Roy. “This partnership goes beyond just providing the technology, ARuVR will provide on-going expertise and guidance as well as real-world industry experience and practice which is invaluable as our students progress in their studies and their career.”
Education to Meet a Need
The facility will be able to handle training up to 50 students simultaneously.
UoL says it is training students as the next generation of ethical tech pioneers in the AR/VR field.
According to the school, the industry has an AR, VR, and Metaverse development skill shortage.
UoL says its new design facility meets a need from business partners seeking talent with advanced XR skills.
Citing Institution of Mechanical Engineers data, UoL says there is a STEM skills gap that costs the UK £1.5bn a year.
UoL says the gap needs addressing in higher education—which requires modern facilities and a means of flexible learning.
The school says its Interactive Ethical Learning Design Studio provides a space for innovating and practicing new industrial processes.
The goal is to deliver social and economic value and grow UoL’s specialist teaching and research capabilities.
Students and researchers from the School of Health and Psychological Sciences and the School of Communication and Creativity will also use the facility.
AruVR CEO Founder Frank Furnari says XR is a powerful learning and development tool that enterprises are embracing worldwide.
“We are delighted to announce our first University partnership and to support the foresight of the City, University of London in creating not just the UK’s largest AR and VR ethical design learning center, but also the most technically advanced. Additionally, ARuVR will provide support and insight for students as they research and design projects as well as providing industry work placements to give them real-world experience.”
UoL plans to open its AR/VR design learning center in September 2023.