Monday 15 August 2022
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The University of Tokyo to offer courses in the Metaverse

The University of Tokyo, also known as Todai is set to offer a range of study programs later this year that will take place in the Metaverse.

According to a Saturday report from the local news outlet The Asahi Shimbun, the courses will be offered to students ranging from high school to adult learners in the workforce.

The publication stated that the Metaverse study programs will not be delivered via its own dedicated faculty that offers degrees but will instead operate under Todai’s faculty of engineering and engineering-related graduate schools. Students who complete the courses will receive certificates.

Todai’s project has been launched to address the lack of skilled personnel working on “digital transformation” and “advanced technologies.”

University officials also emphasized that studying in the Metaverse will also create a situation in which “anyone, regardless of age, gender, social standing and area of residence, can learn about engineering and information science.”

Crypto and nonfungible tokens (NFTs) weren’t mentioned specifically, but considering the sector is often associated with the Metaverse and boasts a number of popular metaverse brands, there is likely to be some mention of blockchain-based platforms.

For junior-high and high-school students, they will receive an introductory view of the space, along with learning about the potential roadmaps to find work in engineering, science and other related fields. They will receive the content in a mixture of online and face-to-face lessons.

University students and those already in the workforce will be offered opportunities to reskill/upskill via related online courses focused on artificial intelligence (AI), next-gen communication tech and entrepreneurial education.

There will also be a push to attract more women to study the programs, as the lack of female representation in engineering has been identified as an issue.

The Japanese Metaverse

There have been some notable applications of the Metaverse in Japan over recent months, as local citizens find interesting use cases for the technology.

On Monday, Japan Today reported that a support group from Fukuoka named the JACFA launched a virtual support room in the SecondLife Metaverse platform. The group specifically works on re-integrating Hikkikomori — reclusive people that essentially refuse to leave their homes — back into society.

Related: Japan’s crypto self-regulation ‘experiment’ not working

The problem has been highlighted as a big social issue in Japan, and the idea is to enable Hikkikomori to receive initial help without the pressure of being face-to-face.

In April, it was also reported that 3,800 students from a total of 29 trade schools such as beauty, sports, technology, hospitality, etc., under the NSG College League in Niigata, held their 2022 commencement ceremony in the Metaverse. The event was hosted virtually to allow everyone to easily attend without facing the risk of getting COVID-19.

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