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University of London to open UK’s largest AR/VR design learning center

30 Mar 2023

City University and ARuVR company partner to train up to 50 “Metaverse tech pioneers” at a time.

ARuVR, an “enterprise-grade” Extended Reality (XR) training platform and City, University of London have announced a three-year partnership to provide training to engineering, computing and mathematics students at City’s School of Science and Technology at what will be the UK’s largest augmented and virtual reality (AR-VR) and Metaverse design facility.

Officially opening in September 2023, with funding from the Office for Students, the facility will train up to 50 students simultaneously to become the next generation of “ethical tech pioneers” in the field of AR-VR and its applications in engineering, computer science and applied mathematics.

The development of skills in VR and AR as well as the Metaverse is seen as a key skill shortage by industry and the new facility is as a direct result of demand from the City, University of London’s industry and business partners who are seeking talent with advanced skills in this sector.

The STEM skills gap (spanning science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) costs £1.5 bn ($1.8 bn) per year in the UK, according to the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. The Interactive Ethical Learning Design Studio will provide a practical space to innovate and practice new industrial processes to deliver social and economic value, say the new center’s founders.

In this week’s launch statement, they add, “It will transform and grow the City, University of London’s specialist teaching and research capability in engineering, computer science and mathematics. The facility will also be used by students and researchers from the School of Health and Psychological Sciences and the School of Communication and Creativity.”

‘AR-VR rapid application building platform’

Professor Rajkumar Roy, Executive Dean, School of Science & Technology (SST) at City commented, “Our partnership with ARuVR enables us to provide students with a scalable, cloud-based 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.

“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.”

As well as providing its AR and VR training platform, which allows students to easily create compelling content and uniquely allow trainers to simultaneously interact with multiple students all while in a virtual world, ARuVR will also provide the AR/VR hardware as a complete solution, jointly fund a place for a PhD student, provide consultancy to ‘train the trainers’ and provide practical work placements for students.

Frank Furnari, CEO & Founder, ARuVR, commented, “AR, VR and Mixed Reality is a powerful learning and development tool which is being embraced by enterprises world-wide. 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 centre, but also the most technically advanced.

He said, “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.”

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