Many universities plan to provide high-quality education to their students by joining the metaverse and investing in virtual reality (VR) technologies. In fact, more than 100 global higher education institutions are participating in Meta’s immersive-learning pilot program, which helps universities prepare for the future of education. One of the participants, the University of Arizona, plans to use the experience to research and teach about VR, while the Miami University Farmer School of Business aims to leverage the technology in diversity, equity, and inclusion training.
VR and metaverse innovations have a lot of potential use cases for higher education. To illustrate, here’s why they are worth the investment for universities:
The on-campus higher education experience is inaccessible to many people—but VR and metaverse educational tools have the potential to change this. Apple usually provides accessibility features in their products, which is why their new VR headset can be a promising technology for students with disabilities or limited physical abilities. Through VR and metaverse technologies, students overcome physical and financial barriers in their education and participate more actively in school.
VR and metaverse technologies increase the accessibility of education because they bring relevant situations closer to the learners instead of the other way around. For example, history majors with limited financial capabilities can explore museums and historical landmarks and see artifacts by immersing themselves in VR and the metaverse. Likewise, medical students can also learn more about anatomy and practice their skills anywhere they want, with the help of realistic simulations.
VR and metaverse technologies are worth the investment because they are effective in improving the grades of students. Muhsinah Morris, the director of Morehouse in the metaverse, noted that there was a 10% improvement in the essay grades, presentation grades, and the GPAs of students who participated in metaverse classes. On top of that, students also learn skills four times faster through VR classes than through classroom-based classes, which is why universities should consider investing in these innovations.
It’s undeniable that higher education institutions can greatly benefit from VR and metaverse technologies. However, professor Nir Kshetri of the University of North Carolina – Greensboro points out that cost is one of the top challenges of doing college in the metaverse and in VR. For instance, Meta charges about $399.99 for every Meta Quest 2 headset. Purchasing several headsets can be quite costly, especially if a university caters to multiple students.
As such, it’s crucial for universities to get the right financial support for these expenses. To start, financial analysts who typically work at banks and consulting firms can help make these decisions for universities. Financial analysts are described by LHH as experts who can assess the financial data of organizations and help with data-driven decision-making. Through their skills in finance and strategic thinking, universities can plan how to wisely spend their money on VR and metaverse technologies and earn returns from their investments. On top of that, our guide to Securing Grants for Virtual Campus Creation encourages universities to reach out to government agencies, private foundations, and corporate entities for financial assistance. These institutions may provide grant opportunities to universities interested in the metaverse and VR, making it easier for institutions to build virtual campuses and interactive courses.
The future of education could lie in VR and metaverse technologies. These innovations provide promising benefits for the education of students, which is why higher education institutions should start investing in them.