University in China Launches First Metaverse Major: Report
A Chinese university in Nanjing city set up a metaverse major to train students interested in fields such as blockchain and the Internet of Things (IoT), according to local news reports. The move marks the first major of this kind in China and aims to meet the needs of companies working in the healthcare, digital tourism, and smart education sectors.
New Metaverse Department to Offer Blockchain, AI, and IoT Training
China’s Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology established the first metaverse major in the country after renaming its Information Engineering Department to ‘Metaverse Engineering Department’. The new department plans to train more students and meet the demands of local metaverse-related businesses.
Pan Zhigeng, dean of the School of Artificial Intelligence – which manages the newly-established metaverse department – said the new major will be integrated with additional metaverse courses and disciplines in the future. He said the metaverse is the integration of various technologies including blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), and smart healthcare, among others.
Students who complete metaverse studies will be able to fulfill the demands of Chinese businesses operating in sectors such as smart healthcare, smart education, and digital tourism, he said. Pan also said the department would collaborate with the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in the future and train joint masters, doctoral and postdoctoral students focused on the metaverse.
Last month, the Nanjing university came to an agreement with the Yalong Intelligent Equipment Group, which develops robot and digital transformation solutions, to establish a Metaverse Research Institute. The institute will be focused on the smart education sector, according to the reports.
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China Continues to Invest in the “Future of the Internet” Known as Web3
The launch of the first metaverse major follows similar efforts by the Shanghai and Beijing governments which have implemented the rapidly-growing metaverse in their plans to boost China’s economy and attract more investors.
Last month, the city of Beijing said it is planning to develop a $7.5 billion virtual human industry by 2025 using Web3 technology, according to a document released by the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Economy and Information Technology. Without providing many details, the document noted Beijing intends to explore making blockchain-powered “trading platforms for what it calls digital human data factors, such as models, skins, and textures.”
The venture capital (VC) funding for Web3 companies exploded this year, despite the headwinds in the broader market due to inflation and recession risks. Last week, a Web3 startup Hadean, backed by Chinese internet giant Tencent, secured $30 million in a Series A funding round.
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