A major university in China has become the country’s first academic institution to join the metaverse, after it reproduced its physical campus as a virtual university on Baidu’s XiRang platform.

Fast facts

  • The Communication University of China announced last week that the digital campus had hosted an anniversary celebration and awards ceremony on Dec. 26, which was co-hosted by both virtual and physical people.
  • Metaverse visitors can walk around the virtual campus of the university, which has trained generations of China’s journalists and broadcasters, by plugging into VR headsets or via mobile phones and PCs.
  • XiRang, which means “land of hope,” is a non-blockchain online metaverse platform developed by internet giant Baidu that launched in December.
  • Virtual universities are rising in popularity amid the pandemic, with tech giant Meta (formerly Facebook) pledging to build 10 digitized university campuses this year in a partnership with VR headset producer VictoryXR.