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The UCI Paul Merage School of Business Launches Digital Twin Metaversity

[Irvine, CA] – November 1, 2023 – UC Irvine, in a groundbreaking partnership with VictoryXR, is proud to announce the creation of a cutting-edge digital twin of The Paul Merage School of Business, known as a metaversity. This innovative venture will usher in a new era of immersive and 3D classrooms, providing students with the opportunity to learn in a virtual reality environment. The UC Irvine metaversity not only opens up new horizons for learning but also facilitates collaboration between students and professors in a simulated campus setting, enabling an immersive “learn-by-doing” experience.

VictoryXR CEO, Steve Grubbs, emphasized the significance of metaversities in education, stating, “Students should have the opportunity to learn in both worlds: real and virtual. Utilizing Web conference tools like Zoom has very limited possibilities, while going to school in a brick-and-mortar classroom is not possible for all students. The immersive VR classroom solves these problems.”

The Merage School will host a virtual ribbon-cutting ceremony on November 2, 2023, to celebrate the launch of the digital twin. During this event, Merage School Dean Ian Williamson and UCI’s Vice Chancellor for Data and Information Technology Tom Andriola will be addressing the audience and facilitating a tour of the space–featuring iconic Merage School spaces like the courtyard, auditorium, and classrooms. 

The digital twin of the Merage School offers a faithful representation of the physical campus and extends its possibilities into the virtual realm. The space is a living lab that creates further opportunities for faculty and their research. It also allows the School to provide global engagement opportunities for international alumni, current and prospective student communities and other global business partners. 

What makes this initiative even more exciting is the integration of students from Professor Larry Wilk’s “Into the Metaverse” class. These students will utilize Meta Quest 2 headsets to access the digital twin during the duration of the class. Within the metaverse, they can network, present, and collaborate on assignments together in an interactive representation of the Merage School. 

This groundbreaking class is the first-of-its-kind in the University of California system. All 40 students are equipped with headsets and are learning in a fully immersive environment, marking a significant leap forward in education technology.

Vice Chancellor for Data and Information Technology Tom Andriola expressed his enthusiasm for this pioneering endeavor, stating, “The digital twin of the Merage School represents the start of a journey for our university. By merging cutting-edge technology with traditional academic settings, we are creating a new paradigm for the learning environment and planting the seeds for new models for experience and engagement.”

Dean Ian Williamson echoed these sentiments, adding, “This innovative initiative reaffirms the Paul Merage School of Business’s commitment to providing our students with a world-class education with an emphasis on leadership for a digitally driven world. And this is just the most recent manifestation of that core value. We are excited to see how this venture will shape the future of higher education.”

This groundbreaking initiative at UCI is backed by the Office of Data and Information Technology and is led by Keri Albers, Digital Innovation at UCI. 

For more information about this groundbreaking initiative, please contact Cassie Hauschildt at cassie@victoryxr.com.

About The Paul Merage School of Business

The Paul Merage School of Business at UC Irvine offers four dynamic MBA programs – plus PhD, specialty masters and undergraduate business degrees – that prepare business leaders for our digitally driven world. Through our programs, students acquire the exceptional ability to grow their organizations through strategic innovation, analytical decision-making, digital information technology and collaborative execution. While the Merage School is relatively young, it has quickly grown to rank consistently among the top five percent of all business programs worldwide through exceptional student recruitment, world-class faculty, a strong alumni network and close relationships with both individual business executives and global corporations. Additional information is available at merage.uci.edu.

About VictoryXR

VictoryXR is a world leader in providing immersive educational content and experiences to secondary and higher education students. Their goal is to introduce innovative ways for students to learn through virtual and augmented reality. Since VictoryXR’s founding in 2016, online education has rapidly grown in the United States and across the globe. Unfortunately, the traditional classroom has not adapted to online education. In its current form, online students find learning difficult, passive, and unenjoyable via video conferencing.

For more information, visit www.victoryxr.com.