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RMIT Vietnam shares experience at national science seminar

Released at: 17:06, 17/05/2018

RMIT Vietnam shares experience at national science seminar

Photo: RMIT Vietnam

University addresses "Open Education System in the Context of Autonomy of Education and International Integration" national scientific seminar on May 16.

by My Van

The Association of Universities and Colleges of Vietnam organized the first “Open Education System in the Context of Autonomy of Education and International Integration” national scientific seminar on May 16, with Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam in attendance.

The objective of the seminar was to call for and facilitate educational administrators and scholars to agree on an open educational system as well as models, technologies, and standards of education in the context of Industry 4.0. It also identified barriers and solutions for open education in Vietnam.

Professor Tran Hong Quan, Chairman of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Vietnam, told the seminar that promoting open education in Vietnam is a necessary step because it is the only measure that can ensure that every Vietnamese citizen has the ability to access a large source of knowledge at the lowest cost. Open education provides the largest number of people with access to knowledge and is the fastest way to acquire the skills needed to live, work and study in the digital age and knowledge era.

RMIT University was proud to be invited to give presentations at the seminar. Mr. Erik Young from the Faculty of Communications and Design spoke of the university’s experience in mixed virtual reality (VR) labs. VR has become the latest buzzword in higher education. Recent advances in technology in conjunction with the groundswell of attention VR has received in recent years has kindled the conversation around not only how to create immersive, interactive experiences for students but, perhaps more importantly, how to meet the demands of a changing world. But just as with any new technology, the integration of VR into a curriculum requires significant operational planning, financial commitment, and recruitment and retention of human capital.

He quoted figures that, by 2016, the global VR market was worth about $7 billion and even modest estimates show growth to $30 billion within the next five years (ReportsNReports, 2018). In the US alone, Augmented Reality (AR) and VR market sales are expected to reach $3.2 billion (Rogers, 2017). In terms of labor, demand for workers in the sector has increased by more than 200 per cent since 2010 (Burning Glass Technologies, 2017). VR is most certainly part of everyone’s future.

“This type of technology, considered by many to be unrealistic, mysterious or absurd, now finds its way into higher education,” Mr. Young noted.

Within 12 weeks of launching VR, RMIT Vietnam students, despite having never been trained in AR / VR, still succeeded in creating two full-featured applications that changed the way people perceive and look at information. Soon after, a Mixed Reality Lab (MR Lab) was established at RMIT Vietnam. The MR Lab was funded to sustain the course and projects in the near future. It’s no surprise that the number of students, visitors from outside, and proposed cooperative arrangements have all increased sharply over the last two years.

Mr. Young said there were 17 visits to outside MR Labs in the last six months of 2017; three projects were invited to perform and exhibit, including a theme approved by Siggraph 2017 in Bangkok, Thailand; and the MR Lab successfully developed a VR curriculum in the Design Studies program at RMIT Vietnam and organized the first VR Art Conference in Ho Chi Minh City last December, with works from both Vietnam and overseas.

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