The Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology (NUIST) has recently gone viral on Chinese social media for changing the name of its ‘Information Engineering’ department to ‘Metaverse Engineering.’
Pan Zhigeng, dean of the school, stated that the school would focus on metaverse studies and hopes that the move will create new opportunities on an international level. He also announced that the school has plans to work with Hong Kong Polytechnic University to develop metaverse-related programs at graduate, doctorate, and post-doc levels.
Parked under the School of Artificial Intelligence (School of Future Technology), the department is officially the first in China to offer a degree containing the word ‘metaverse.’
Formerly known as the Nanjing Institute of Meteorology, NUIST is best known for its atmospheric science courses. The School of Future Technology was only established in June last year, a relatively new addition to the university, according to its official website.
Netizens have expressed shock over the name change. Many have even voiced their suspicions that the school only did so because metaverse development is such a hot topic right now.
“A university department chasing whatever is hot at the moment. What would happen if the metaverse is no longer a hot subject in a few years? Rename it again?” wrote a Weibo user.
On the other hand, some optimistic netizens believe that the metaverse is an area of study that deserves attention and that China should get a head start.
Cover image via NUIST’s official Weibo account
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