Academic programs, research, and on-campus integration
The Department of Digital Innovation and the Institute For the Future (IFF) of the University of Nicosia (UNIC) are happy to announce the UNIC Open Metaverse Initiative, a new comprehensive initiative focused on the academic, research and policy issues relating to the metaverse, with a particular emphasis on open public systems and standards.
This initiative builds on UNIC’s eight-year track record as the leading university in the field of cryptocurrency and blockchain. UNIC launched the world’s first degree program in cryptocurrency in 2014. Today, UNIC has educated over 100,000 students in academic and professional training courses, hosts the world’s largest team of faculty and staff focused on crypto-assets and blockchains, and serves as the academic lead for the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum (a European Commission initiative to accelerate the development of blockchain within the EU).
The UNIC Open Metaverse Initiative is focused on four areas:
1. Academic/Professional Training Programs
- An online 6-week course “Introduction to NFTs and the Metaverse” starting in February 2022. The course will be taught by UNIC faculty with guest interventions/lectures by leading NFT creators and collectors, as well as Web 3.0 entrepreneurs and investors.
- Development of a new Master’s program in Metaverse Systems, an interdisciplinary program focused on preparing creators, developers, architects, social scientists, financial professionals, policy makers, and others for careers in metaverse design and management.
2. Research & Policy:
- The Center for an Open Metaverse (COM) – A new, interdisciplinary research center within the Institute For the Future, focused on research on open metaverse systems.
- The Open Metaverse Alliance (OMA) – a consortium of universities, corporations, non-profits, and governmental organizations committed to developing an open metaverse.
3. Innovation and Entrepreneurialism
- Public launch of the first cohort of UNIC-incubated NFT/metaverse startups (December 2021).
- Annual cohorts of NFT/metaverse startups.
- Support for NFT/metaverse creators.
4. NFTs on Campus
- The first permanent university gallery for NFTs (The Block Gallery, inauguration November 2021).
- An NFT-based system for various campus activities within UNIC’s main Nicosia campus.
- The acceptance of NFTs by the University of Nicosia Foundation as donations for student scholarship and research support.
- A metaverse-focused track will feature in UNIC’s global crypto conference, Decentralized, which will take place in Athens on 3-4 March 2022.
By Yioula Melanthiou