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Former Twitter India Manish Maheshwari launches Invact Metaversity; a virtual education system

The first batch starts from May 2022 and for students who want a business foundation programme to get into an entry-level job in the company.

Metaversity will make education accessible and inclusive.
Metaversity will make education accessible and inclusive.

Invact Metaversity, founded by the former head of Twitter India Manish Maheshwari has been recently in the news for being the world’s first 3D immersive virtual learning platform and the only university in the metaverse. But what is it all about, and how it will contribute to the education system in India? In conversation with FinancialExpress online, Maheshwari, who is CEO and founder of Invact Metaversity explains it all (edited excerpts). 

What is the concept of Metaversity?

Real learning was never inside a classroom; rather, it was in the hallway or at the library in a college. In fact students went to college even when they didn’t have any classes. Everyone was forced to go online with available tools like Google Meet and Microsoft Teams in last two years, but these tools primarily were not meant for classrooms. These were for meetings and conferences in the pre-Covid days and lacked the social and community layer which was there in the physical world as either it has a recorded or live video on one side which becomes boring to a certain extent. So, Metaversity bridges this gap by providing the real-time experience of attending a university in a virtual world.

Why is it important to redefine the education ecosystem considering the virtual first world?

The traditional colleges and universities need to redefine their education ecosystem post-Covid because, with online mode, students have figured out the alternative of going to colleges, which will stay. For a learning experience, a text book or a video call is not enough. Experiential learning and the social and community layer are equally crucial in the virtual world, and for this understanding, the student journey is important. This understanding will help engage students with a platform offering a real university feel in the virtual world like entering a classroom, hanging out with peers at the campus, etc.

What is the USP of Metaversity? How is it different from any ed-tech platforms? 

The starters always have an advantage over incumbents as the latter have the liability to optimize their existing customers rather than explore new customers’ possibilities. Existing businesses need to think about their business models as they can’t disrupt it. Metaversity doesn’t have any legacy baggage to carry like other platforms or firms, so we can explore and work on new aspects without thinking about the existing business. For example, although other video platforms were already there, Zoom solved people’s problems during Covid times as it didn’t have any legacy to carry. Therefore, if one can narrow in the problem and solve it better than anyone, there is a better chance of winning.

How are the courses different and what is the core objective of these courses? 

The courses are more of a skilling programme and do not have a certification or degree as we at Metaversity believe in solving the problem of employability and not the problem of degree. Metaversity focuses on building skills for job purposes, and for this, we are building metafolios, so whatever project work students will do, the ownership will be with students and they can show it to the hiring manager. The programmes are backed with designated time to attend, similar to real-life college classes. Later, they can hang out in the campus.

What is the main focus of Metaversity?

Metaversity will focus on higher education because it is right for disruption as the cost is huge, everyone cannot attend high school, and thirdly there are a large number of people who require employable skills. So higher education is the first market. The first batch starts from May 2022 and for students who want a business foundation programme to get into an entry-level job in the company. The batch size is 60 students, but we have a waiting list of 2000 people.

What is the expansion plan in India?

The plan is to first target one percent of students who attend top colleges, move to the next 10% who cannot go to good colleges and go to tier 2 and 3 colleges by paying significantly high fees. And thirdly, in the next two-three years, the target is to reach the next category of people who do not access devices like VR. The platform can be watched with or without a VR device, on any browser and even on a 3G network.

How Metaversity can impact the Indian education ecosystem?

Metaversity will make education accessible and inclusive. Today only one percent  of people can go to IIMs or Ivy league as they have to be physically present there, and these institutes are expensive also; however, through Metaversity, one can bring Harvard, IIMs to their home and attend from their couches. Another interesting aspect is anyone from any background, whether financially well off or not, girl or boy can attend Metaversity being at any part of the world. This will empower inclusivity, easy, and equal education to everyone.

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