An Exploration of the Metaverse in Higher Education in the UAE

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
This study explored stakeholders’ knowledge and perceptions of a cutting-edge technology known as the Metaverse; looking specifically at its potential benefits and challenges of integration into the higher education sector. Data collection was employed through a mixed-methods triangulation design, which included (a) surveys with university students and professors, (b) interviews with leaders and educators, followed by (c) focus group discussions with undergraduate students. The total number of participants was 300, consisting of 232 university students, 62 educators, and 6 educational leaders. A detailed, systematic analysis of both the quantitative and qualitative data revealed that educators and leaders have more understanding of the Metaverse compared to students. However, although they are more familiar with the concept of the Metaverse, they do not have adequate experience with it in an educational context. Notably, the vast majority of students also lacked experience with it, and had practical concerns about how studying in the Metaverse would be. Ultimately, this study presents stakeholders’ perceptions of the Metaverse in the context of the United Arab Emirates, and the findings indicate that they believe it has potential to be used for teaching and learning at university-level.
metaverse, stakeholders, higher education sector