The Hogeschool West-Vlaanderen (Howest) has all the in-house training courses to help build the metaverse. This includes internationally acclaimed training for game creators. Companies show great interest in collaboration.
Howest has three courses that are immediately relevant to the development of the metaverse, a set of digital environments where users can do all sorts of things through avatars, like attend events, learn, play games, or shop.
Forty to fifty companies already want to participate immediately. Some of them are already investigating the possibilities.
‘We have Digital Arts and Entertainment (DAE), Multimedia and Creative Technologies (MCT) and Applied Computing. We are ready to help build the metaverse. It is a world to which we are evolving,’ says Kurt Callewaert, who since October last year has been collaborating as a ‘valuation manager’ with a total of 3,000 students. There are also 500 students from outside Flanders who follow the courses in English.
This ‘valorization’ does not refer only to education and research. There is also cooperation with companies. Howest submitted a file to the Agency for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (VLAIO) for ‘innovative business models in the metaverse’. ‘Forty or fifty companies want to participate immediately. Several of them are investigating the possibilities”, says Callewaert.
- Howest in Kortrijk has three departments that supply the technological building blocks for the metaverse.
- A valuation manager brings departments together and also bridges the gap with companies that are investigating the possibilities of new technology.
- Forty or fifty Flemish companies are interested in a collaboration.
‘That’s a big difference from the 1990s. Then we demonstrated the possibilities of web shops, but there was no interest from companies. It did not arrive until 15 years later. This time, with the evolution towards virtual reality, they don’t want to miss the boat.’ Students can carry out their final degree projects and internships in research groups that explore the possibilities of the metaverse together with companies. By the way, a project was also submitted to VLAIO about ‘music in the metaverse’.
Howest is internationally known for DAE with its 1,500 students. Last year, The Rookies, a community of digital artists, named it the best game design and development course in the world for the third time.
start the metaverse
What exactly is the metaverse? How will it change our lives and our work? In addition to attending exclusive parties, can you also invest, build and invest there? Who sets the rules in this new virtual world? Which Belgian companies have already discovered the opportunities of the metaverse? De Tijd guides you through the metaverse with articles and podcasts. Follow all in our ‘Home to metaverse’ archive.
Many of those students end up at major international game companies. Participation in the specialized fund ForsVC and the accelerator DAE Studios should help prevent brain drain abroad. The nearby Hangar K co-creation hub is home to gaming startups and is now also becoming the Flemish hub for learning technology.
But the metaverse involves more than just developing and designing virtual environments. Multimedia and Creative Technology focuses, among other things, on artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR). Applied Informatics trains students for the construction of classic platforms, but also for the decentralized environment of web3, in which the blockchain has a great importance. Cybersecurity is also part of this department.
You won’t find all the skills in one person. That is why multifunctional teams are needed where our students work together.
‘You can’t find all those skills in one person. That’s why cross-functional teams are needed where our students work together,’ says Callewaert. “After their three-year training, they can follow another year of specialization, for example in VR or blockchain technology.”
To respond to rapid technological changes, there will also be a postgraduate course in Fintech and Blockchain@Home, a distance blockchain development course.