(Published - 6 December 2019)
The University of the Western Cape (UWC) is immensely proud of the success of South Africa’s first accredited Postgraduate Diploma in e-Skills with Immersive Technologies Stream, which incorporates Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. Fourteen students successfully completed the 2019 programme.
One of the first graduates Carmenita Oersen says “the Postgraduate Diploma was tough, but it was worth it. I now have the skills to code, 3D model and build applications - and I have never had these skills before”.
One of her project apps which she helped to build was for the UWC Geology department - the app will help teach first-year students to enter a virtual world and inspect rock and soil.
“For our second project we built an application for the UWC Cape Flats Nature Reserve. The app is completely immersive. It allows you to explore and learn more about the plant and animal specimens the nature reserve has to offer.”
“AR and VR is the future - when you are immersed you learn much better and retain much more information. I would definitely recommend this course to anyone who would like to learn more about AR and VR technology and everything about this niche area,” Oersen says.
Ofentse Mabiletsa echoes the sentiments of Oersen and encourages more students to take the course. “The course is a great experience and a good learning curve. The area of expertise is sought after, especially in Africa,” Mabiletsa says.
One of Mabiletsa’s group projects was in partnership with the Department of Agriculture. It involved teaching students at the Elsenburg Agricultural Training Institute how to work on a tractor[WU2] part in the virtual space.
In 2020 both Oersen and Mabiletsa will start their Master’s in e-Skills with Immersive Technologies Stream.
The programme, in partnership with EON Reality, is a collaboration between UWC’s Departments of Computer Science and Information Systems.
Professor Antoine Bagula, Department of Computer Science Head, said “the objective of facilitating an immersive technology-based knowledge transfer for education, edutainment and industry partnerships is to create, share and collaborate virtual 3-dimensional learning platforms across a broad range of disciplines.”
“This accredited postgraduate qualification is a response to the need for an expertise base for developing and customising augmented reality and virtual reality content at a time when South Africa is transitioning into the technological phenomenon known as the 4th industrial revolution – changing the way we interact with digital content,” Bagula said.
“The programme is being implemented to cater for the growing market of scalable virtual reality and augmented reality solutions. The qualification provides a unique opportunity to create an interdisciplinary research interface between life, the physical and health sciences, the humanities and technology in order to build new capabilities and nurture future generations of scholars and practitioners.”
To apply for the 12 month programme - http://bit.ly/362urMq