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In a remarkable achievement, Ulster University’s student-led Virtual Campus project has recently been honoured with two distinguished awards, bringing the project's total award count to five.

On 21 March, Virtual Campus was recognised as Highly Commended in the 'Best Digital Innovation of the Year' category at the Digital DNA Awards. These prestigious awards are known for celebrating projects that leverage cutting-edge technologies to address significant challenges.

In addition to the Digital DNA Award success, Virtual Campus has also been honoured with an Ulster Excellence Award for 'Outstanding Contribution'. This award signifies the project's commitment and impact on various stakeholders of Ulster University, including students, faculty, departments, schools, and the broader community.

Led by placement students from the Belfast School of Architecture and the Built Environment, the Virtual Campus project aims to revolutionise the Ulster University experience. By offering users a memorable virtual experience of all three campuses, the project promotes inclusivity through global and exclusive access to the campus environment. It fosters connectivity and engagement among diverse communities, enhancing the university experience for all.

Professor Colin Turner, Pro Vice Chancellor & Executive Dean of Faculty of Computing, Engineering & the Built Environment, commented:

“The Virtual Campus is an exciting application of Virtual Reality, providing realistic interactive views of key spaces within the University including teaching spaces. This valuable project allows members of staff to virtually visit teaching spaces to plan their in-person engagements ahead of time. It also allows students, including those who may feel a level of anxiety from unfamiliar environments, to orient themselves on the campus. It’s even better that this is a student-led initiative, providing an excellent show case of our students’ skills as well as our University spaces.”

Reflecting on this achievement, Klaudia Rymdejko, a placement student involved in the project, shared,

"Working on the Virtual Campus project is rewarding as I contribute to helping other students overcome their anxieties about unfamiliar spaces on campus through virtual exploration. Although I have only physically visited the Belfast campus , thanks to the project, I now have a glimpse into student life at the other campuses as well. We set out to make a difference, and this recognition validates our efforts."