Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (UniSZA) held a simulated virtual convocation yesterday by using robots to represent graduates, who are attending it remotely via video conferencing . The university notes that the approach is just a proof of concept, and is not a confirmed decision for any of its upcoming ceremonies.
You can view the video of the simulation via the player embedded below.
Convocations that are held virtually act as an alternative, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic which requires the practice of social distancing. UniSZA added that this approach will be considered only if necessary, ensuring students that physical ceremonies are still on the table – but only when the current situation improves.
The university stated is also mulling on the idea of utilising the robots to aid and represent international students who are unable to physically attend convocations due to specific reasons. In any case, UniSZA said that they are continuing to find other and better solutions for its students in order to ensure a worthwhile and memorable convocation experience.
On a related note, this is not the first time a university has considered using the virtual convocation approach as an alternative. Business Breakthrough University in Japan had also used robots to represent their students during a graduation ceremony which was held back in April of this year. Meanwhile, the University of Chicago in the US and the University Toronto in Canada will be holding their convocations online respectively via video conferencing.
(Source: UniSZA [Facebook])