Virtual reality work at Northern College is being rewarded on the international stage.

The college’s Virtual Reality in Education program that started about a year ago was awarded silver in the Access to Learning and Employment category at the World Congress of Colleges in Australia. Northern added some virtual reality aspects to some programs that need basic safety requirements like the mining courses.

Vice President of Academic and Student Success Audrey Penner says being recognized internationally for this is really something. “The competition was not just Ontario and not just Canada. It was also amongst the United States, Europe and Australia in terms of Polytechnics and Colleges globally.”

Northern College says it feels virtual reality will play a significant role in the future delivery of education. Penner adds that the college wants to further develop its virtual reality expertise and capability to potentially offer students more. “We could get to the point where we could deliver many, many things and perhaps see an entire program virtually. We aren’t there yet, but if you don’t stretch goals you won’t meet them.”

Northern College says the next phase for this project is to create a “virtual” school to allow even more unique learning options being offered by a digital campus.