STUDENTS at the University of South Wales are using state-of-the-art virtual reality (VR) technology to learn and gain vital skills in a safe environment.

Systems developed by Cardiff-based VR specialists Immersity are being used by students working towards qualifications in forensics and aircraft maintenance.

A virtual crime scene will be used for students studying forensics, and a virtual airfield for aircraft marshalling is being set up within the aircraft maintenance engineering area.

Nathalie Czechowski, chief information officer at USW, said: "The immersive technology would be supporting and enhancing learning as opposed to replacing real-life experiences. Once we have demonstrated the success of these pilot projects, we will be seeking to widen the relationship and start projects in other subject areas."

Hugh Sullivan, Immersity chief executive, said: "The university has a Scenes of Crime House that has traditionally been used to teach forensics students how to secure and investigate a crime scene.

  • Everyone loves their furry (and sometimes not so furry) friends – and we want to meet yours. Whether you’ve got dogs, cats, rodents, birds, lizards or something even more exotic, tell us – and our readers – all about your faithful friends. Click here to submit information and pictures.

"When Covid-19 hit, it was no longer practical to have groups of students in such an enclosed space. We recreated a similar environment on our VR platform, and now students will have the opportunity to receive this training anytime, anywhere.

"Now that we’ve created this VR platform, we can build literally any environment in it within a quick timeframe to continue growing, especially in the fields of education and training. There is no limit to the ways this technology can be used."