Picture the scene – you’re 18, fresh out of sixth form and ready for a new challenge. You’ve decided that university is for you, but now you’re faced with arduous car or train journeys across the country with your parents to decide which university you should go to. Well, there is an easier way – 3D tours of your chosen university.

3D tours are revolutionising the ways that many industries do business. Whereas once physical distance would be a barrier to people’s decision-making ability, it no longer is. And in today’s blog, we’re going to take you through why 3D tours are revolutionising the way that students pick their university choices.

University Open Days Are Limiting

University Open Days are just that – one day. And they put an awful lot of pressure on families to make sure everyone that’s close to the potential student can be there to help them make the right decision, on a few specified days of the year.

For many, this simply isn’t realistic. Conflicting work schedules, financial or time constraints mean that they’re not able to be in say, Manchester one weekend and Bristol the next. But 3D tours provide potential students with the next best thing – a comprehensive, 3D guide to where they could be spending the next three or four years of their lives.

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3D virtual tour of Sheffield Hallam University showing communal work space

You’re Able To Gauge The Entire University Experience

There’s many parts that make up the overall university experience – lectures are just the start of things! But 3D tours enable potential students to gauge the entire university experience in a way that static, 2D photos simply can’t.

Virtual reality tours excite prospective applicants by that fact that they elicit something that mere images cannot; they provide a sense of atmosphere – an all-round experience.

3D tours give you a real “feel” for a place and allow students to picture themselves in that environment. Not just the university campus, but the students union and, even more importantly, the university halls they might live in or even the local nightlife. The sky really is the limit when it comes to 3D scanning!

In our 3D tours, we give universities the option to add “data points” within the tour – these data points give additional information for the viewer, such as “This is the main room of the student’s union, and where we hold all of our Fresher’s Fair events. If you choose to study with us, this is where you’ll spend your first few days”, therefore allowing for a deeper understanding of the space.

Data points can also contain multimedia such as videos, photos and even audio. This means universities can add additional photos of say, an event that’s happened before in that space. Or a promotional YouTube showing what the university is like during Varsity season, or even audio like a podcast episode. It’s a fantastic way to utilise existing media to create a hub of content for visitors to explore.

In the same way that when you pick your next home, you have to get a “feel “ for the place. 3D tours give you the next best thing – the ability to “feel” without physically being there in person.

They Help Potential Students With Additional Needs

We recently wrote a blog post on how 3D tours can help venues to become more accessible – and universities are absolutely no exception to this.

It’s estimated that there are around 13.9 million disabled citizens living in the UK. And although venues have generally adapted to make themselves more accessible, people with physical and learning disabilities can still find it difficult to travel to different campuses for a variety of reasons.

For example, fear of the unknown or going to a new place can be a trigger for many people on the autistic spectrum. Some people with autism are a lot more sensitive to light, noise and sound and can suffer from something called sensory overload – when there’s too much going on and their brains find it difficult to process. This results in a heightened state of anxiety called a “meltdown”.

University open days are a prime example of somewhere that would be a trigger for a meltdown – there’s so much going on, so many people, so much noise – they’re full of potential stimuli. 3D tours are an amazing way to allow people with additional needs to be able to view different universities from the comfort and safety of their own homes.

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Student using VR goggles to explore a 3D virtual tour of a university

Similarly,  6 million people suffer from depression and anxiety in the UK. And though these don’t stop people from doing things like studying at university, they do create boundaries that make it harder than for someone who doesn’t suffer from them.

For someone who has anything from mild-severe anxiety, the thought of attending a university open day could be a huge trigger for them and make them not want to go. 3D tours make the university viewing experience more accessible for people with different mental and physical health needs. Having a bad mental health day? That’s no longer an issue – you can just log on to your laptop and view the campuses instead of visiting.

What really surprised me from a previous scan was feedback that one of our new customers found this useful dealing with anxiety. It gave them a sense of comfort knowing what the place looked like inside and where everything was including toilets and exits. We’ll be implementing 3D scans across all our businesses going forward for this one reason alone.

Going to university is an incredible experience and no one should miss out on finding their dream university because of barriers outside of their control.

We’re proud that universities are yet another industry benefiting from the emergence of the exciting, new technology that is 3D scanning and virtual tours.

To find out more about 3D virtual tours, including the process, cost and how they can be utilised, please reach out to a member of the Scene3D team here.

Quote 01 – Ricardo – Status Digital

Quote 02 – Ryan Collins – LinkedIn

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