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MANCHESTER – A public research university in England has allowed students to play mobile phone game Pokemon Go as part of their degree course.

Salford University says the game, in which players seek out virtual animated characters in real-world locations, will make its business information technology course more ‘accessible’.

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Critics, however, claim the move is indicative of the dumbing down of degrees. Chris McGovern, of the Campaign for Real Education, told the Mail Online that the idea was ‘farcical’ and that it encouraged students to rack up huge debts on courses that opened up few job prospects.

On the other hand, Salford lecturer David Kreps denied the charge and said: “We want new students to feel that our subject is accessible and easy to grasp.

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“Pokemon Go fits perfectly with that. It uses various information systems that are accessed over the internet, a digital camera and a GPS location sensor.

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“While we will be asking students to play Pokemon Go, it will get a little more complicated.”

The University of Salford is a public research university in Salford, England, 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometres) west of Manchester city centre.

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The Royal Technical Institute, Salford, which opened in 1896, became a College of Advanced Technology in 1956 and gained university status.

It has 18,920 students and is in 60 acres (24 hectares) of parkland on the banks of the River Irwell.