It was announced last week that the University is to invest in a technical overhaul in time for the academic year beginning October 2011.
The University’s Student Centeredness Fund (SCF) allocated over £200,000 yesterday for the improvement of the ‘Southampton Learning Environment.’ The SCF allocated around £150,000 for the targeted improvement of Wifi across all campuses, whilst also earmarking over £66,000 for the purchase of Microsoft’s Office 365 package.
Office 365 will take the University’s much-maligned file storage ‘into the cloud;’ improving the amount of data that students can hold on their University accounts. Microsoft’s website speculates that this could be up to 25 gigabytes per user. It is also hoped that through this, no member of the University will ever have to read the dreaded “404 Login Timeout” message again when attempting to access their emails.
The improvement of Wifi and file storage is part of a three-pronged renovation of University IT provision; work has already been underway to explore options to replace the University’s SUSSED portal. The Wifi and Office 365 developments should be in place for the next academic year. SUSSED’s replacement will depend upon significant University investment that will be discussed in the next month.
Union President Billy Fitzjohn said:
“The decision to fund these proposals will make such a difference for the student body. In recent discussions around fees and ways the University can enhance the student experience in the long term; this is something that has been recognised as a simple change that will have an enormously positive impact on the student experience”
SUSU is currently working in partnership with the University to establish exactly what students require & expect from SUSSED’s replacement through a survey consultation that can be found here. Please take the time to fill it out.
Other bids that were supported by the SCF included:
£66,000 to improve ventilation as part of the summer 2011 refurbishment of library learning spaces.
£15,000 (across two years) to follow the experiences of undergraduate students as part of a wider longitudinal study of the student experience at Southampton.