The University of Adelaide has decided to replace an in-house email system with Gmail for its more than 16,000 students.
The "non-financial" agreement with Google will allow all undergraduate, honours and postgraduate coursework students to change over from their University of Adelaide email account to a new Google account from 16 March this year and will also allow them to use Google Calendar and Google Talk instant messaging.
The information technology services department at the university has developed an automated process to create Google Apps accounts for the 16,000 students. If the students accept the invitation sent to their inbox from 16 March, they can have their emails copied to the Gmail account. The students' email addresses will not change.
Currently, students have storage of 250MB on their university mail box. With Gmail they will be able to store up to 7GB of mail, at no cost to them or the university.
"The university has been actively working to find a solution to the increasing challenge of providing quick, efficient and greater capacity email services to students, which is something students at all universities desire. As our student population has grown in recent years that challenge has increased," University of Adelaide's vice-chancellor and president, Professor James McWha said in a statement.
Other universities to adopt Gmail include Macquarie University and the University of Auckland in New Zealand. Microsoft has also been scoring some points with its equivalent Live@edu mail system, which has been adopted by the University of Queensland and the University of New South Wales.
Other IT projects the university has on the boil include replacing student cards with contactless cards and increasing personal university storage, which can also be accessed remotely from computers outside the university network to reduce reliability on USB sticks.