New Zealand's largest university, the University of Auckland, today revealed it would roll out Google's online email and office suite to its 50,000 students, staff and alumni.
Using the applications would benefit both students and the institution, according to University IT services director Stephen Whiteside.
"It provides a better service to students as well as a more user-friendly student email address that they can keep when they graduate," he said. "It is also cheaper for the university and releases storage capacity currently used for students for other university use."
Students will be able to find their emails and documents with the help of Google's search service. The applications, accessible from any computer with an internet connection, will allow users to share information and collaborate on work with their classmates or colleagues.
Although the university hopes to have the Google Docs piece of the puzzle up by the end of the year for students who want to use it, the applications will not replace Microsoft Office within the institution, but instead provide an alternative, according to Matthew Kocker, electronic campus manager for the university.
The University of Auckland is the second university in New Zealand to reveal plans to use Google Apps after Waikato University, which moved 25,000 students to the service earlier this year.
And the news comes just weeks after the NSW Department of Education revealed it would dump one of the world's largest installations of Microsoft Outlook/Exchange and allocate its 1.3 million students GMail accounts. Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia also announced it was rolling out Google Apps last year.
Google Apps Education Edition, free for all universities, includes Gmail; Google Docs for spreadsheets, documents and presentations; Google Calendar; Google Talk instant messenger; Google Sites website creator; and the Google Start page feature.