announcing the university would move its students
to hosted Microsoft Exchange email, University of Queensland (UQ) director of information
technology services Nick Tate has provisioned 70,000 accounts, with
plans to complete 170,000 more in the next few months.
"We've provisioned 70,000 accounts for students," UQ's director of information technology services Nick Tate told
ZDNet.com.au. The new accounts run alongside the current
university ones, he said, so the students will make the switch
when they wish.
Students reach the new accounts via a tab on the UQ site. Tate
has been making the new email addresses available to students in
tranches of 10,000 so as not to overload the system. Despite
most students being away on holidays, so far 2,500 students had made the switch,
he said. The 6,500 new students starting this semester will
automatically be on the accounts.
The feedback had been good, Tate said, with the only criticism
being that there was no automatic system of transferring mails. His
team was working on that now.
Once all 70,000 were switched on, the university will turn to its 170,000
alumni. There would be no obligation for the alumni, whose
university accounts have lapsed, to take up a new email
account at the university, but they would have the option. "We'll
provision sufficient numbers so that anybody that wishes can," Tate
Staff would not be going onto the hosted Exchange system, according to Tate. "We
wouldn't put staff onto a system hosted overseas," he said.
The university had looked into the Gmail alternative,
having run pilots with both Microsoft Live@edu and Gmail. Both were
excellent, in Tate's opinion. However, he found Microsoft's system
to be more flexible with domain names and he was able to negotiate
better terms and conditions from a privacy point of view. The
University of New South Wales, which has
also decided to adopt Microsoft's hosted Exchange mail, is using the same terms and
conditions which UQ negotiated, Tate said.
Amongst others, Macquarie University and the
University of Auckland have adopted Gmail.
Another project Tate has had on the boil has been wireless
access to the internet in the CityCat to the university. In
November it started with one CityCat using the iBurst network.
Since that has been shut down, the university switched to 3G. In
the next week, students with access to Eduroam
will be able to access the internet in another dozen CityCats, Tate said.