Student email now powered by Google
More than 16,000 students at the University of Adelaide will have improved email and other services thanks to a new arrangement with Google.
The University of Adelaide is the first university in the State to make the switch to Google Applications (known as Google Apps) for students. Adelaide joins thousands of universities around the world - with a combined total of more than two million active users - that are also using Google Apps.
All undergraduate, honours and postgraduate coursework students will be offered the opportunity to switch over from their University of Adelaide email account to a new account powered by Google (Gmail) - at no charge.
Students will also benefit from applications such as Google Calendar - enabling students to manage key university dates, class times and other events - and Google Talk instant messaging.
The University currently provides free email services to students, but there are a number of restrictions on the accounts, such as the size of the mailbox, because of the cost of providing such services.
The University of Adelaide's Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor James McWha, said the new, non-financial arrangement with Google would give students exactly what they needed - a better email system with vastly improved mailbox size limits (up to 7GB of storage capacity), as well as other useful applications.
"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," Professor McWha said.
"We are confident that this new arrangement with Google will provide the best solution possible, offering students world-class email services and other online tools at no cost to them or to the University.
"We are very excited about the links with Google, which has an excellent reputation globally and is a world leader in the provision of online applications to the higher education sector."
From early in the first semester this year, students will be given the option of switching over from their University of Adelaide email account to a Gmail-powered student email account. The account will have the look and feel of Gmail, but the students' University email addresses will not change.
The move towards Google Apps is just one of a raft of improvements to student IT support, including increased quotas for printing and internet access, and increased personal digital storage space.
Story by David Ellis