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September 8, 2008 | by  | in News | [ssba]

University unrolls new email system for students

Promising that “slow and unreliable email will soon be a thing of the past,” the University has recently announced plans to introduce a new email system for students in the coming weeks.

Hosted by Microsoft, the new system will replace the current system in place and includes many new features such as instant messaging, online blogging tools and a customisable desktop.

Email storage space will be increased to 10GB – 100 times more than what students current have – and 5GB of online file storage space. Students will now also be able to send attachments of up to 20MB and up to 50 attachments at the same time.

When asked whether the new system came at a cost to the University, Information Technology Services (ITS) Directorate Stuart Haselden explained that Microsoft provides the service at no cost to secondary and tertiary education institutions around the world.

“Although Microsoft hosts the email [system], the University maintains control – we continue to administer the email addresses for students, as we do today,” Haselden added.

Developed in conjunction with users around the world, the system is intended to replace the current system, which was been unreliable and plagued with incompatibility problems with other systems in use by the University. Furthermore, Haselden explained: “In 2007, the ITS Student Services Survey was undertaken and the findings in the survey indicated a demand for a more collaborative learning environment for students using tools such as blogging, messaging, document sharing and publishing,”

“As a result… ITS spent some time assessing and evaluating products including running focus groups before settling on [the new system].”

The new email system is additional to Blackboard and myVictoria. All official coursework will continue to be generated through these channels.

An email will be distributed to all current student email addresses when the system is launched, and all students are urged to activate these new accounts by the end of September. As an incentive, the University is offering prizes for students who do so.

Once activated, all email addresses will change to ‘username’ and these email addresses will remain activated for life – even when users are no longer students at the University.

Students can continue to contact the ITS Help Desk for issues related to the new system. The current email system will cease to exist from March 2009.


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