Professor Byrne said that online communication is one of the dominant mediums through which the university’s students and staff exchange information, build knowledge and interact with the global community, “so naturally we want to adopt the technology that will best ultilise this medium.
“We want to give students the best online tools on offer in order to boost their communication and information sharing capabilities and in terms of our e-technology capital, we are giving the University plenty of room to grow in the future.”
Australia’s largest university is going Google with Monash University set to offer customised Google Apps for Education to all of its students.
Professor Byrne said all of the 58,000 students would be given sign-up details for their opt-in Monash gmails next month, along with information about how they could use other online tools available through Google Applications.
Monash vice-president (administration), Peter Marshall, said the move reflected the university’s commitment to using the “best technology available and to continually find better ways to facilitate quick, efficient and versatile communication and information-sharing capabilities.
According to Marshall, advantages of switching to Google Apps from the current in-house email system included increased storage capacity (up to 7GB from the current 250MB for each user), instant chat functionality, the integration of email with online calendar and the ability to work collaboratively on shared documents.
Marshall said there was also the potential to spread the benefits of the new email system to Monash alumni, and the university was investigating the potential of email for life and email-forwarding services to its global alumni community.
Monash is Australia’s largest university with 58,000 student and 7,000 staff, and the research intensive university is a member of Australia’s Group of Eight and has an international focus, with campuses in Malaysia and South Africa, a graduate school under construction in India and a research and teaching centre in Italy.