Plymouth University upgrade enables students to stay better connected

Students at Plymouth University now have access to one of the fastest internet connections at any UK higher education institution following a major upgrade.

Technicians spent the summer break overhauling the wired and wireless networks in more than 1,700 student rooms, and other communal areas across the city centre campus.  It means students arriving in University-managed halls this September have instantly been able to access superfast networks through their desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile devices.

The work is part of a rolling investment programme by the University, and forms part of its commitment to provide students with an unrivalled student experience.

Adrian Hollister, Head of Strategy and Architecture in Plymouth University’s Technology and Information Services Directorate, said: “Our students work in an electronic world and enabling them to stay connected is a key part of their academic and personal development. We are presently seeing an average of three wireless devices per student and with the investment from our schools in state of the art IT systems this number is only set to increase. They expect to be able to access internet services wherever they are on campus, and it is vital we are in a position to meet those expectations.”

The four-week upgrade has involved providing a 600Mbit Wireless N service and a 100Mbit wired service, giving students full access to the University’s suite of online resources on all their devices. It will also enable families and friends to access the internet anywhere on campus during visits.

The upgraded service also includes a commitment to enhancing student employability by recruiting ambassadors for the service, who will become the first point of contact and providing out of hours help if required.

John Wright, the University’s Chief Information Officer, added: “Through constant innovation our technology teams are creating an environment where students can stay connected from our Halls of Residence and throughout our campus.  The high performance wireless network in our Halls will create an environment that supports learning and leisure, promoting the student focus that we strive to achieve.”

The new networks will be available to view and test during the University’s Undergraduate Open Day, which takes place on Saturday 19 October. It will also provide an opportunity for prospective students and their families to tour the campus, and meet current students and academics. For more information, visit www.plymouth.ac.uk.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

The recent upgrade took four weeks to complete and involved the installation of 400+ sector-leading Cisco Meraki wireless access points in halls, which have fast data throughput of 600 megabits per second. These devices are connected to the network using 12.5km of high-tech cabling – CAT7 is the latest standard of cabling and is designed to work the next generation of technology and last around 20 years. An additional 8 Cisco Meraki wireless access points have been installed throughout the student village to provide students with WiFi access in popular outdoor areas including North Hill.

For more information about this press release, contact Plymouth University Press & PR Officer Alan Williams on 01752 588004 or email alan.williams@plymouth.ac.uk.

About Plymouth University

Consistently ranked as one of the leading universities in the UK, and awarded a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2012, Plymouth has a strong record of excellence, enterprise and innovation across its teaching and research activities. Distinguished by its long-term engagement with business and the community, the University enjoys outstanding links with employers and plays a key role in civic and regional leadership. It is the only university in the world to have been awarded the Social Enterprise Mark in recognition of its work in support of the sector.

With around 30,000 students, including those studying higher education at its partner colleges throughout the South West, the University is one of largest in the UK. It enjoys a high rate of graduate employment and has recently invested more than £150 million in its estate and facilities to enhance the student experience and support world-class research.

Plymouth has embedded sustainability across its operations, and is the overall best performing university in the People & Planet Green League. It is the first modern university to found a medical and dental school – the Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry – and is the leading provider of Higher Education in Cornwall. For more information, please visit www.plymouth.ac.uk

 

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