Landmark agreement makes it easier for colleges and universities to sign up to Google’s free cloud services such as Gmail, docs and spreadsheets
Janet, part of the Jisc group, whose primary purpose is to provide network infrastructure and related services for schools, colleges and universities in the UK, is today announcing a major framework agreement with Google Apps for Education. The agreement will make it easier for colleges and universities to make the move to Google Apps for Education and open up the free online collaboration and communication benefits it offers to more staff and students.
The framework agreement will mean that colleges and universities in the UK are now eligible to sign up to Google Apps for Education using a contract approved by Janet, as meeting UK legal requirements. This Cloud Services for Education Agreement will give colleges and universities peace of mind in relation to security, resilience, legal and data compliance, cost and functionality.
Speaking to a number of university chief innovation officers (CIOs) at the framework agreement signing event at the Google office in London, Dan Perry, director of product and marketing at Janet said:
“Over the years we’ve had huge interest from our members in moving to Google Apps for Education. Yet these same universities and colleges did not have the time nor resources to explore and understand the contractual complexities of cloud security, safety and data protection. So, we worked closely with Google to create a Cloud Services for Education Agreement. This agreement removes the need for colleges and universities to conduct their own due diligence, saving approximately £20,000 in time and cost for each UK higher and further education organisation.”
Liz Sproat, head of education for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Google, said:
“We’re always looking for ways to make it easier for schools, colleges and universities to take advantage of our free online collaboration and communication tools. One third of all UK colleges and universities already use Google Apps for Education. We hope this new framework agreement with Janet will enable even more students, professors, lecturers and teachers to collaborate and communicate more easily whilst also saving money for their educational institutions.”
There are more than 25 million Google Apps for Education users worldwide and many different use cases. Students working on group projects can work simultaneously in real-time in documents, spreadsheets and presentations, no matter where they are based, making it easier to share ideas and preventing the difficulty of version control. Professors and teachers can comment directly within student assignments, streamlining the faculty feedback process. Lecturers can even run entire seminars on Google Hangouts, meaning that students can catch their classes online, even if they’re not on campus. Student committees can also host their social calendars on easily accessible Google Sites and post pictures of their events on Google+. Google recently signed a similar agreement in the Netherlands and since that time half the country’s universities and colleges have moved to Google Apps.
Visit the Janet website for more information about the framework agreement.