Newsbit

Campus a click away on intranet


By BARCLAY CRAWFORD
14apr99, The Australian News Network

THE revolution in student access to university information took another step this week with the launch of intranet systems at the University of Sydney and the Queensland University of Technology.

The campuses of both universities will be dotted with intranet kiosks.

At QUT, students will be able to pay their fees, download exam results, see walking tours of the campus and receive bus timetable information.

QUT project manager Rob Care-Wickham said the key to the kiosks was to "express information. It shouldn't take more than half a dozen presses before the student is getting the information they actually need. If they haven't got the information they need in three to four minutes, then we haven't done our job properly."

The 10 QUT information kiosks cost $46,000 each, but Mr Care-Wickham said they would pay for themselves.

"We have a page called Ads and Deals, which has to be accessed. The advertising will include deals and discounts for students," he said. "At the end of the day, it will cost the university nothing."

Sydney University's intranet system will cater to the needs of more than 35,000 students, each with their own e-mail address.

Rob Silver, intranet systems project manager, said money saved on administration meant that future benefits of the system were "limitless".

"We have the potential for the total electronic delivery of course content, not by replacing traditional forms of teaching but by opening up access to the current paper-based resources to students so they can access things by computer rather than going onto campus," he said.





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