University of Nottingham introduces complete wireless learning environment

Tags: education | case study | video | WLAN | wireless | Wi-fi | byod


The competition for university places is fiercer than ever. In this environment, creating a happy environment for students is vital.

That's why BT is working with the University of Nottingham to provide the technology to help them improve student satisfaction, along with improving standards across the institution.

At the heart of this solution is a new Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN). One major benefit of the new network is that it allows more paperless working for staff, as devices such as tablets and laptops are integrated into learning, becoming part of lectures and allowing initiatives such as instant marking and downloadable curricula, cutting down on wasted paper.

Central to the project is to allow students and staff to connect in the same way, fostering a collaborative approach as well as meeting students’ expectations for levels of connectivity, in order to match those experienced elsewhere.

In addition, the university experience will be improved for students wishing to work in less traditional ways, such as accessing films of previous lectures or simply using mobile devices to work and edit ‘on the go’.  This is possible due to the agility of the new network and its ability to follow a device around the campus seamlessly.  The results of this are already being seen in the University’s public spaces such as the atria that, once almost deserted, are now filled with students.  

This immediacy of information access will also make the student evaluation of lectures far easier to collate, as it can be submitted online in real-time, allowing the University to improve its services and remain competitive.

The decision to appoint BT was taken following a tender process in which BT was considered to have submitted the most innovative response, exceeding the requirements of the tender document particularly in regard to the proposed technology for the network’s back-end infrastructure.

Alison Clark, IT director, University of Nottingham, said: “The University of Nottingham is a Russell Group University and is always looking to improve its standards and ranking.  We approached BT because we wanted our students to be able to study wherever they are, and for academics and visitors on campus to be able to work in the cafés, not just in the offices.”