The distinction awarded by Microsoft to the University of Gdańsk was received today (28.04.2021) by Rector prof. dr hab. Piotr Stepnowski. University in the cloud is a new program implemented by Microsoft which distinguishes and associates universities that in a model way use Microsoft tools and technologies in their scientific, administrative and research activities.
- 'Technology at the University of Gdańsk plays a key role in the process of teaching, university management and conducting scientific research,' - emphasises Rector prof. Piotr Stepnowski. - 'In the current pandemic situation, which has forced us to teach and work largely remotely, technology makes it possible to coordinate the work of administration, scientific work, communication between employees and teachers and students, cooperation with other universities or organisation of scientific conferences and other events in the UG calendar,' - he adds.
A university in the cloud is a programme for universities of the future, which not only teach 'here and now', but also take up the challenge of educating future generations. It is also a programme for academic staff for whom raising digital competencies is a responsibility and mission. The programme includes universities focused on the synergy of people, science, space and technology to better organise educational processes and combine knowledge with social competencies and skills that support the development of graduates on their career paths. - 'The programme aims to create a place of inspiration and good practices for Polish universities, which are already acting as technological innovators. We also want their projects, solutions supporting didactics, research projects based on the latest technologies or advanced infrastructure solutions to inspire other universities to action and digital transformation. Digitalization of universities concerns mainly the following areas: teaching, research and development and efficient university infrastructure,' - say Microsoft representatives.
The pandemic situation had a big impact on the implementation of Microsoft technology at UG. - 'In connection with the pandemic, we faced the problem of redefining previous strategies of communication with the external environment, which resulted in the use, to a greater extent, of previously implemented services. Since the beginning of the pandemic, even more emphasis has been put on the use of tools for remote work, including a decision to integrate the Moodle-based platform with MS Teams, making it possible to combine courses with automatically generated teams, as well as to move smoothly between environments, to make use of their strengths,' says dr hab. inż. Aneta Oniszczuk-Jastrząbek, prof. UG, Director of the Centre for Communication and Promotion.
By 2030, 77% of students will need new technological skills, and by 2022 there will be 6.2 million new jobs requiring knowledge of cloud technologies, according to data provided by Microsoft. By participating in the Microsoft Cloud University programme, universities are helping students gain the digital competencies they need to navigate the demanding job market and meet the global challenges of the future. By participating, academic institutions are investing in the development of skills and digital competencies of lecturers and administrative staff to ensure the highest quality of education.
By joining the programme, the University of Gdańsk has joined the group of four other universities: Jagiellonian University, Łódź University of Technology, Warsaw School of Economics and Koźmiński University.
The condition for participation was, among others, meeting two criteria. Firstly: students, lecturers and employees use the Office 365 service, in particular Microsoft Teams, OneNote and Forms applications, and the service is used by at least 6 per cent of the university community. Secondly: the university provides broad access to Microsoft technology to its staff and students, including providing software for private use with the ability to install the latest version of Microsoft Office on home devices.
At the moment, about 21 thousand student accounts and about 3.8 thousand employee accounts are active at UG.
More about the Microsoft Cloud University programme: https://www.microsoft.com/pl-pl/education/higher-education/uczelniawchmurze