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Getting Indonesian universities connected

Posted by Raden Arief Setiawan, Brawijaya University

Editors note: Today’s guest blogger is Raden Arief Setiawan, Head of Information and Technology Assessment and Development at Brawijaya University in Indonesia.

The world has been paying more attention to Indonesia these days to see how the world's fourth most populous nation moves into the digital century. While we're excited about our progress so far, there is still much work to do. Being a member of the G20, Indonesia has lots to offer the global economy in terms of both growing markets and a young workforce. This puts particular pressure on national universities to better prepare the next generation of leaders to enter the competitive worlds of science and business.

Despite the advances of information technology, many state universities face challenges in getting the latest systems in place. Despite having an internal email system for all its faculty and students, Brawijaya University faced numerous challenges of maintaining the infrastructure. The email system, along with server hardware, consumed a significant portion of the IT budget, and managing the email system alone took hundreds of man-hours.

Students and faculty members had to be resourceful, at times sharing single email accounts to transfer files and download the latest class notes. This was far from an ideal solution, but a solution nevertheless, considering the situation.

Now, with the help of the free and cloud-based Google Apps for Education system, 45,000 Brawijaya students and teachers have access to a whole new way of doing things: an updated, secure email system bearing the proud institution’s name; collaboration tools in the form of Google Docs and Groups, as well as access to the world wide web from various access points around the campus. For the administrators, Google Apps for Education was an easy choice due to the system’s openness, ease of access, and the way it can be connected to existing systems without having to buy new licenses and hardware.

We are proud to join other educational institutions around the world by fully embracing technology to change the way our university community will communicate, collaborate and learn. This will help develop a culture that simulates the ever-competitive global working environment, providing the nation’s best minds for the future.