Press Release – Microsoft New Zealand
Partnerships are the key to leveraging Ultra-Fast Broadband and providing significant savings opportunities for schools, students and educators Microsoft New Zealand will today announce a new educational partnership with Te Whare Wananga O Awanuiarangi, …
Annual savings of up to $50 Million? Yes Please.
Partnerships are the key to leveraging Ultra-Fast Broadband and providing significant savings opportunities for schools, students and educators
Microsoft New Zealand will today announce a new educational partnership with Te Whare Wananga O Awanuiarangi, highlighting collaborative partnerships as the best way to ensure the future success of the country. This key partnership will be announced at the 8th annual Asia and Pacific Partners in Learning Forum being held in Auckland this week, and will be supported by revised licensing changes for core software and technology infrastructure.
Evan Blackman, Education Manager at Microsoft New Zealand, says partnerships are the way forward if New Zealand wants to seriously tackle student underachievement in the classroom.
“New Zealand is a small country with limited resources, and collaborative partnerships like this are essential. The way to lift student underachievement is through partnerships that free up resources to redirect into the classroom and build on opportunities presented by technology improvements such as Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB).”
“The New Zealand Government has made some positive changes bringing in UFB but we risk missing the bigger picture if we only focus on the network. There is no point laying fibre and connecting people if it’s a latent pipe and its full potential cannot be realised. Our goal is to make it easy for schools to access technology affordably and productively. We need to make sure our teachers are empowered to fully utilise new technologies in the classroom – they are ones who make the real difference to student underachievement.”
The Te Whare Wananga O Awanuiarangi partnership with Microsoft New Zealand has potential cost savings of between $20–50 million per year for the whole education sector in regards to broadband roll out to schools. These savings will be accessible through collaboration and service provision which will be centralised through cloud services – saving individual schools having to duplicate the same infrastructure and services. Te Whare Wananga O Awanuiarangi has been working to model this approach and partnership with Microsoft to leverage shared infrastructure opportunities, and access modern tools and software via the newly signed variation to the Microsoft Schools Agreement – all of which will be enabled by high speed connectivity provided by UFB.
“The changes we have implemented will allow educational institutes to quickly remove costs from their balance sheets. If all schools in New Zealand were to utilise the new inclusions in the Schools Agreement and take advantage of the Office 365 For Education licensing change, as the 39 schools in the Te Whare Wananga O Awanuiarangi region intend to do, saving tens of millions of dollars each year. This is hugely powerful when you think about what schools are currently paying,” says Mr Blackman.
Distinguished Professor Graham Smith, Vice Chancellor at Te Whare Wananga O Awanuiarangi says the MOI with Microsoft will offer schools and students access to tools and resources that previously may have been unattainable.
“In the Maori and Pacific Island community there is a lack of access to ICT at home for students – one in seven students don’t have access to ICT or connectivity in the home. This MOI will allow us to provide students within our regional network of schools access to the latest in tools and resources, including a ready-made network using Office 365.”
“In addition, the MOI will help the teachers and staff members in each of the schools, giving them the ability to tap into the vast professional development resources provided by Microsoft’s Partners in Learning programme. We are also working closely with Microsoft to improve the career prospects for our students. Together we will support each of the schools to improve student work readiness, and to enter the ICT industry, by gaining certifications through Microsoft’s IT Academy.”
The licensing and partnership changes will include:
1. Newly signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Te Whare Wananga O Awanuiarangi – educational partnership model for Microsoft to provide tools and resources (Microsoft Schools Agreement, Office 365 For Education, IT Academy) to help the Institutions regional network of 39 schools, regional council organisations and other stakeholders create a new model for innovative use of ICT in the classroom
2. Newly signed variation to the Microsoft Schools Agreement – removes the traditional barriers to software licensing and provides schools with access to unlimited servers, coverage for Apple devices and access by student owned devices to school services. This means schools can gain immediate cost savings, move to shared infrastructure and more easily deploy student Bring Your Device programmes.
3. Revised licensing pricing for Office 365 For Education – offers the core capabilities of Microsoft’s cloud based Office 365 For Education free of charge to all students, faculty and staff across primary, secondary and tertiary institutes – affecting more than one million people. Core capabilities include Microsoft Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Lync Online and Office Web Applications.
The Asia and Pacific Partners in Learning Forum will be held Tuesday 20 March to Thursday 22 March and will host approximately 200 delegates from 19 countries. For more information visit the website.
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