Two more varsities join EPP programme

PETALING JAYA: Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) and Universiti Malaya (UM) joined the Education Partner Programme (EPP) spearheaded by YTL Communications.

Under the programme, students and academic staff at the universities will enjoy the company’s 4G Mobile Internet services on campus.

The students will receive free converged data and voice services of up to 300 megabytes per user, on a monthly basis over a period of three years, and will be able to top up their accounts at special student rates.

UPM and UM are the third and fourth universities respectively to join the EPP programme in the last two months, following Universiti Teknologi Malaysia and University Tunku Abdul Rahman.

More of Malaysia’s public institutes of higher learning and private universities are expected to join the programme by year end.

YTL Comms is pleased to be a partner with UPM and UM in their vision to create a superior academic environment, said Yasmin Mahmood, executive director of YTL Comms, in a press statement.

The universities announced that the service will come in handy for students and academic staff, especially when conducting R&D work.

Associate Prof Dr Suhaimi Napis, chief technology officer and director of the UPM InfoComm Development Centre, said the service will encourage the university’s model of ubiquitous learning, where students learn whether they are in lecture halls or not.

“We call this ‘www-learning,’ ” he added.

The Ubiquitous Learning Environment at UPM, a brainchild of Dr Suhaimi, relies on the Malaysian Research and Education Network (Myren) — a high-capacity broadband network that connects universities, colleges, research organisations and scientific laboratories.

UPM also has a number of cloud services that can support blended learning, i.e. a mixture of remote and on-premises education.

For example, video collaboration services such as 1VideoBridge make live virtual-classes possible. Up to 160 laptops, desktops and other compatible devices can be connected to the service at one time.

“The power of 4G Mobile Internet will create new ways for education to be delivered and we are already working with YTL Comms to enable interoperability between our learning and research cloud-services and all other platforms, including new Android-based devices which we are eager to explore.” Suhaimi said.

Meanwhile, Dr David Asirvatham, director at the UM Centre for Information Technology, said the data packages specially tailored for students is the perfect tool to enhance student lives on campus.

“4G Broadband & Voice services under a single account is a great value proposition to our students. When every ringgit needs to be stretched, it helps that our students can use their 300 megabytes of free broadband to make free phone calls, too,” he said.

As Malaysia’s oldest public university and a recognised research university, UM actively spearheads a number of research-intensive projects in ICT (information and communications technology) and Computational Sciences; Biotechnology and Bioproducts; and Health and Translational Medicine with the help of grid computing.

“With the superior performance of 4G, that delivers connectivity in megabits instead of the kilobits we get with 3G now, the power of grid computing can easily extend all the way to desktops and devices, significantly improving our research process,” he said.

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