UP launches project to integrate, interconnect campuses-A A +A
By Mia A. Aznar
Sunday, August 12, 2012
AS IT aims to become a “great university” that takes an active role in developing the country, the University of the Philippines is embarking on a P750-million ICT project to connect all universities into one system.
UP officials launched last Wednesday the eUP project that aims to have an “integrated, interconnected, harmonized and interoperable” ICT system and infrastructure across all UP campuses.
Considered a flagship project of UP President Alfredo Pascual, the eUP project is part of the university’s strategic plan for 2011 to 2017, a plan that envisions a unified UP system to achieve academic and operational excellence.
Dr. Elvira Zamora, vice president for development of the UP System, said that the project would allow them to do many things, including the sharing of educational materials among faculty and students and complete enrollment processes online.
“Students need not cut their vacation time to come to the university to enroll. They can do it in their own homes,” she said.
For the administration staff, Zamora said this can allow top-level officers to make timely decisions, as the system would give them access to accurate information, rather than wait for written memos from different campuses.
Zamora explained that the project covers five components, which includes policy formulation, organization and mobilization; benchmarking and ICT audit; acquisition and development and installation of appropriate information systems; ICT infrastructure development; and ICT competency building.
The university hopes to address operational challenges involving the processing of academic transactions, data sharing, data collection, data management, report generation and reliable interconnection.
They expect that once the system is running, they will see reduced transaction times, reduced paperwork, accessible data, increased internet bandwidth, increased transaction volume, increased number of students using ICT for learning, standardized data, shared services across all campuses, increased savings and improved decision-making capability.
Zamora explained that the UP Cebu College can access other educational resources and learning materials from other campuses. Professors who want to deliver lectures to various audiences in multiple locations can do it and students and faculty can access it at their most convenient time.
While she did not justify the university’s low ranking among Asian universities, Zamora believes the access to data may also have affected UP’s ranking, saying the lack of data available for rankings agencies can also be a factor to consider.
She added that as a national university, they also do not want to consider other higher learning institutions as competitors, saying they also want to be able to share things they learn to others.
Zamora also assured that an upgraded system will not mean an increase in tuition for students or the cutting of jobs from UP staff.
The P750-million budget will be spread out for a period of three years, the bulk of
which will be for the hardware. Zamora also assured the students and faculty that they are enjoying a 97 percent discount from Oracle for the information system they are acquiring.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 13, 2012.