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The current generation of students have grown up with technology—using devices like laptops, smartphones and tablets. In order to keep students engaged, institutions of learning must change with the times. We are now in an era where curriculum for tertiary education are transitioning to a blend of online and face-to-face learning. On top of this, there has been a change in the lecturer/student role, where the lecturer now acts more as a guide in comparison to the sole expert, as information required by students are often just two clicks away. What’s more, classrooms have become collaborative flexible learning spaces with technology and access playing a critical role here where reliable connectivity is no longer a ‘nice-to-have’, but a strategic component.
In Mauritius, impressive progress has been achieved in the education system in terms of compulsory primary education, free secondary education and more tertiary institutions providing quality education. In fact, Government expenditure on education and training for the financial years 2016/2017 and 2017/2018 are estimated at MUR 16,791 million and MUR 18,214 million, representing 12.7% and 12.4% of total expenditure respectively and with a new ICT Strategy for Mauritius’s Education Sector, it is clear that access and digital technologies are becoming critical to not only making education more accessible, but also providing better services and enhancing the learning experience and teaching processes. And this is exactly what Charles Telfair Campus, part of Curtin University, is doing. The campus serves approximately 2000 students and faculty, located in Moka in Mauritius. Curtin is an internationally focused research and teaching university based in Perth, Western Australia with campuses in Singapore, Malaysia, Dubai and Mauritius and has strong connections to businesses, industries and over 90 universities worldwide.
The Campus was facing critical issues regarding their campus wireless connectivity. Students are heavy users of the internet with the use of social media and streaming educational content due to the needs of their respective courses. However, due to an aging legacy network, there was often frustrations from both students and the IT department due to network outages and downtime.