Arba Minch University, one of the oldest Universities in Ethiopia, has selected Polycom video conferencing solution from FVC to offer its courses across several disciplines to students across Ethiopia. The solution allows the University to offer two Masters Programs (post graduate) in Hydraulics and Civil Engineering Department not just to students within the campus but also accessed by students across the rest of the country. The medical students at the University are also using the new system for classes and weekly discussions with Johns Hopkins University in USA.
According to Yosef Shiferaw, ICT Director at Arba Minch University, to continue to provide quality education and training, the university was primarily looking for high definition video conferencing infrastructure that could support the traditional teaching-learning process and link its four campuses. The University selected Polycom’s RMX 1500 RealPresence Collaboration Server, connecting 100 devices using Polycom (Converged Management Application) CMA 4000. The system is supported by Polycom recording and streaming solution and firewall.
In each of its four campuses, the University installed one video conferencing classroom with Polycom’s HDX 8000 system with 2 ceiling microphones and a touch control linking it to the server system. To automate the solution, the system includes a Vaddio AutoTrak system, which ensures that the camera tracks the instructor around the classroom, providing the same interactivity of a real classroom. A Vaddio video whiteboard is integrated with the solution, so that the instructors’ notes on the whiteboard are seen by all the students in all locations. Arba Minch University also deployed a dedicated VLAN (virtual LAN) to handle the video traffic and content generated by the installation.
The implementation took four and half months. The team at the University working on the project and supporting the infrastructure on an on going basis were trained by FVC as the Polycom authorised training partner in the MENA region.
“For the 2012/2013 Academic year, many other departments within the University are planning to use it for different courses from other Universities,” added Shiferaw. “It is very useful, particularly for the courses that we couldn’t get specialized instructors for.”
Currently, Arab Minch University is in the process of procuring the Polycom Practitioner Car for its operation theatre, so that surgeries can be broadcasted to students in the conference room or in other universities.