Campus of the future makes debut in Kuwait

Published April 29th, 2007 - 01:55 GMT

The old adage “A school is only as smart as its students” was put to the test in Kuwait City today, as Cisco and the Gulf University for Science and Technology (GUST), the first and largest private university in Kuwait, unveiled to the public the fruits of their groundbreaking collaboration: one of the first intelligent college campuses in the region.


GUST campus, the first purpose-built private university in Kuwait, uses Cisco’s Unified Communications technologies to create an integrated wired and wireless networks that establish a campus-wide virtual learning infrastructure, placing it among the most technologically advanced in the world. GUST, which is planning to cater to 7,000 students from all over the region, is expected to serve as a living laboratory for similar campuses across the region.


“The GUST campus will be a model of what an intelligent campus can and should be,” said Tarek Ghoul, Cisco’s General Manager, North Gulf. “It will use e-learning content, rich media, multimedia and video conferencing to create a truly interactive environment, where students, faculty and staff can work, engage and collaborate. The campus, a result of a great deal of planning and hard work, represents human networking at its very best.”


Mr Samir Alamari, GUST Information and Technology Director, said the move is in line with the university’s progressive and innovative outlook. “GUST strives to be a centre of excellence for education and research in the fields of art, science and business administration. This move will facilitate our future expansion plans to introduce Engineering and Masters Degree Programs,” said Alamari. “Our collaboration with Cisco has helped us cement these values into the very foundation of our campus. Cisco understood that our goal was to build a campus for the 21st century. We wanted something that people could describe 10 years from now as ‘a modern and advanced campus.’”


Alamari added, “I should note that, while the technological side of our smart campus has us all very excited, the bottom line is that students will get a richer, more comprehensive learning experience. And that, of course, is what really matters.”


To ensure that the new campus incorporated the very best and the very latest in educational IP technology, the GUST team visited a number of cutting-edge universities and smart campuses in Singapore, the UK and the United States, and worked closely with Cisco’s US based Connected Learning program. The result is a knowledge village campus that fulfills students' technology requirements and qualifies them a professional future."


“What is unique about this project is that the important ideas came from the mind of the stakeholder,” said Ghoul. “GUST’s innovative approach and open-to-anything mindset helped the Cisco team develop an approach and strategy that resulted in the creation of an IP educational platform which, we believe, ranks among the best in the world.”


In collaboration with the university IT team, Cisco and its implantation partner designed and developed several layers of interwoven technologies to create this cutting-edge campus. The array of networking technology platforms includes a multi-layer, modular IP-based system, two multi-service, virtualized data centers for multimedia educational services, a multi-level security solution and high-end administrative functionality.


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