Nearly 30,000 students at the University of Portsmouth have been given Google Apps accounts after they refused to give up their private Hotmail and Gmail accounts and spurned the university's Netmail system in an effort to gain better access to more applications.
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A spokesperson for the university said students preferred their private email services to the university's Netmail e-mail system. They will now be able to redirect their existing email accounts to Google Apps if they wish.
The spokesperson said students were asked what they wanted and they asked for more applications than just email as well as something more modern, so the university chose Google Apps.
University staff will keep using Novell’s GroupWise email system because of the need to archive certain documents, she said.
Students were using Google Apps for e-mail, instant messaging and document sharing. They were also using it to set up clubs and societies, their own web pages and calendars. They will soon have personalised timetables.