Posted by the Editorial Team
Microsoft is committed to creating opportunities for youth that make a real impact on their digital inclusion, education and employability. So we were thrilled when one of the largest public universities in Saudi Arabia, Al Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University, became the first in the Middle East and Africa to use the Office 365 ProPlus Benefit, enabling faculty, staff and students to use Office applications for free on their PCs and mobile devices.
Al Imam provides education for about 120 000 students across two campuses in Riyadh, 66 institutes around Saudi Arabia and three outside its borders. However, it was being left behind in one important area – it lacked a formal system for staff and students to efficiently communicate and collaborate. This was becoming more and more of a problem because the university is continually growing, with more staff and student needs to consider. The size of the university also posed a challenge to find an affordable system that could cope with such a large number of students.
Al Imam’s IT Deanship approached Microsoft and found that Office 365 ProPlus offered an optimal solution for the university’s productivity needs. An important consideration was that students are able to work anywhere on any device, using the applications they already know, such as Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote.
The university was eager for students to sign up and ran a month-long awareness campaign to encourage them to do so. The campaign included training and technical support, help with registration and competitions. This resulted in 45 000 students signing up in just one week, joining a community of more than 110 million students, faculty and staff using Office 365 Education.
As a result, the university’s students and staff can now communicate and collaborate more efficiently with each other. Students are also being better prepared for working life in the 21st century, equipped with the skills today’s employers need.
This is just one example of Microsoft’s commitment to improving education outcomes and helping youth and educators around the world to do and achieve more. We are proud to partner with Al Imam and share its vision.