Northumbria keeps knowledge flowing

Leading professional university leverages digital workspace solutions to fuel new models for education that enable learning from anywhere.

Education today is a different game. And as universities around the world rewrite their playbooks to accommodate the flexible learning models that a COVID-19- world demands, many are leaning on technology to deliver wins. Take Northumbria. Using digital workspace solutions from Citrix Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CTXS), the leading professional university in the United Kingdom is providing its more than 30,000 students and faculty with secure and reliable access to the systems and information they need to connect and learn wherever they happen to be.

“The global pandemic has fundamentally changed the way education is delivered and forced us to rethink the way we operate,” said Simon Corbett, IT Director, Northumbria. “We must be more flexible than ever and create environments in which our staff and students can safely collaborate. With Citrix, we can provide a consistent learning experience whether they are at home or on campus and maintain the quality of the academic programs for which we are known.”

Changing the Game

Northumbria is no stranger to remote learning. The university began experimenting with it in 1999, enabling about 500 users. But when COVID-19 hit, it got serious and moved to scale its resources to accommodate the rest of its population and the shift to all-remote classes.

“With the outbreak of the pandemic, we had to move staff to work from home and stop students from coming on-site,” said Simon Corbett, IT Director, Northumbria. “We quickly needed to get a solution in place that would provide them with access to the resources inside the University they needed to continue working and complete their course work without missing a beat,” Corbett said.

With the aid of Citrix and Cetus Solutions Limited, a platinum Citrix Solution Advisor (CSA) and Citrix Service Provider (CSP), Northumbria implemented Citrix® Virtual Apps and Desktops™ service,Citrix Workspace™, Citrix Remote PC Access and Citrix ADC Pooled Licensing. With Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops Service, organisations can deliver Remote PC Access to physical desktops as well as virtual desktop infrastructure located on-premises or in any public cloud.

And Northumbria is using the solution to do just this, quickly provisioning virtual desktops with a familiar look and feel that provide secure access to the applications and data its faculty, staff and students require.

It is also leveraging the offering to seamlessly and securely manage newly deployed Microsoft Azure-hosted apps and desktops running on the Windows Virtual Desktop platform alongside its existing on-premises apps and desktops through one centralised location.

“We went from no infrastructure to support a Remote PC solution to a fully operational one in a matter of weeks,” Corbett said.

Preparing for the Future

And this has provided a foundation on which Northumbria can build the future of education, which will include both traditional classroom and virtual learning. “With Citrix, we have secure, scalable technology through which we can deliver applications and desktops to our staff and students wherever they may be,” Corbett said.

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