Te Pūkenga, New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology, and Crown entity REANNZ have partnered to ensure free, secure, and high-performing Wi-Fi access for all students and staff in Aotearoa New Zealand by the end of 2023. The initiative involves the implementation of the eduroam network, which boasts an expansive coverage in New Zealand with over 180 enabled sites including universities, libraries, cafés and conference centres, among others, in addition to an extensive international reach.
Te Pūkenga has amalgamated 25 polytechnics and industry training providers into a national network, providing vocational education to 271,000 students and employing 9,000 staff across more than 90 sites in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Integration with eduroam is expected to significantly enhance the connectivity for both students and staff.
'This is a huge win for both learners and staff as it will allow a seamless, single sign-on access at their campuses as well as the additional enabled sites if they are travelling around the country' says Te Pūkenga Chief Digital Officer Teresa Pollard. She added that joining eduroam is a major development towards fulfilling their objective of centralising student needs, whether their learning environment is on-campus, online or in the workplace. Most of Te Pūkenga network is anticipated to be on eduroam by the end of November, which Teresa Pollard believes will 'greatly enhance and simplify the digital experience we offer those learning and working with us.'
REANNZ, an organization that supports research and education sectors through a high-performance digital network like eduroam, is committed to ensuring greater connectivity across the nation's research and education sectors. REANNZ Chief Executive Amber McEwen points out that REANNZ's goal is to 'enable students and educators to study, research and collaborate wherever they are.' She praises eduroam for its contribution towards this goal as it provides 'simple, easy and secure connectivity across hotspots, nationally and globally.'
Amber McEwen also indicated that eduroam has been successfully implemented across several member institutions including Crown agencies and tertiary education facilities, and has already increased its footprint in libraries and other community hubs. The past year saw the successful pilot of eduroam in 15 libraries in Southland and Otago and current collaboration with the Ministry of Education aims to extend the eduroam coverage to secondary schools over the next 12 months.