The University of Birmingham Dubai has appointed IT services and solutions provider CDW to help create a high-quality technology environment for students and staff at its new campus, due to open Autumn 2021.
Following a successful tender process, the company will provide equipment and support across the state-of-the-art campus. Students and staff will be provided with Lenovo laptops and the campus network will support WiFi6. Smart sensors across teaching spaces will map people flows – allowing the most efficient use of the buildings. Students will be able to structure their time on campus through dedicated mobile apps and smart scheduling.
These technologies will combine to provide students and faculty with a seamless suite of tools built bespoke for the University experience. The infrastructure is also modular by design to allow for future innovation and growth.
University of Birmingham Dubai Provost, Professor David Sadler, said: “Our new building has been designed as an ‘Intelligent Campus’ – embedded with flexible, cutting-edge technology allowing innovative, multidisciplinary teaching and learning.
“CDW will help us to deliver a flexible and powerful teaching environment in Dubai that students and staff will enjoy. Everyone – students and staff alike – is eagerly looking forward to moving into our brand-new, bespoke campus building later this year. We believe that, in our new academic home, we will deliver an educational experience like no other in Dubai.”
The University’s procurement selection panel, led by Category Manager (ICT) Thomas Hasson, made a recommendation to senior leaders who approved the contract award to CDW. The company will oversee the full suite of technology solutions for the campus and the company is working with a number of strategic partners in key areas including:
- Dell Technologies – data centre computing and storage;
- Lenovo – devices, workstations and laptops;
- Fortinet – firewall security;
- Cisco – WAN and LAN – including a true software-defined network;
- Rubrik – data backup and security; APC for power protection; and
Infoblox – DNS.
Penny Williams, Director of Public Sector Sales at CDW UK, said: “The University of Birmingham provides a world-class learning experience and its new Dubai campus will be no exception. We look forward to working with the University and our technology partners to provide a truly best-in-class digital experience for students and faculty. Through our technology solutions, we hope to inspire innovation and provide students with the tools and skills they need to excel in the job market of tomorrow.
“We have deep experience in the education sector, and we appreciate the nuances of working in the UAE. Our blend of educational and regional experience will provide this new campus with technological ability to match its ambitions to become a regional and global leader.”
University of Birmingham Chief Information Officer Mark Gee commented: “We’re looking forward to working with CDW as they deliver to our new Dubai campus the technical vision developed in partnership with our expert IT team within the University of Birmingham.”
Designed to reflect real-world working practices, the new campus will encourage students to carry out research in interdisciplinary teams across all academic subjects. Flexible study spaces will ensure students have a learning environment suited to their needs; whether in large lecture theatres and laboratories or smaller seminar and tutorial rooms.
With architecture inspired by the historic Aston Webb buildings on the Birmingham campus, the facilities will use shaded open-air courtyard spaces to create an enjoyable and productive student experience. The buildings will sit next to parkland offering sports pitches and an open air event space, whilst new student accommodation is a short walk away, across the parkland.