Student Advantage: One of the many compelling reasons Universities will take up Office 365

Mark Chaban, Microsoft Education Lead, Middle East and Africa
Mark Chaban, Microsoft Education Lead, Middle East and Africa

In today’s world things are evolving faster than we can process them. Education too is evolving and the more we catch up with relevant ways of teaching the better we are able to equip the students for the job market when they leave school. One of the ways to do so is adopting technology as fast as the job and consumer market is.

We are now in the cloud.

And our students school institutions cannot afford to be left out. It’s in this breath that I want to talk about a recent announcement by Microsoft that students will be getting Student Advantage if their Universities are subscribers to Office 365 Education.

What exactly is Student Advantage?

Student Advantage is basically an advantage that the student in a University that licenses Office 365 ProPlus or Office Professional Plus for staff and faculty gets. This makes the students get Office 365 ProPlus free. This way the students get to install a full and up to date Office 365 version in their laptop and they can also do so in 4 other PCs in their account.

When a school combines Student Advantage with Microsoft’s other cloud services, Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and Lync Online, all available free through Office 365 Education, students have access to the same set of gold-standard productivity tools and services used by Fortune 500 companies all over the world.

Student Advantage commenced in Kenya yesterday, December 1 2013 and Microsoft announced this last week at a Higher Education Summit held in Nairobi. Student Advantage will allow students to communicate, collaborate and assess assignments in shared work-spaces, have notes synchronized on OneNote and also install full Office applications for use offline.

“Students use Office every day for school work and activities that are most important to them. Office not only helps students stay organized and get their work done today but at the same time develops skills that will be required when they enter the work force,” Said Mark Chaban, Microsoft Education Lead, Middle East and Africa.

Microsoft Office 365 is currently in use by 110 million students and staff globally and offers an install and access of Office documents without requiring to pay for upgrades. With over 90% of students who use productivity software using Office, Student advantage poses a huge plus to the teacher-student collaboration in assignments and school-work. Microsoft also recently made available Office Mobile apps for both Android and iOS so this means that even out of the Windows environment students can still be productive on their devices both on Office web-apps and offline on Office mobile smartphone and tablet applications.