Cisco, Education and Research
Cisco has a worldwide education practice and is one of the world's largest private sector educators through the Cisco Networking Academy Program (CNAP) - see below. A UK Education Team, within our Public Sector business, is dedicated to the education market and to understanding the business needs of education and research institutions within higher, further and schools education.
Higher and Further Education: An ICT Blueprint for Teaching, Learning and Research
Learn more about the role of communications and collaboration technologies in higher and further education, and why these technologies should be at the heart of an institution's business plans.
Using ICT to Deliver the Student Experience
"Enhancing the quality of learning and teaching remains the primary driver for considering using technology enhanced learning; the other leading drivers - meeting student expectations and improving access to learning for students off campus remain at second and third place respectively in the rankings. Improving access to learning for distance learners has risen to fourth place in the rankings." - UCISA Survey of Technology Enhanced Learning in the UK, 2012
In the current economic environment, universities and institutes of further education must compete for students if they are to remain financially viable. Students who choose to attend university make a considerable financial commitment. Universities need to ensure that they can offer an environment that fully supports collaborative learning and delivers a quality student experience. This can only be achieved through the effective use of communications and collaboration technologies.
Students and Mobility: Enhancing Learning
Centres of learning are increasingly supporting the need for students to gain access to learning resources wherever they may be on or off-campus. Allowing students this level of mobility, and encouraging them to use their own mobile devices on the campus, personalises learning and will help deliver the best outcomes.
This requires a commitment to BYOD ('bring your own device') technology on campus networks, so that students can use their device of choice to communicate with each other, with staff, and gain access to collaborative networking resources and learning tools.
Creating Collaboration Networks
International collaboration with peer institutions and the private sector for research is also made easier through the exploitation of smart networking infrastructure. It allows institutions to extend across geographical borders and operate remote campuses, and to compete more effectively for international research funds.
How Cisco Can Help
At Cisco we are committed to creating more connected student experiences through always-on WiFi, support for BYOD across campus, and maintaining high standards of security and operational control.
Institutions can work with Cisco and our partners to provide the physical infrastructure required for modern teaching and learning, while at the same time looking to migrate resources into public and private clouds.
Cisco's technology solutions can help create borderless campuses, common desktop environments across a variety of end-points - as well as the data centres and cloud environments required for shared learning and research. We also provide unified communications solutions and video tools to support cross-campus and international collaboration.
Links to Other Resources
Loughborough University: Tangible Return on Investment from Virtual Infrastructure
- Download here (PDF - 1,13 MB)
Salford University: Campus Infrastructure for Broadcaster-Quality Video Production
- Download here (PDF - 426 KB)
Schools, Academies and Federations: An ICT Blueprint for Teaching and Learning
Learn more about the role of communications and collaboration technologies in schools, academies and federations, and why these technologies should be at the heart of an institution's business plans.
Cisco believes that ICT should be at the heart of plans to build new educational institutions and deliver outstanding teaching and learning. Educational decision makers must be committed to change, and the role of technology within that change.
We have produced a blueprint that outlines three best-practice ICT solutions that can be adopted and implemented by schools and academies depending on current size, ambitions for growth and the current skill level of staff.
The availability of small, medium and large solutions, using common building blocks, allows capability to be scaled from the smallest primary school up to the very largest secondary school. All three solutions are based on standard, off-the-shelf products that provide access to leading-edge Cisco innovation and, we believe, are easy to implement, operate and maintain.
All of these solutions deliver essential communications and collaboration services, and the underpinning infrastructure necessary to support education, administration and productivity applications.
New schools' reform brings change
Today, commitment to change in schools is hugely important. This is a result of the Government making schools one of its flagship reform policies, with the aim of delivering a curriculum that is fit for the 21st century. To facilitate this reform, technology must be seen as a key business enabler and placed at the heart of business plans for all modern schools, academies and federations.
Institutional needs and requirements
The blueprint details the business needs of modern schools and introduces a technology-based approach that can address those needs. The paper explains how the correct ICT infrastructure in schools can support applications and services that will enhance:
- Independent and personalised learning
- Peer-group and collaborative learning
- Safe access to learning resources
- Sharing of exemplar practices
Institutions that fully exploit Cisco's solutions will be able to address all of these areas, making schools more vibrant, removing perceived constraints and opening new avenues for teachers and students to explore.
Recommended ICT solutions
The blueprint sets out small, medium and large ICT solutions that use common building blocks to deliver essential communications and collaboration services, and the underpinning infrastructure necessary to support education, administration and productivity applications. The use of common building blocks allows capability to be scaled from the smallest primary school up to the very largest secondary school. Deployment of these solutions provides institutions with ready access to Cisco leading edge technologies and to Cisco innovation.
Included in this paper are a number of recommended steps that can help institutions to become more technology-centric. When applied correctly, technology can be the most powerful tool, enabling students to learn more efficiently, more productively and more collaboratively than ever before.
We encourage you to contact us to discuss your interpretation of the blueprint and share your own requirements. Our regional teams are keen to hear from you.
Links to Other Resources
Recent figures from the European Commission on ICT and skills show that the number of jobs is growing by three per cent each year but, in sharp contrast, the number of new graduates and other skilled ICT workers is falling.
It is essential that we inspire young people to develop ICT skills, and to work in our industry, if we are to provide the impetus to drive the worldwide economy. Cisco has been helping to do this by promoting The Cisco Networking Academy Program (CNAP) in communities around the world.
Every year this program, available to all academic institutions, teaches the skills needed to build, design and maintain computer networks to over a million students worldwide. Networking Academy courses are offered in multiple languages through a blended learning model that combines classroom instruction with online curricula, interactive tools, hands-on activities, and online assessments that provide immediate feedback to the student.
The courses improve the career prospects of students, while fulfilling a global demand for networking and IT professionals. With 10,000 academies in 165 countries, the Cisco Networking Academy program helps prepare individuals for industry-recognised certifications, and entry-level careers in virtually every type of industry.
You can find out more information on the Cisco Networking Academy program at:
We would very much like to hear from you should you wish to set up a Networking Academy for your school.