Established the region’s largest cloud-based wireless computing system for the education sector
Transformed the delivery of education on campus thanks to major impact by the new technology
Cisco Meraki switches deployed across 14 campus buildings
Unified dashboard managing more than 5,000 access points
Wi-Fi deployed across four facilities to over 20,000 students and 700 faculty members across a 36 sq km campus
The University of Sharjah (UOS) is a higher education institution in Sharjah, UAE. With a distinctive teaching style and a global vision, UOS is a pioneer in academia, scientific research, and the arts, both in the UAE and across the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) region. Offering courses in seven academic fields, including medicine and engineering, the university is home to over 20,000 students and more than 700 faculty. UOS has recently been ranked the number one university in the UAE for teaching, learning, and research.
UOS is a residential university with its main urban campus spanning over 36 sq km. An architectural marvel of Arabic heritage, the campus facilities include study halls, laboratories, libraries, state-of-the-art functional labs, theaters, two major sports complexes, dorms, restaurants, and shops.
The Information Technology Center (ITC) at the University of Sharjah focuses on three strategic pillars: process, technology, and people. We need to make sure that our students and staff can stay connected and all resources are available to them all the time to deliver the best services that support collaboration on campus.
Mohammed Rasol Al Saidat. engineer
IT Director, University of Sharjah
As the university’s wireless network began to age, it had become an obstacle to the institution’s digitalization initiatives. The large campus had Wi-Fi-challenged areas, including concrete buildings and pillars, and UOS saw an urgent need to prioritize the development of a brand-new wireless network. It was envisaged that the new network would solve the Wi-Fi problems that users had been experiencing on campus, and more importantly, play a key role in the university’s plans to provide digital services and seamless connectivity.
UOS had expanded in a relatively short period of time to include 14 colleges in multiple locations, thus the need for a scalable, zero-touch solution was critical. The outcome was the renovation of the wireless network and access switches to bring a modern approach to connectivity that is secure, effective, and cloud-delivered.
We partnered with Meraki to support us in our digital transformation journey. We are proud to have implemented more than 5,000 access points—one of the largest cloud wireless networks in the region—distributed across four campus facilities.
Mohammed Rasol Al Saidat. engineer
University of Sharjah
Engineer Mohammed Rasol Al Saidat, IT Director of the University of Sharjah, understood the challenge and knew the best option was to get in touch with Cisco to find out how Meraki switches could assist in creating a network that expanded across the 14 colleges. The solution provided a range of benefits, enhancing network performance, security, and accessibility, and also aligning with the three strategic pillars of the IT department: process, technology and people.
The latest Meraki edge and aggregation switching platform has accelerated the process of integrating technology into the academics. The solution includes advanced security protocols which protect the network from unauthorized access and data breaches. This is especially important as it ensures that student, administration, and faculty data is always kept safe and secure.
Across the network of 14 colleges, a mix of Meraki Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 6 were implemented, leading to more than 5,000 access points across the campus with Cisco Catalyst switches to support. This created one of the largest cloud wireless networks in the region. The user-friendly and intuitive design has made it easier for students to connect to the network and access resources they need.
Overall, it has created a more accessible network for everyone at the University of Sharjah by providing a user-friendly interface, robust security features, and a high level of accessibility. This solution has enhanced network speeds to ensure everyone is always connected, no matter where they are on campus.
As we now have multiple access points across the university, I am able to attend my online lectures either in the classroom or the dorms, or even the university coffee shop. Also, I’m able to do my exams at any site in the university.
The new wireless network delivers better connectivity, making it easier for students and faculty to work from within the campus area. As education transforms and technology plays an increasingly vital role in delivery, the network provides the infrastructure to support these changes and to implement them effectively and efficiently.
The system ensures students, faculty, and other users have the seamless connectivity and digital services that they expect in a high-tech, knowledge-driven space like the university. With this network, UOS has established itself as a visionary institution, leading the field in the modernization of higher education to create the campus of the future. The network forms the critical foundation for digitalization initiatives across education and will help future-proof the institution’s IT capacity in the years ahead.