Just like work, education today can happen anywhere. And students want the freedom and flexibility to choose where and how they learn best.
Luleå University of Technology (LTU) understands this, and is using solutions from Citrix Systems, Inc. to tear down the walls of the traditional classroom and deliver a modern experience that empowers its student to learn from anywhere and perform at their best.
“Teaching has become space independent,” said Daniel Ström CIO, LTU. “We are a university of technology and we are expected to be at the forefront in using IT to provide a superior educational experience in the classroom, the dorm room and anywhere in between.”
When the pandemic hit, LTU did just this, leveraging Citrix DaaS to create cloud-based workplaces through which teachers and students could access everything they needed to stay connected and continue learning.
LTU’s students use 300 different applications, some of which require significant computing power traditionally provided by powerful workstations available in on-campus computer labs. And for students to continue learning remote – often using low-powered, personal laptops and other devices – LTU needed to provide access to these applications.
It was a tall order. But LTU was able to fill it using Citrix DaaS to provide students with secure access to their desktops and applications from anywhere and Microsoft Azure to allocate the processing power and computing resources required to support them.
“With Citrix, it was very easy for us to step up and make this available for all the students through their own computers,” said Lennart Isaksson, Head of Student Computer Lab Administration, LTU.
And it was able to do it quickly, enabling full remote availability for 19,000 students in a matter of days.
“When it comes to remote desktop use cases, nothing comes close to Citrix,” Ström said.
One of the biggest advantages of Citrix, according to Isaksson, is the time saved in application management. “With the traditional PC model, it would take several hours to install all the necessary applications on each PC. And we have over 800 student computer lab PCs,” he said. “With Citrix, it’s much better. We have a single, base image with all the applications and we just replicate it to all the virtual machines that we are spinning up.”
Another key benefit of Citrix DaaS is the enhanced security it provides.
“It’s a much safer approach than the traditional PC model,” Isaksson said. “All the apps are up to date and always available from any endpoint device.”
And of importance to Ström, Citrix makes it easy for LTU to keep pace with technology as it evolves and deliver the IT performance and experience that its students expect.
“Young people today are raising the bar,” he said. “When you build a new computer lab under the traditional model, you get only 12 to 24 months when it is modern. After that, the students get less and less satisfied. With the Citrix model, we can add new machines in the background as the technology evolves, so the computer labs are always new and fresh.”
LTU joins hundreds of educational institutions around the world who are using Citrix to transform learning.