The University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Australia has partnered with Cisco to connect campus and community through technology, fostering an environment of innovation.

UNSW Australia is an internationally renowned, research intensive and globally focused university. It employs over 6,000 staff, has more than 50,000 students and a turnover of $1.8B.

On campus, UNSW implemented Cisco wireless to provide high speed, high density and secure Wi-Fi for more than 55,000 users on 210,000 devices. With an improved digital network, they were able to use Cisco Mobile Experience (CMX) to better track student traffic on campus, gather data, and make more informed planning decisions to optimize the campus infrastructure and resources. Additionally, they enabled alternative learning methods, like flipped learning, due to their improved connectivity on campus.

The partnership with UNSW and Cisco provides exceptional opportunities to lead advancements in enhancing education, both on and off campus, and other technologies through collaborative development.

To showcase the partnership and to better understand the impact that digital transformation has on campus and community, we’ve interviewed Mark Hoffman, the Dean of Engineering at the University of New South Wales in Australia.

Read on to see what he had to say about the digitization of education and UNSW’s Cisco partnership.

How have educational institutions become more dependent on technology to meet the needs of students and educators?

Mark Hoffman (MH): Learning at a university is an experience that truly reflects modern society today. Much of what students learn is not in a classroom, but from online solutions instead.

Students are passionate about learning, and technology makes that learning accessible anywhere, any time. Having the capability to reach students online also gives us the opportunity to educate so many more students than would be possible in a physical environment.

How has technology specifically impacted your campus?

(MH): Technology has had a massive effect on our campus, particularly over the last five to ten years. Now we find that large numbers of students learn by accessing the education material through the online offerings of our courses.

That means that they spend less time in a classroom, but more time actually learning.

How important is digital transformation to your university?

(MH): Digital transformation is key to future education. As a university, we want to have as much impact as possible, and educating future students around the world is a key goal.

To do that, we need to use digital solutions, because it’s not possible to physically put everybody who seeks the quality university education we provide into a lecture theatre in Sydney. We have to blend our learning and online solutions, and have the students on campus interacting with each other at the same time. This is really only possible through a digital transformation.

How has Cisco helped in achieving that vision of digital transformation? 

(MH): Cisco has played a big part in the digital transformation at UNSW, which is still ongoing. Their networking solutions are a big part of the connectivity we have on campus to link our students to the learning options.

We also have an Innovation Hub together with Cisco, which is helping us drive technology solutions in Internet of Things uses and applications. UNSW is actually a microcosm of a city, and that means that Cisco is not only helping us with education, but most importantly, helping us develop technologies in education as well as applications for smart cities of the future.

Watch this video to learn more about how universities are leveraging digital technologies to transform higher education around the world, and visit cs.co/digitalcampusanz to see more.


Reg Johnson

General Manager, Education

Cisco Australia and New Zealand