Introduction of new e-mail system catches students by surprise

| Jelle Posthuma

In early February, the UT switched from Google to Microsoft for its e-mail services, but students were not sufficiently informed about this. That is what Bram van Uden (DAS) said during the University Council meeting on Wednesday morning. The Executive Board acknowledged the lack of communication and promised to do better.

At the beginning of February, the UT switched from Google to Microsoft as its e-mail service provider for students, due to privacy reasons. ‘That’s a positive development’, said University Council member Bram van Uden. ‘But students only received two e-mails about this. On 7 February, Google’s services suddenly stopped working. This took students and some of the employees by surprise. They were insufficiently informed.’

According to Van Uden, there are concerns about the loss of data as a result of the switch. He advised the Board to improve the communication to students and staff members in the future. ‘Send more e-mails and make use of Canvas, for example, which students use more often.’ Another way of communicating a switch like this would be through the WhatsApp channels of student associations, added Jaime de Bruin (Ureka). 

Machteld Roos, Vice-President of the Executive Board, apologised on behalf of the responsible department. ‘Two e-mails on this subject are not enough. We will learn from this. An e-mail has now been sent to the students’ private e-mail addresses.’ Roos offered reassurance about the data. ‘No data will be lost. The Google accounts remain accessible until the end of a student’s time at the university.’

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