Home » IT Services News » IT Services News No. 158. July-August 2012 » Introducing the University's IT Services

Introducing the University's IT Services

  1. Welcome!
  2. Comprehensive IT Services
  3. Recent IT Development
  4. Information and Assistance

1. Welcome!

Welcome to all new students and colleagues joining the University family!

University members are welcome to use the University’s central IT services run by the Computer Centre (thus our Centre is also called "IT Services" (ITS)).   The commonly used IT services and our recent IT development are described below.

 

2. Comprehensive IT Services

We are committed to provide a comprehensive range of IT services to support the teaching, learning, research and administration activities of the University.  Most of the IT services are available around-the-clock which include:

  • HKU Portal – It is an intuitive and convenient platform for University members to access the central web-based services with single sign-on at https://hkuportal.hku.hk.  After login with his HKU Portal UID (User IDentifier) and an associated PIN (password), a user will see the HKU Portal as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Snapshot of HKU Portal for Staff

 

Clicking the following tabs of HKU Portal will enable a user to access various personalized services:

  • MyPage - the Student Information System (SIS) for student-related information or the Human Capital Management System (HCMS) for staff information.
  • MyEmail - the HKU central email account (yourUID@hku.hk).
  • My eLearning - the central e-Learning Management System Moodle.
  • MyLibrary – the services provided by the Libraries through the MyLibrary system.
  • Events - University members can view event announcements and register to attend events run by departments which use the central HKU Event Management System.
  • MyDepartment or MyFaculty – Staff will view the information provided by his department whereas students will view the information provided by his Faculty.

The follow services are worth special highlighting:

  • E-learning Management System (LMS) – Moodle is a Learning Management System (LMS) widely used by education institutions around the world as a tool for creating online dynamic web sites for students. All courses registered in the Student Information System are created in Moodle to make it convenient for teachers to build up their e-courses.  More information on the HKU Moodle can be found at http://www.its.hku.hk/lms/moodle/v2/. For training and support, please refer to http://www.its.hku.hk/lms/moodle/v2/index.php.
     
  • Central Email Account – A central email account yourUID@hku.hk, accessible using the same HKU Portal UID/PIN, is provided for every student/staff members.  New students will be using the HKU Connect email service running on the Google Mail platform.  Staff will be using the central email and calendar services running on Microsoft Exchange 2007 (called HKUCC1 or HKUCC-COM).
     
  • Network Services - The University network services are supported by a secure and high-speed campus network with over 36,000 wired network points based on 10-Gigabit Ethernet backbone and Fast Ethernet technologies, and over 2,600 WiFi access points covering the centrally-administered classrooms, public areas on the University campus and student residential halls.  Students and staff can follow the procedures to configure their devices to connect to the Universities WiFi Network for full network access.  Before their mobile devices are configured, they can access the "HKU Open WiFi" service for web access within limited bandwidth. More details can be found here.

    Apart from ubiquitous network via both wired and WiFi connections on campus, free WiFi Internet access is also provided outside the campus at local tertiary education institutions, at WiFi hotspots in many public places operated by PCCW and Y5ZONE in Hong Kong, and at "eduroam" institutions throughout the world.  (See details.)

  • Research Services - ITS offers Research Computing Support services for the use of high-performance Linux clusters & international grid computing technologies.  The latest news and information is available at http://www.its.hku.hk/services/research
     
  • Communal PC laboratories – Over 200 communal PCs for use by students and staff are set up in the central PC laboratories.  More communal PCs will be available in the Learning Commons of Centennial Campus when it is open.

    They are installed with the latest versions of commonly used PC software packages for word-processing, web page design, graphical/multimedia presentation, statistical analysis, etc.  Laser printing facilities are installed for meeting users’ printing needs.

Figure 2: A PC Laboratory in Run Run Shaw Building
PC Laboratory

  • Seminar and Workshops - Regular seminars and training courses/workshops on the use of the central IT facilities and the commonly used software tools are arranged throughout the year.

 

3. Recent IT Development

We have been actively enhancing the IT services and facilities every year. Some recent IT development at the University is highlighted below:

  • Learning Environment - Effective 1 July 2012, ITS has assumed a new managerial role with respect to the University’s central learning environment, comprising centrally administered classrooms, lecture theatres and learning commons in both the Main Campus and Centennial Campus. A new Learning Environment Services team is formed with colleagues from the Classroom Services Unit of the Registry and ITS colleagues supporting the central PC Laboratories. We are now working closely with the Estates Office and different contractors to make the learning environment under construction ready for use on time for the new academic year in September.
     
  • E-Learning Support – In the cyber learning space, ITS is working with various parties, most notably the eLearning Pedagogical Support Unit of the Centre for Enhancement in Teaching and Learning, the Faculty of Education and the Libraries, to support and enhance the central Learning Management System Moodle which has been upgraded from version 2.2 to 2.3 in August 2012.
     
  • Outsourced Student Email System - The University is changing the student email system to use Google mail with a disk quota of 25GB. The email address will be in the form "yourUID@connect.hku.hk". Freshmen and new graduates are the first to use the new connect.hku.hk system.  New students can use the simplified email address "yourUID@hku.hk" for receiving email which will be automatically forwarded to their email address at "yourUID@connect.hku.hk". This simplified email address is valid until graduation. Students can continue using "yourUID@connect.hku.hk" after they graduate from the University. Further details about the migration plan and timing for current students to migrate to the new system can be found here.
     
  • Network Services - The Network coverage on campus is kept on expanding to support the network access demand on new premises, including Centennial Campus and the student residences at Lung Wah Street. In Centennial Campus, there are more than 4,400 network points, 1,900 IP telephony outlets and 700 WiFi access points to meet the high demand for IT services.  In the Lung Wah Street residences, apart from the provision of LAN network points in the residential rooms, over 500 WiFi access points are being installed to provide ubiquitous network connectivity within the residence.

    With an increased number of staff and students due to the double cohort intake in September 2012, a new Internet link with guaranteed bandwidth of 200Mbps, is set up at Centennial Campus to cope with the increasing demand. This new Internet link will also supplement HKU’s Internet connectivity by improving overall resiliency and availability.

  • ITS Cloud - Our cloud server development is progressing well to enhance the University's private cloud computing and collaboration services.  On the infrastructure side, new servers and storages have been installed and network infrastructure has been upgraded for supporting it.  To make the cloud services readily available for use by departments, a new self-service portal management system for managing HKU Private Cloud resources is set up.  We will continue to explore more potential of the cloud services to bring in other variety of IT services for use by the University community. For more details, please visit http://www.its.hku.hk/services/data-centre/system/webcloud.
     
  • Information Security Awareness - Information security is important as malicious software and websites are rampant in the Internet. We continually promote the information security measures and awareness among the University community, and undertake assessment and reviews to identify possible areas for improvement.  Many new information security measures have been put in place to cope with the fast changing hacking and malicious activities in the Internet in the past years. See http://www.its.hku.hk/services/infosec for more information, especially how to keep a Healthy PC.
     
  • Green ICT Support - We are keen in promoting Green IT.  Our effort was recognized by the Best Green ICT (Adoption - Organisations) Silver Award of the Hong Kong ICT Awards in 2012 and the Best Green ICT (Adoption - Organisations) Gold Award in 2011

 

4. Information and Assistance

New members are recommended to visit our web site (http://www.its.hku.hk) and FAQs (http://www.its.hku.hk/faq) to get more information about our latest services from time to time.

We report new developments in our bi-monthly web publication, the IT Services News (http://www.its.hku.hk/its-news) which covers topics that are of common interest to the University members.

University members are most welcome to contact our Helpdesk attended by our professional staff during office hours in Room 104, Run Run Shaw Building (phone: 2859 2480) who will provide advice and assistance on using our services. They can also make use of the electronic helpdesk by clicking here to record an enquiry or sending email to ithelp@hku.hk to let us know their enquiries, comments or suggestions on our services.

Hope you will enjoy using our services and facilities.

 

M C Pong
Tel: 3549 5232
Email: mcpong@hku.hk