Capital Normal University (CNU)

University Revamps Network to Boost Digital Learning

In higher education, a modern campus is synonymous with a smart campus. This means technology is woven into the fabric of learning, on-campus living, sports and more. The smart campus connects not only students, but also faculty and administration. In fact, technology within a smart campus infrastructure should enable connections that match a school’s academic vision, now and in the future.

That’s certainly the case with Capital Normal University (CNU), one of the most highly regarded public universities in Beijing. Since its founding in 1954, CNU has expanded to meet the educational needs of China’s bustling capital. This expansion includes new programs, buildings and even campuses. CNU has 27 colleges and departments and offers over 50 majors. Over 30,000 students, including undergraduates, graduates and adult education students, attend annually. The university has six campuses, most of them located in downtown Beijing.

The sheer size of CNU, coupled with its forward-looking educational programs—presented significant challenges for its existing network infrastructure, according to Hu Yingbin, director of the Digital Campus Construction Center. “As part of our IT development plan, our goal was to create a fast, efficient and secure network infrastructure. In particular, we wanted seamless wireless coverage, enabling students and faculty to easily access digital applications anytime, from any personal device.”

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Requirements
  • The existing Wi-Fi network was unable to support the growing number of mobile devices and online applications
  • The smart campus initiative required seamless connectivity across all campuses
  • IT wanted simplified, unified network management across all CNU campuses
Solution
  • 10,000 indoor 802.11ac APs
  • Ruckus SmartCell Gateways
Benefits
  • Wi-Fi easily supports the growing number of mobile devices and the launch of applications like WeChat and the Star Teacher Classroom
  • Students and teachers can access streaming video from anywhere, even when roaming across campus
  • The expanding network is easy for IT to manage, reducing time and money
  • Having a stable network enables CNU to participate in eduroam, a worldwide wireless network for the international research and education community