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KU Leuven Uses Polycom Video Collaboration to Enrich the Education Experience for 40,000 Students and 10,000 Faculty and Staff
Posted on Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The oldest extant Catholic university in the world uses the industry's most cutting-edge video solutions to facilitate distance learning, remote research, virtual exchange programs, and an expanding range of use cases

BRUSSELS - Feb. 20, 2013 - Polycom, Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM), the global leader in open standards-based unified communications and collaboration (UC&C), today announced that Belgium's KU Leuven, the oldest extant Catholic university in the world, has implemented Polycom® RealPresence® video solutions to facilitate communications between the two main campuses located 150 kilometers apart, to create a network with universities around the globe, and to enrich the learning experience for the university's 40,000 students and 10,000 educators and administrative staff.
Founded in 1425, KU Leuven is one of the largest and most renowned universities in Europe. Guided only by a "free and disinterested search for truth," the university uses the latest and most advanced technologies to facilitate that search and to improve the collaboration amongst researchers, teachers, and students that is the hallmark of any great learning institution. One of these advanced technologies is high-definition interactive video collaboration that can be accessed anywhere, from any device.
"In order to be adopted by educators and students, the video solutions need to be transparent," said Erik Luyten, Educational Technology Specialist, KU Leuven. "The quality and ease of use are key elements for users, and for us, security and interoperability are key decision factors. Polycom meets everyone's expectations."
Polycom video solutions improve many facets of education for KU Leuven.
  • The university first used Polycom solutions in large auditoriums with a capacity of 800 students to deliver lectures simultaneously at both Kulak and Leuven campuses, reaching more students at one time, and reducing the driving time of professors.
  • Polycom video solutions are vital for the multi campus program, involving 13 associated high schools and 18 hospitals in the Flanders region.
  • The university expanded the use of video to facilitate communications and exchanges in numerous international research programs with universities around the globe. The faculty of Social Studies connects with Purdue University in the United States every semester to work on common projects. The courses of medieval philosophy have study groups with Marquette University in the United States and the University of Mexico, in Mexico. Now, professors on panels evaluating PhD students defending their thesis are able to participate from their own university via Polycom video.
  • The European Educational program, or ERASMUS, uses Polycom video solutions to support a virtual exchange program, where KU Leuven hosts lectures for students to follow from a university located in Sweden, France or Germany.
  • Because of the HD audio and video quality of Polycom video and the ease of use for anyone, adoption has continued to expand rapidly across the campuses. Today, almost all 15 faculties of the university have a project or program using the video solutions. The administrative staff uses Polycom video to interview remote professor candidates, and to help graduates find employment. Polycom video was also recently installed in the Board of Directors board room.
KU Leuven has found Polycom video solutions, specifically Polycom RealPresence Room video solutions, Polycom RealPresence Mobile 2.0 software, and the Polycom RealPresence Platform - the industry's most comprehensive and interoperable software infrastructure for universal video collaboration-, to be a set of secure and powerful tools.
KU Leuven has the ambition and aspiration to make education borderless, and is currently integrating their Polycom RealPresence Platform with Microsoft Lync Server 2010. This large-scale project will continue to improve and facilitate knowledge exchange, and create even more innovative ways for the university to search for truth and transform learning.