KU Leuven Uses Polycom Video Collaboration to Enrich the Education Experience

KU Leuven Uses Polycom Video Collaboration to Enrich the Education Experience for 40,000 Students and 10,000 Faculty and Staff

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 programmes, and an expanding range of use cases

Brussels, Belgium - 12 February 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 kilometres 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 programme, 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 programmes 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 programme, or ERASMUS, uses Polycom video solutions to support a virtual exchange programme, 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 programme 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-specifically Polycom RealPresence Room video solutions, and Polycom RealPresence Mobile 2.0 software, powered by the 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.

About Polycom
Polycom is the global leader in open standards-based unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) solutions for voice and video collaboration, trusted by more than 415,000 customers around the world. Polycom solutions are powered by the Polycom® RealPresence® Platform, comprehensive software infrastructure and rich APIs that interoperate with the broadest set of communication, business, mobile and cloud applications and devices to deliver secure face-to-face video collaboration in any environment. Polycom and its ecosystem of over 7,000 partners provide truly unified communications solutions that deliver the best user experience, highest multi-vendor interoperability, and lowest TCO. Visit www.polycom.co.uk or connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to learn how we're pushing the greatness of human collaboration forward.

About KU Leuven
KU Leuven is an autonomous university. It was founded in 1425. It was born of and has grown within the Catholic tradition. From its Christian view of the world and the human, KU Leuven endeavours to be a place for open discussion of social, philosophical and ethical issues and a critical centre of reflection in and for the Catholic community. KU Leuven offers its students an academic education based on high-level research, with the aim of preparing them to assume their social responsibilities. KU Leuven is a research-intensive, internationally oriented university that carries out both fundamental and applied research. It is strongly inter- and multidisciplinary in focus and strives for international excellence. To this end, KU Leuven works together actively with its research partners at home and abroad. Visit http://doel.kuleuven.be for more information.

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