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The Education and Research Network of Albania (ANA)

The Project on the “Creation of an Inter-University Service Center and a Telematic Network” aims at improving and strengthening the Albanian University System as the teaching source of the highest level in the country and at promoting scientific research. The Center will offer software services to both universities and research institutes, and will manage the educational and research Network.

Established for the first time in Albania, the Albanian Academic Network will connect all higher education and research institutions and agencies. Among other objectives, the project will  contribute towards strengthening and boosting the management capacities of the Albanian universities and research institutions, thus developing high professionals’ competence and guaranteeing participation in different research programs/projects both at European and international level.

The new learning model for 21st century is emerging: networked education and research. In this model, networked communities, networked tools and network management converge to transform the ways all students learn, teachers teach and administrators manage. Students participate in more personalised, equitable learning opportunities; lectors rely on a vast array of resources that help to make education more relevant to students. Administrators depend on just-in-time, data-driven management.

The growing demand and complexity of Education and Research Management require a  professional network management. University administration, student management and teaching functions necessitate separate security, access, services requirements and policies. In addition to the growing list of applications, ANA should be able to support and manage multiple and growing functionalities and applications external to universities.  

Benefits of ANA: Professional Academic Network Management

 1. Centralized administration to reduce support costs

Educational and research institutions in Albania typically operate with small IT staffs. To maintain acceptable software services and network performance with a reduced staff, efficient centralised management is critical. ANA may provide easy-to-use, web-based console and automated diagnostic capabilities to empower a small number of administrators to manage the software modules and networks.  

2. Revenue generation to support specific education needs

By leveraging extra bandwidth allocation as a future member of GEANT (a pan-European data network dedicated to the research and education community), ANA will generate revenue and provide long-term sustainability for such initiatives as Research and Excellence Cluster, Computing Cloud, E-library, E-learning and future application development, network and hardware equipment upgrades and new software purchases. 

3. Real-time, user-based applications

ANA will provide the software solution “U-Gov”, which is an integrated information system for university governance, aimed at defining objectives, strategies and means for achieving and monitoring results. Management of Human Resources, Research, Accounting, Planning and Student services should be operated based on an integrated architecture. 

4. Complete network control, user and device monitoring

ANA will provide the expertise necessary to manage all of the technical elements of networked education-research connectivity. ANA will provide a combination of wireless and wire line (optical fiber), detect access points and determine when the network needs to be reconfigured to optimise performance. ANA will be able to monitor the network user live and understand how the network is performing, to tell when network problems occur and provide dedicated specialised Help Desks. 

Future ANA Development

The Albanian academic system should regard ANA as an effective way to support 21st century education goals. Building blocks that rely on a solid network infrastructure such as communication tools, distance learning systems, student information systems, assessment tools, curriculum management systems and content and professional development services each will play an important role in improving student achievement, research and excellence clusters. ANA will manage all these systems and tools, ensuring they work seamlessly together. Furthermore, ANA will generate revenue to provide financial capacity for the development of specific-to-Albania future applications.

Lectors will be able to share best practices and monitor project’ progress more easily while they can work on joint projects across universities. Students will have easier access to learning resources both inside and outside school.

Eventually, ANA will provide the vital infrastructure that will join everything together including Wide Area Networking, Internet filtering, E-mail hosting and the managed data center to hold the central U-Government system, E-learning resources and content for all students in Albania.

At some point in the future, in addition to the data center technology, ANA should have a true service provision package including:

  • Wide Area Networking in a managed data center;
  •  U-Government platform hosted at the data center to provide a set of collaborative tools that allow administration, students and academic staff from different universities to share information and U-Gov software delivery of administration and academic services;
  • Internet filtering as another important element so that there can be no on-line misbehaviour, bullying and access to questionable sites.

Author: Arjan Xhelaj

Geographical focus
  • Albania
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Entry created by Ines Marinkovic on December 3, 2011
Modified on December 6, 2011