Recognising the need to modernise the nation’s premier learning institution, the administration of the University of Guyana is working vigorously with the E-Governance Unit to roll out a campus-wide Wi-Fi zone.One of the students’ and lecturers’ grievances on campus is the continued power disruptions and absence of Internet connectivity.Vice Chancellor,Dr Ivelaw GriffithDr Paloma Mohamed, who is now the second Vice Chancellor of a new department under the University of Guyana called the Philanthropy, Alumni and Civil Engagement (PACE), explained that the institution was working closely with the E-Governance Unit under the Public Telecommunications Ministry to implement this initiative.She said the intention was to link the fibre-optic ring that was installed at the University, under a World Bank Project, with Government’s towers in order to connect the Tain Campus with the Turkeyen Campus, and eventually extend this connectivity to the Institute of Distance and Continuing Education (IDCE) locations across Guyana.“Optimistically, we are looking at a better, more stable, widespread, decentralised system of Internet connectivity for all campuses within the next month to six weeks,” she stated; however, it is likely that the project would take about a year to be completed.The venture will be extremely costly for the University, with an initial price of approximately $6 million, provided that nothing else was required, as estimated by the E-Governance Uni.Dr Paloma MohamedDr Mohamed said the institution was currently in the process of conducting an internal audit of its systems to determine what else was needed internally for this initiative.But the Vice Chancellor, Dr Ivelaw Griffith said irrespective of the cost, the University could not afford to not have a Wi-Fi network.“The Wi-Fi and the technology are so critical to the credibility of the institution, to the learning, to the whole curricula that we are going to have to find it, using the best possible, most cost-effective approach, we have to find the money somewhere,” he emphasised.Meanwhile, he could not immediately determine if this would bring an additional cost to students who are already complaining of paying exorbitant fees to the educational institution.“Right now, the students pay a facilities fee that would cover a variety of service elements. I don’t anticipate having an additional specific cost. I anticipate having the facilities fee be the basic manager of that. We might need to supplement depending on what the ultimate final bill is, but I don’t envisage a new user fee,” Dr Griffith explained.Last year, the E-Governance Unit began rolling out Wi-Fi networks in schools across Guyana. E-Governance Adviser Floyd Levi had noted that the provision of this service to tertiary institutions was part of this project.