American University of Sharjah (AUS) is beginning a new era of online services for students, faculty, administrators and visitors as it prepares to launch a redesigned website based on Jadu's web transactional CMS platform.
As more institutions integrate their service offerings with their online presence, the need for a well organised and architected web presence is paramount.
AUS is the first university to benefit from the recent collaboration between SunGard Higher Education, a global provider of higher education software solutions and services, and Jadu, a global leader of Web transactional systems, to offer the Jadu Web Content Management System internationally to SunGard clients.
Jadu's Content Management Suite combined with SunGard Higher Education's Banner Digital Campus solution will provide AUS with more options to reduce the burden on IT staff and improve the quality, quantity and management of web content.
The key driver for the website redesign was the need to tailor a web solution to the different needs of the institution's various constituents.
AUS's existing web site was six years old and Adobe Contribute content management system was used to update and modify the web pages.
Whilst meeting basic requirements, it did not enable easy and effective utilization of the University's information and knowledge base and had limited facilities to customise the user's experience.
AUS, an existing SunGard Higher Education client, selected Jadu after a competitive tendering process because of Jadu's experience with educational institutions such as Leeds University in the United Kingdom, where several web sites have been developed using Jadu CMS, including the University's corporate site (www.leeds.ac.uk).
Leeds University also utilises the SunGard Banner system to enrich the University's in-house developed online coursefinder, which is powered by Jadu CMS.
By controlling Web content on both internal and external sites, AUS has the opportunity to realign its website aesthetic and content elements to better meet the needs of both web visitors and content providers.
"Jadu comes with many 'out of the box' modules that can be simply customised and managed to ensure the University maintains accessibility standards.
New APIs and widgets can also be easily integrated with the system. Using Jadu will provide many benefits to the University with its powerful tools, non-technical interface, ease of use and flexible workflow"
Farouk Achoui, Web Coordinator, American University of Sharjah
"We are looking forward to working with the American University of Sharjah to establish their new web platform and to delivering a more consistent user experience. The partnership between Jadu and SunGard Higher Education will enable the University to obtain the improvements in effectiveness and efficiency that are sought"
Richard Friend, Global Business Manager, Jadu
The end result for the AUS site will be a more interactive user experience providing fresh and appealing visuals to enable the user to easily grasp content and a highly accessible website compliant with international web standards.The web site will also support video, podcasting and news; email marketing campaigns; online forms; and the creation and deployment of microsites and integration of social media networks and widgets for embedding other applications and back office systems.
American University of Sharjah's current homepage
'On Campus' - information on students, employment, staff, and on-campus services
About American University of Sharjah
Located in University City, Sharjah, AUS is a not-for-profit, independent, coeducational institution of higher education consciously based on the American model and thoroughly grounded in Arab culture and is part of a larger process of the revitalization of the intellectual life of the Middle East.
AUS offers 25 majors and 48 minors at the undergraduate level, and 13 master's degrees through the College of Architecture, Art and Design, the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Engineering, and the School of Business and Management.