We don’t have a school email at all

Frederic Lardinois of Ars Technica reports a recent shift in college email systems in the U.S. these days. In short, more and more colleges and universities are starting to outsource their email systems to commercial hosts rather than continue to run and manage their own email servers, which appears understandable especially given the economic recession these days. Some others, however, ditch issuing email accounts on their domains altogether.

I do not know all that much about how things are administered in American college systems, but what I find difficult to comprehend is, aside from simply contracting .edu email service out the door, how a college or a university might be able to identify and provide online services to its students if they do not have .edu email addresses available to be verified in the first place? You cannot guarantee every student will periodically read the announcements on your front page, nor can you be sure to be able to contact every student through, say, Facebook, Twitter, or even via SMS. Email is still a viable, if not the most convenient, means to deliver information of significance on a one-on-one basis as well as one-to-many sequences. Without proper .edu email addresses, colleges and universities may need to write up a long list of @hotmail.com, @yahoo.com, @aol.com, and @gmail.com addresses, which would make things even more complicated and cumbersome to manage.

Thinking of how higher education institutions in Korea tend to mimic their American counterparts, are we likely to see Korean colleges and universities to abandon providing .ac.kr email accounts as well? I cannot tell yet, although an increasing rate of email outsourcing may grow prevalent should the cost of operating proprietary email systems turn too burdensome.


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