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Universities must take control of their data and digital services, according to an Amsterdam professor

Online teaching of students and digital meetings between scientists have taken off during the pandemic. As a result, large commercial providers of digital services have entered deeply into the academic world, but they often leave universities with little control over their data and the services on offer.

“Nowadays, I spend four hours a day working on online video call services,” says Thomas Poell, professor of data, culture and institutions at the University of Amsterdam. “The university wants to switch entirely to Microsoft videoconferencing services. But for courses, exams and storing research data, we use other services.”

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