In an effort to help prepare college students with the skills needed to succeed in the 21st century, Microsoft Puerto Rico, in collaboration with the University of Puerto Rico, announced Tuesday the launch of “Student Advantage,” a program through which 107,500 UPR students, teachers and non-teaching staff of the system will have access to the Office 365 platform for education, free of charge.
With this program, students enrolled in the UPR, as well as professors and non-teaching staff, will have access to the cloud version of Office 365Pro Plus, which includes productivity tools Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Publisher and Access, for personal use.
These tools may be downloaded to up to 15 devices, including tablets, laptops, PCs and mobile phones for Windows, Android and iOS platforms. This way, users will have access to data and information anytime, anywhere, with the strictest security protocols, officials said.
“We’re excited to offer Office 365 Pro Plus for free to the UPR and provide access to all the most popular and most widely used software in the world,” said Marco Casarin, general manager of Microsoft Puerto Rico, during a news conference.
“This will allow the university community to be at the forefront of technology through cloud-based tools. It is an investment we make in the island’s education, reflecting our commitment to social and economic development,” he said, adding that the initiative represents the first time that Microsoft offers a service of such magnitude to the entire UPR.
Meanwhile, UPR President Uroyoán R. Walker-Ramos stressed the importance of this initiative for the college community.
“Both the UPR and Microsoft have innovation in their DNA. A program like ‘Student Advantage’ adds value to the learning of our students and the work of our teachers and non-teaching staff, as they use technology in favor of knowledge and productivity,” he said.
With this initiative, the UPR seeks to provide students with the necessary technological tools to be more competent and successful in the workplace. It is also an effort to begin closing the digital divide by exposing students to technology, officials said.