RENU has an open source mirror, where institutions connected to the RENU network can locally pick various applications, operating system updates, and patches. This helps member institutions to save on their already limited but "over-utilized" international bandwidth.
The RENU Mail Hosting service supports mainly institutions that lack dedicated or experienced IT teams. The institutions taking up the mail hosting packages are also exempted from paying installation fees.
Public and free Wi-Fi networks have become very popular, yet they are typically very unsecure. eduVPN is the solution in times a user finds themselves using these unsecure networks, especially when the user has to send or receive confidential or sensitive information.
eduVPN enables users to connect securely to the Internet, despite being connected to an unsecure network. eduVPN sets up an encrypted path, or rather a Virtual Private Network (VPN), between one's user device (smartphone or laptop) and the user's home organisation's network. One's home network is typically not always very secure either, but it should at least be more trusted than a free open Wi-Fi network. This encrypted path allows the user connect securely to the Internet, without worrying about eavesdroppers, interceptors, and the related attacks.
Below are reasons why one needs eduVPN;
Secure Internet access over unsecured networks. eduVPN encrypts your path.
eduVPN hides your actual IP address from the Internet.
One can access their home organisation's network services remotely.
RENU offers web conferencing as a service to enable education and research institutions to hold meetings, conferences, seminars and virtual classes even when they working away from their premises. RENU offers two platforms; Zoom and BigBlueButton (BBB). RENU has a shared BBB platform where a member institution is entitled to only 5 free accounts. The advantage of using BigBlueButton is that it is zero-rated on MTN Uganda, meaning that if an institution holds a virtual meeting, seminar, or conference on BBB, participants will not need to load a data bundle on their mobile devices if they are MTN subscribers. In case a member institution is interested in acquiring their own independent BBB platform, the RENU team can help in the set up and customization of the BBB for that particular institution. This BBB can also be zero-rated on both the Airtel and MTN networks if the member institution fulfills the prerequisites for zero-rating.
RENU enables its member institutions to access the Turnitin Plagiarism Detection Software at subsidized rates. Turnitin is a worldwide pioneer in evaluating work from researchers and learners, and hence very good for institutions to maintain academic integrity in contributing to knowledge creation, dissemination, and application. With the increased online learning, the software can be used in detecting authenticity of class assignments from students.
Zero-rated Mobile Access
One of the online learning challenges faced by our students and staff today is unaffordable access to the institutions’ e-learning platforms when off-campus. To ease access to the Internet by the students and staff, RENU has an arrangement where member institutions can have their students and staff access their institution’s websites and e-learning portals without having to load MTN data bundles. In the same way, individuals connected to MTN Uganda now do not need to load a data bundle to access all sites in the “renu.ac.ug” domain.
Moodle-based Learning Management System
Many institutions continue to struggle with migrating to online instruction and learning i.e. in terms of setting up, installing and configuring Learning Management Systems. RENU offers an open source cloud-based e-learning environment, with Moodle as the Learning Management System (LMS) and does not charge for the setup, installation, and customization of Moodle for interested member institutions. Rather, it charges for the RENU Cloud setup on which the customized and branded installations are to be implemented and hosted.
It was back in mid-2017 that NTC Muni got connected to RENU and the institution has never ever regretted taking such a decision. The exceptional services RENU provides are worth every penny.
I can testify that after we had the DEA in August 2019, the end user experience has been very good, the number of calls to my desk has drastically reduced and I can say IPv6 has done great magic here in Lira.
When the factors at play were weighed i.e. costs, location of the cloud services and the legal implications of storing biometric data, it was obvious that RENU Cloud would offer a much better alternative. Costs for using the RENU Cloud were less than quarter of the comparative pricing for other candidates.
By using the RENU federated identity service, users at RHSP are able to access journals through the NIH library at no cost by using their organizational identities.