Microsoft has made changes to its higher education licensing agreements, which will impact the way we use Microsoft services.   

UCT has been working with Microsoft over the past few months to determine the most suitable and financially sustainable way to continue using their productivity applications and storage options. The agreed upon plan has been endorsed by the University ICT Committee (UICTC) and will be rolled out over the next few months. 

Changes to Microsoft licensing model 

Microsoft has discontinued certain licence categories, which will impact some UCT staff members' user experience as of 1 July 2024

Depending on your job role, you will either be allocated a standard licence or a lite version. 

Standard licence 
Lite licence 

There is no change to the way that you access the Microsoft productivity suite. You can 

  • install it on your desktop computer and up to 5 devices 
  • access it via the online portal (portal.office.com
  • use it on your mobile device 

This licence will not allow you to install the Microsoft 365 productivity suite (i.e., Outlook, Teams, Word, Excel) on your computer.  

You can access these applications via the  

This change moves UCT in line with the modern way of online working, which many major vendors are heading towards.  

 

Access Microsoft 365 applications online
  1. Navigate to https://portal.office.com/ and log on with your UCT username (staffnumber@wf.uct.ac.za) and password. Verify your UCT credentials via MFA, if required.
  2. Once you have successfully logged in, click the App launcher icon  in the top left corner to view the Microsoft 365 productivity suite applications available to you.

 

Learn more about using the following applications on the web:

ICTS and UCT’s HR department are currently working together to develop a software licence allocation process. A further consultative process may include discussions with faculties and departments to review and update related sections of the UCT staff role model.  

Students 

There are no changes to the way licences are allocated. You can continue accessing services as normal.  

 

Upcoming changes to Microsoft storage 

Cloud storage providers like Google and Microsoft have made changes to their storage offerings for higher education. Google initiated these changes in 2023, and Microsoft has followed suit by significantly increasing the prices of its storage offerings and reducing the amount of storage assigned to a higher education licence. This will impact how we store data in future.  

Storage model 

Microsoft will reduce UCT’s storage on OneDrive for Business, SharePoint, and Exchange. ICTS has obtained approval for implementing a storage reduction plan, which aims to standardise and manage cloud storage allocation per user. This will ensure alignment with the new Microsoft Licence Agreement.

ICTS is currently reviewing the data stored on UCT’s Microsoft storage and exploring ways to reduce its volume using the adopted storage model endorsed by UICTC.

Important: UCT does not backup data saved on OneDrive for Business but leverages off the standard deletion process.

In the meantime, the following quotas have been endorsed by the UICTC and may be refined following ICTS’s ongoing investigation.  

SharePoint  OneDrive for Business  Exchange online 

Teams: 10GB 

Microsoft 365 groups: 10GB 

Staff: 100GB 

Students 

  • Undergraduate to Honours: 50GB 
  • Masters, Doctoral, Post-doctoral: 100GB 
  • Alumni: 1GB 

All mailboxes will be 50GB. 

Archives will be dependent on licence allocation 

More information about the changes will be communicated in the coming months.  

 

Tips to reduce your data  

Due to the wide range of information that we have access to and share with fellow colleagues and students, it can be complicated to determine where to save what. If you don’t have a data management strategy in place for your faculty or department, we recommend these storage options.  

  • Remove personal data that is not related to UCT operations or business. Transfer this data to a private storage solution.
  • Remove unnecessary or historical data that is no longer needed and remember to empty the recycle bin once done.   
  • Move the content that you need to keep to a local drive or an alternative storage mechanism if you suspect you may need it in future. 
    • Files and folders that only you need to access or occasionally share: OneDrive for Business   
    • Collaboration with a team, work group, or project: the appropriate channels in Microsoft Teams, which is automatically uploaded to SharePoint.  
    • In line with the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) UCT also offers central data storage, which is regularly backed up and secure for UCT faculties and departments. Store confidential information (i.e., financial, patient, etc.,) on the G: network drive.  
  • Videos and photographs take up a lot of storage space. Move these files to one of the alternative storage options listed above.  

 

Get help  

ICTS Training will be running repeat information sessions to help you decide where to store what information. You will also have the opportunity to ask questions and get assistance and guidance in managing your online storage. 

 If you’re unable to attend any of these sessions, please send an email to icts-training@uct.ac.za for a copy of the recording. 

Alternatively,  you can log a call with ICTS to assist in exploring alternative storage options, especially for research or clinical data.