The City University of Hong Kong has set itself up for success by embracing an API-led approach to education, unifying the campus experience between City U’s five colleges and schools, a 4,000-member academic staff, and their 26,000-plus students.
The API-led approach tackles the integration of legacy systems with a new, unified system. This new API-based system will sustain an ongoing evolution and improvement within one space, rather than requiring the campus community to bounce in and out of different systems.
A key benefit to the new approach is the opportunity to optimize the physical campus. From classroom to car park, the competitive pressure for access to space is relieved: use of the facilities can be managed thoughtfully, without being overwhelmed by a sense that the need for space was reaching a critical mass.
Along with the freedom to communicate and learn without competition for physical access comes the ability to increase content output: through a universal system, the APIs make it easy for the campus to collaborate and publish rapidly on the CityU website and mobile apps. The CityU Director of Computing Services, Adams Chan, lauds the improvements, saying “...we can develop new applications in one-third of the time. And now, with more APIs available, the time-to-market for any new apps and initiatives has improved vastly.” With 30,000 active users (at the time of this article) that’s a significant benefit for time-to-market.
As this platform improves the user experience, it propels CityU towards a future as a Smart Campus. The physical ebb and flow on campus is analyzed with edge devices and IoT sensors, with data collection for basics like room usage reports and campus occupancy. This data will give the university a birds-eye view of what the campus needs today and will need in the future.