account_balance GREN Connecting offshore students

The GREN Connecting offshore students working group has now completed its work, with the final report to be shared shortly.

Global R&E Network:
Connecting offshore students for international online education

With the onset of COVID-19, international students and staff from universities across the world have been unable to travel to return to campus from their home countries.  Many students remaining at home have experienced performance issues in reaching applications hosted in the cloud or on their home campus of the institution they’re studying at in another country.  A number of institutions around the world have negotiated solutions to this problem individually or as groups, including subscribing to Alibaba connection services or ensuring that cloud service providers such as Zoom have country-specific access.  NRENs have also endeavoured to assure sufficient bandwidth and peering capacity, for example better reach to Chinese internet destinations, however since the student traffic is typically from commodity internet sources in China, the traffic often may not touch the Global R&E Network (GREN).

In addition to the solutions found by individual universities, discussions are underway between CUCCIO/Canarie, UCISA/Jisc and CAUDIT/AARNet regarding possible national deals or services in those respective countries.

Goal of this Working Group:

The aim of this working-group is to investigate whether a collaborative international effort can deliver improvements in performance and/or lower costs for network connectivity to support teaching, learning and research for international users.  The initial case is China, but this requirement is truly international.


adjust Review delivery of services

Review whether a combination of the GREN and/or commodity internet can be used to deliver the Alibaba solution to home campuses around the world more affordably

adjust Investigate feasibility

Investigate the feasibility of using existing GREN service types to provide access to home campuses around the world

adjust Identify performance improvements

Identify possible improvements of capacity and performance of peering or capacity to international internet destinations, for general improvement of network connectivity in and out of countries

Working Group Chairs

adjust David Wilde


adjust Rob Evans


adjust Mark Wolff


Working Group Contributors

adjust AARNet

adjust CERNET

adjust Jisc

adjust NORDUnet

adjust DEIC

adjust CANARIE

adjust CAUDIT

adjust Internet2

adjust SURF

adjust REANNZ

adjust GÉANT

adjust KISTI

adjust SingAREN

adjust University of Michigan