By Nina Litvinova
A small black-and-white tile mosaic recently appeared on the facade of the major building of the Yanka Kupala Grodno State University. The sophisticated pattern is far from being a building decoration. It is a QR code, giving access to the university’s information site.
In simple terms, anyone passing by with a contemporary smartphone or mobile phone with a high-definition video camera can scan the code to link directly to the university’s recently created website — finding the location of its other buildings, reading news, and gaining contact information and other data.
Grodno State University is the first Belarusian higher educational establishment to launch the innovation, which was proposed and implemented by Yevgeny Nevgen, a third year student with the Mathematics and Information Department. Assistance was given by the University Management Centre and University Rector Yevgeny Rovba. Yevgeny has also developed a mobile version of the university website.
“Contemporary technologies are being actively launched at our university,” notes University Pro-rector Yuri Voitukevich. “The university ‘computer fleet’ boasts over 1,700 machines, while the number of corporate network users exceeds 20,000. We have several Internet access channels; the broadest reaching 20MBps. We’re now working on offering Wi-Fi to our educational buildings and hostels and plan to further develop the QR project.”
According to Yelena Razova, the Head of the University Management Centre, which is supervising the project, a QR tourist support system is to be developed. Special sites around Grodno marked with QR codes will allow anyone to link directly to a specially created tourist site containing information on local sights and their history.
Temporary QR systems are also being set up for short term festivals and forums around Grodno — such as the Republican Festival of National Cultures, which culminates in the city.