Korint – a new printing system Context The university is a place of writing, reading and calculating. It does of course consume big paper volumes and that is a negative consequence of our education. The paradox is obvious when all students of a big class studying the consequences of exhaustively felling are given a one hundred pages compendium each. We should reduce the paper consumption at our universities if we want a sustainable society. Nowadays we have an option, namely the computer. We can transfer much work, which we used to do on paper, to computers. I am sure that this has had a positive effect on the paper consumption, but it is not a definite solution. I and many others still prefer to read long texts on printed paper and it is often easier to write formulas by hand. The increasing usage of computers is also a threat against the sustainable society. A solution that decreased the universities’ usage of paper as well as of computers without disturbing the universities´ purpose and aim would be most welcome. At Uppsala University, we have recently implemented such a solution, namely the printer system Korint.
The Idea Uppsala University is a big school with many institutions, campuses and libraries. A few years ago we had several printer systems at different locations. The printing were unequally charged and sometimes free. We students learned where to print for free which resulted in many unnecessary printings. The idea of a new, common printing system for all of Uppsala University was actually raised by students in the end of 2005. I suppose that those students belonged to a campus far from the free printers and I think that they had the unequal printing fares in mind rather than the consequences of free printing when they made up the idea. However, the university assigned a group to investigate if a common printing system would be economically and practically motivated at Uppsala University.
The Investigation The investigation group clarified that a common printing system would benefit most parts. They declared that the new system could make the printing fares equal for all students, enable online printing and paying so that one may print jobs from home and collect them later in school, and coordinate the institutional work. As you see, the common system would make life easier for us students due to smart online printing and paying. It would as well benefit the university due to coordinated institutional work. The most important aspects however, would be the reduced printed paper volume and a reduced need of computers. Experience from other universities tells us that controlled printing, instead of uncontrolled, can reduce the printed volumes with 50 percentages and that charged printing can reduce the printed volumes with 66 percentages, this according to the investigation groups report. One of the main purposes of Uppsala University´s computer rooms is the possibility to print from the computers. With the new online printing system students may use their own computers for printing so that the university can reduce the number of computer rooms.
The Implementation After the investigation, the university followed the investigation groupâ€™s advice and implemented a common printing system called Korint. The implementation started during the spring of 2008. I know that some students think it is an unnecessary complicated system, especially those who earlier used free printers. The new system seems to work well, but it is too early to find any evaluation. I am looking forward to see the first evaluation; if Korint has contributed to reduced printed paper volumes I hope that other universities will follow our example.