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All my experience in academia in western countries is that if you're an enrolled student or affiliated faculty, you get an email address from that university. Are there countries where this is not common practice? And if so, is there a good reason for not providing one?

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  • Yikes... To think of all the free and discounted software I'd miss out on without an alum email address... Though of course the savings are probably still short of the ancillary fees for services I never used... Dec 9, 2020 at 12:52
  • @LukeSawczak What free and discounted software do you get with an alum email address (I am curious)? Most such offers I have seen were only applicable for the period when one was a student.
    – GoodDeeds
    Dec 9, 2020 at 18:31
  • @GoodDeeds The ones the university signs up for and links to the account did indeed end within a year of graduating. But there are many that say "enter a university-affiliated email address" and you get it free or discounted; so far I've had almost no issues with my alum email (which shares the TLD with the student email) being recognized. e.g. the entire JetBrains suite free, the academic discount for Finale and Creative Cloud, and discounted access to Otter.ai's AI voice transcription service. I had cheap Amazon Prime too for a while, but they have a max number of years you can benefit. >:( Dec 9, 2020 at 22:41

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Many universities, especially private universities, in India do not provide an email address to its students. This is due to the cost of maintaining email server, ensuring confidentiality etc. Even in top universities in India such as the IITs, where everyone is provided with an email address, the email server is suspect and fails.

While I was teaching a graduate class, I circulated a sheet in which they were supposed to write down their email address. I would then make a group and circulate any class related notes or ideas. I noticed that 90% of the students gave gmail or yahoo address and not the institute email address. When I inquired further, I was told they never had an institutional email address at their undergraduate university and are not accustomed to it.

Many faculty in Indian universities also do not use official email address due to reliability problems. You can notice this from noticing their publications. The address of the corresponding author refers to an university while the email address is generally yahoo/gmail.

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No, it's not standard.

It's the same as with all institutions everywhere - if you are employed by that institution, you get an email address that makes it clear you are affiliated with that institution. This means you can send emails that immediately identify you as a member of that institution. Once you leave the institution, you will also lose access to that email (or you will get another different email address), which again makes it clear that you are no longer a member of that institution. This has obvious advantages such as making it harder to spoof others.

This applies for not just universities, but also companies big and small.

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    Some universities do let you keep an email address as an alumni perk, but I don't think it's that common.
    – Bryan Krause
    Dec 9, 2020 at 2:32
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    My email as pro staff will exist in perpetuity as a forwarding email Dec 9, 2020 at 3:22
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    This is a very strong assertion, and to make it one needs to know that such a policy exists in every country, and it is not at all clear why it should be so. It is certainly plausible that universities in some countries do not have the resources or inclination to maintain or rent email servers, or that they do not use online media as the primary mode of communication. This is an example from this site, though it of course does not necessarily mean that institutional emails are non-standard in that country.
    – GoodDeeds
    Dec 9, 2020 at 4:33
  • @BryanKrause, I think universities should let graduated students keep email addresses forever. Alumni are a valuable asset and making it easy for them to stay in contact with each other and with the university is a positive thing.
    – Buffy
    Dec 9, 2020 at 10:55
  • @GoodDeeds on the contrary, the question asks for whether it is standard, not whether it is literally the case everywhere. So it is certainly plausible that universities in some countries do not have the resources or inclination to maintain or rent email servers, or that they do not use online media as the primary mode of communication - but it would be nonstandard.
    – Allure
    Dec 9, 2020 at 18:39

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