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What does this mean for RCA alumni?

If alumni have any information saved digitally in their RCA Alumni Google account – the one linked to their RCA email address – then it will be deleted on 31 May 2023. They must therefore download any information that is important to you ahead of that date, and save it elsewhere.

Alumni RCA email addresses ARE NOT affected by this change – it only applies to digital storage. 

Why is this happening?

This is due to changes being introduced by our supplier, Google. 

The RCA is one of a very small number of higher education institutions in the UK to use Google Workspace for enterprise collaboration and productivity services. One of the specific changes will be to limit the free storage allowance allocated to us.

At the moment, our alumni have over 830 terabytes of digital information saved onto the RCA’s system. To maintain this storage would incur significant annual cost – diverting investment away from our current students. We are therefore requesting that our alumni support us by moving the digital information stored with us to another platform by the end of May 2023.

So digital storage on the Google Drive, linked to our RCA accounts, will be closed?

Yes, this change affects Google Drive accessed with your network.rca.ac.uk account and services which are dependent on it, such as Google Photo.  

Does this mean after the change comes into effect, I won’t be able to access previous emails? Or is this specifically related to accessing data that’s stored on Google Drive?

RCA email for Alumni will not be affected by this change, it will continue to work and all emails will be accessible. The changes only relate to storage on Google Drive.

Does this include other Google services, as well as Google Drive?

This change affects Google Drive and services which are dependent on it, such as Google Photo.  

You reference free storage, does this mean I can no longer access my Google drive in the future?

When the change is applied, next year,  Alumni will no longer be able to access Google Drive and the data will be erased.

Will the digital space associated with our emails be completely shut - or will we still have some space offered by Google?

RCA email for Alumni will not be affected by this change. It will continue to work and all emails will be accessible.  This change affects Google Drive and services which are dependent on it, such as Google Photo.  

How do I get an RCA email address?

If you were provided an email address when you started your programme  at the RCA please contact the IT Service Desk to reactivate it.  We cannot create email addresses for Alumni retrospectively.

Will it affect google docs associated with that email address?

Documents, photos and other types of data stored in GDrive will not be accessible after May 2023.  

Will there be any storage allowance at all?

You will not be able to access GDrive to store documents, photos or other files.  Gmail will continue to store emails and attachments.

How do I transfer my RCA Alumni Gdrive to a personal Gdrive without downloading it ?

Alumni should use the new Google Takeout Tool available at https://takeout.google.com/transfer

Full instructions are on the page.

How much more space can I get after the digital storage is closed? A personal Google account has a minimum of 15GB, I wonder whether it'll be the same (or more) for our RCA's account?

You can open a personal Google account to store files and photos but you will not be able to store anything other than emails in your RCA account.

Does Google Photo include in the storage count?

Your RCA Google account. will not be able to access or store Photos

If I still go over the storage limit after the date, will I get any notification from Google before the files actually get lost?

Email storage is not limited.  However, you will not be able to access or store files in Gdrive or Photos.

Can I buy additional Google drive storage with the RCA account, and continue to use the drive even after unlimited storage is no longer available?

Alumni cannot increase the RCA Google account storage with a personal subscription.  You will need to open a personal account with a subscription and transfer data.