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This page is intended to provide information for institutions considering joining the inter-institution zoom pool organized by the Faulty of Mathematics.

A note about terminology: Zoom uses "account" to refer to a licence allocated to an individual, a collection of such licences and a login to their website. This is confusing. Throughout these FAQs, terms are used as follows:

  • pool - the consortium to which licences are allocated by Zoom
  • sub-pool - representing part of the consortium (most probably an individual institution) to which licences are allocated by the pool coordinator(s) from the pool
  • individual account - a user's account on Zoom to which licences are allocated by the sub-pool manager(s)
  • institutional account - an institution's existing account on Zoom held outside the pool
(Show all answers)

Is this intended to rival the UIS zoom pool?

Certainly not. This is a tactical, ad-hoc response to smaller institutions paying proportionately more for zoom licences: by buying in bulk we are able (in many cases) to save money. The UIS-organised solution will be a piece of strategic work, properly and sustainably resourced and staffed.

The expectation is that once the UIS-organised solution comes online, this consortium will merge into that work - and benefit from even lower pricing.

What happens to licences my institution already holds?

Zoom has confirmed (Priya Patel, email 2022-09-15) that when an institution account (held outside the pool) is closed, a (pro-rata) refund will be sent to by the same means as the original purchase (for example, a credit back to an institutional credit card if that was the means of purchase).

What's the process for merging?

Each institution will be given a sub-pool which it will manage itself and will nominate an email address (not previously associated with zoom) to act as initial sub-pool manager. (That manager may add and grant management access to others.) This can happen in advance of the consortium's licences being activated by zoom.

Once the licences have been activated by zoom and transferred into the sub-pools (expected to be 30th September), sub-pool managers can invite people to move their individual accounts into the sub-pool. ( has hints on doing this by CSV upload which might assist large institutions.)

Holders of individual accounts thus invited receive their invitations by email and follow a link to accept it. At this point, their individual account is licensed through the institutions new sub-pool and can be managed in the usual way by the sub-pool manager(s).

Once all individual accounts have been migrated or have had their licences withdrawn from the old institutional account, the manager(s) of that account should close it to trigger the refund from Zoom.

How long does the refund take to arrive?

"... it can take up to 7 working days for the refund to show on the account." (Matt Smiles, Zoom, 2020-10-06, by email)


How does the institution pay?

The Maths accounts team will issue an Interdepartmental Transfer to University Institutions.

What's the licence cost?

The precise cost depends on how many licences we buy. At the time of writing, the cost of an Education Zoom Licence purchased via the consortium is not expected to be more than £45+VAT. (An optimist might hope to shave another fiver from that figure but would be advised against counting chickens before they hatch.)

There aren't any discounts to be had on bulk-buying "extra" licences such as webinar, storage, etc.

What are the key dates in this process?

The consortium's Zoom licence runs from 30th September each year. To avoid last-minute rushes and to give a bit of contingency for lost emails etc, the final purchase order needs to be submitted on 20th September.

Can we join part-way through? Can we buy extra licences mid-year?

"Yes, but..." is the answer. It is possible to join part-way through the year and buy Educational licences at the established rate, that is at same unit cost as other members of the consortium paid pro-rated to the end of September. To give an example, if the consortium bought at £50+VAT and your institution wished to join on the 31st March, the fee would be £25+VAT per licence. In the same way, extra licences - a month of Webinar 1000, for example - can be bought throughout the year.

Having said that, please bear in mind that these purchases are not automated and that the pool co-ordinator(s) will have to send emails to arrange them. Frequent requests - or requests made at unreasonably short notice - won't endear you to the pool co-ordinator(s).

(One option the pool gives is the ability to switch licences between sub-pools fairly easily: it might be worth asking if another member of the consortium has a spare licence of the kind you're looking for.)

Can I manage my institutions licences?

Yes, definitely. An institution will be setup with a sub-pool and given administrative rights on that sub-pool to set whatever settings they require, allocate licences to individuals, invite people etc.

If there are settings which are potential show-stoppers for your institution, please ask for access to a sub-pool so you can check they're present and operable. The pool does not intend to mandate any configuration settings of sub-pools.

Can I bulk-move accounts from my old pool?

According to a member of the consortium, this can be done (and is very easy):

I noticed some wording on the Zoom site that said if I transferred my “Owner” login to another account, all users on that account would be transferred automatically, so I took a punt and transferred my owner login straight away.

The process worked just fine (we’ve even been notified of the amount we’ll be refunded without needing to request that) and all my users are now in the consortium pool, with their same licencing status as before. All without any individual invitations being required. My users will probably never have noticed the transition.

I would definitely recommend to any other new consortium members that they consider this method of moving users!

Steve Fagg