Digital Poverty

A recent survey data published by the Office for Students (OfS) has shown that the ability of students to participate in higher education from home is disrupted by a lack of access to core digital infrastructure. The key highlights of the survey include the following;

  • 52% students (a poll of 1,416 students) had said that there learning impacted by slow or unreliable internet connection.
  • 71% reported lack of access to quiet study space, with 22% severely impacted.
  • 56% reported lack of access to online course materials, with 9% severely impacted.
  • 18% impacted by lack of access to computer, laptop or tablet, with 4 % severely impacted.

At the back of this survey OfS has launched a major review of digital teaching and learning in English higher education. The review will examine  the relationship between digital poverty and students’ academic experience, how digital technology has been used to deliver remote learning since the pandemic started, how high quality digital learning and teaching can be delivered in future and the opportunities that digital education presents for universities in the medium and long term.   

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