Students trumpet tech as over half of universities need to invest more in it

The vast majority of UK students believe access to technology, such as online collaboration tools, can improve their academic success, but over half of them don't think their university's IT is up to the mark.

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The vast majority of UK students believe access to technology, such as online collaboration tools, can improve their academic success, but over half of them don't think their university's IT is up to the mark.

Over a third of students said they were willing to pay increased tuition fees for better IT services at their university.

A study, commissioned by virtualisation software company VMware, questioned 1,000 university students in England and Wales, and found that 84 percent believed access to technology was key. And 34 percent were willing to pay increased fees for improved technology - despite universities having already trebled tuition fees.

The research showed that 43 percent of students now take IT into account when choosing which institution they attend. In addition, 79 percent believe access to improved technology, such as on-campus WiFi and the ability to connect remotely to lectures online with mobile devices, could help them work more efficiently.

Also, 92 percent believe the ability to study in a more flexible way can enhance their experience at university, and 83 percent think the IT skills they learn at university will prepare them well for the workplace.

That said, more than half (54 percent) of respondents believe their university needs to invest more in IT, and 26 percent don’t feel the technology provided by their university meets the level they expect for the tuition fees they are paying.

Cliff Keast, head of UK public services at VMware, said: “Today’s teenagers and young adults have grown up with technology engrained in their everyday lives, and see no reason why their experiences at a university shouldn’t be the same.

"They want to use personal devices to access course information from anywhere, anytime and have an expectation that the university’s IT will work well.”

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