Teesside University to provide unique digital support to students during unprecedented times

Tees Business Digital Media Pack

Teesside University is using its award-winning Future Facing Learning initiative to provide additional support to students and ensure nobody is adversely affected by digital poverty.

Through its Advance Scheme, £100 is made available to students which they will be able to use to purchase mobile data and hot-spot devices to ensure they can access their learning remotely.

From September, the University is adopting a hybrid teaching model, with some face-to-face teaching and some learning taking place online.

Since the global health emergency caused by the Coronavirus, the University has put a number of supportive measures and structures in place to ensure no students are unfairly disadvantaged.

With additional online learning set to be part of the new academic year, arrangements have been made to allow students to purchase mobile data and hot-spot devices if they need to.

The Advance Scheme is part of Teesside University’s Future Facing Learning initiative and sees the majority of undergraduate students provided with an ipad and specialist toolkit of apps to assist their learning.

In addition, they also receive £100 credit which they have traditionally used to purchase online books and learning resources.

They will now be able to use their credit to purchase digital support if they don’t have access to it at home or do not wish to use their personal data. Returning students can also roll-over any credit they didn’t spend last year into the new academic year

The University is working with John Smiths, a leading provider of resources to support student study and success, on the Advance Scheme and is the first higher education institution to use the credit allowance in this way.

The Advance Scheme at Teesside University has been extremely successful, with over 17,500 online books sold and 94% of students accessing the online book store

Professor Mark Simpson, pro vice-chancellor for learning and teaching, said: “We are extremely proud of how our students have adapted during these challenging times and we have put a wide range of supportive measures in place to provide continuity of learning.

“Our driving ambition is to ensure that no students are unfairly disadvantaged during the Coronavirus pandemic.

“Digital poverty is an issue that has been discussed a lot in recent times and we are acutely aware of the different needs and circumstances our student community face.

“As we move into our new hybrid teaching model we wanted to ensure that all students have access to digital support and learning resources wherever they are.

“We are delighted to be working so closely with John Smiths to provide this unique opportunity for our students to purchase additional mobile data and hot-spot devices if they need to and we hope it provides further reassurance that we are doing everything we can to support our students and provide the very best learning experience.”

Peter Grey, CEO and chairman of John Smiths, added: “Teesside is a forward-thinking university which places students at the heart of every decision.

“The Advance Scheme has been extremely well-received and we are delighted to be working alongside Teesside University to provide this additional support to students and ensure that digital poverty will not be an issue for those studying at Teesside.”