Digital Divide


We've put together information explaining what the Digital Divide is and what to do if you are impacted.

What is the Digital Divide?

• The Digital Divide exists because some students have access to Wi-Fi, properly functioning devices, and everything they require to continue their studies online once they leave campus. Some students don’t have everything they need, whether it’s access to a new computer, or basics like a consistent Internet connection. The Digital Divide is the gap in between these groups, and it has widened as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.



Where does the Digital Divide come from?

• Students across the country found themselves studying remotely in the last part of the 2019-2020 academic year, and the disruption that caused was felt by everyone as the ‘new normal’ took hold. Now, however, we have the figures illustrating what that actually looked like. According to WONHKE, a higher education policy blog, which you can read here.


What does the research show?

• 71% of students say they lacked access to a quiet study space, with 22 per cent “severely” impacted.

• 56% said they lacked access to appropriate online course materials, with almost 1 in 10 “severely” impacted. 1 in 5 say they were impacted by lack of access to a computer, laptop or tablet.

• 10% said they were severely impacted by having too little money to live on.

• According to research carried out by The University of Cambridge: “The likelihood of having access to the internet from home increases along with income, such that only 51% of households earning between £6000-10,000 [have] home internet access compared with 99% of households with an income of over £40,001.



What do I do if I’m impacted?

• You can access a range of support resources here to help you.

Your Exec team are also working closely with the University Library & LSP to address any disparities. Updates on access to online texts, laptop loans and the community fridge scheme will become available soon.



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