Fresh funding supports digital learning for NESCol students
September 29, 2020
North East Scotland College is investing more than £130,000 to support access to online learning by loaning devices to students.
NESCol will make the laptops available to ensure there are no barriers to attending virtual classes or using digital resources.
The College has adopted a blended approach for 2020/21, with a mix of on-campus provision and remote delivery, as it follows Scottish Government guidance to allow the safe reopening of campuses.
That approach is supported by the well-established Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programme, which enables NESCol students to obtain devices as part of their funding package.
More than 1,000 laptops had already been procured this summer as part of the BYOD initiative – and now an additional batch will be made available on a loan basis after fresh funding was secured. The Scottish Funding Council has allocated £132,000 to the College for digital provision as part of the response to the challenges presented by the Coronavirus outbreak.
NESCol Principal Neil Cowie said: “As a College we have been at the forefront of digital innovation and have pioneered BYOD, which over a number of years has given students the tools to study in a different way. That gave us an excellent platform when we moved to remote learning in March and now for the blended approach to 2020/21.
“As part of our planning for the new session we invited all students to provide feedback in a variety of areas, including access to digital learning. Through that we were able to identify a small but important group who were not catered for through the BYOD programme and we have moved quickly to provide a solution.
“The additional funding is being invested to ensure loan laptops are available and to support equal access for our students. This will make a significant impact at a time when the College community is having to adapt to changing circumstances.”
Around 100 students not on bursary-funded BYOD courses have already been assessed and have received a loan laptop to help them with their studies.
The College has also made provision for those without internet access by providing 4G connections.
All full-time students have been contacted by email and invited to complete an applicant survey to identify requirements. Anyone who has yet to respond can still do so. Part-time students can find out further details about access to devices by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org .