Bridging the digital divide

Our priority this term is to ensure all students can get online and succeed with their studies, regardless of their background.

Students are now back on campus, but teaching has evolved.  Courses are now taught as a balanced blend of face-to-face and online content, with more than 7,000 activities being delivered online this autumn term.

So whether accessing library resources, attending seminars or submitting coursework – student life is heavily reliant on access to a laptop and the internet.

This greater dependence on technology presents a very real struggle for those without their own laptop or a reliable broadband connection.

IT equipment is now a necessity for university life.

The Digital Support Fund helps the most disadvantaged students from low-income households, providing grants for essential IT equipment.

Donate today

Students in the library

For many students, the ongoing and long-lasting impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is financial. After a prolonged period where part-time work opportunities were unavailable and family incomes heavily affected too, many have no savings and no family safety net to fall back on. Affording a laptop and paying the monthly broadband bills is beyond their means.

One in four Reading students come from a low-income background.

The Digital Support Fund supports any disadvantaged undergraduate student who finds themselves in need, but priority is given to estranged students who have no family support.

“Not every student begins at the same starting point. The pandemic has made us acutely aware of exacerbated social inequalities. We need to level the playing field and ensure that all students can succeed regardless of their background.”

Anne-Marie Henderson, Director of Student Success and Engagement

You can help bridge the digital divide, ensuring all students can get online.

“Because my laptop was old, it was not compatible with the statistical software needed for the Psychology part of my course.  Everything is now much easier and quicker. I’m able to watch my lectures without any glitches and complete my tasks a lot faster than before. Having the iPad has also allowed me to broaden my horizons and explore creating digital art and animation.”

Gloria, Undergraduate studying Art and Psychology

How your gift will make a real difference:

  • £400 will provide a grant for essential IT equipment
  • £25 will provide a reliable internet connection for a month

Your gift will provide life-changing support to students

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