Back to school…..starting school…..student computing initiative

Is this the first "back to school" story to be posted?  I know term isn't formally over yet but I bet many Higher Education applicants are already thinking about where to get the best deal on compter equipment and software.  The other week whilst visiting a popular Russell Group university in the north west they told me that in their halls of residence around 92% of the students have a desktop or laptop that they connect to the university network in their room.  Staggering!  Previous counts had it at around 80%.  Clearly a significant leap forward has taken place in terms of both students access to PCs and also we should presume their value to the student.

Following last year's campaign with Dell, Microsoft is working closely with them again to promote a lower cost access to high quality equipment and software.  This following information is being sent to UCISA:

Dell has re-launched its Student Computing Initiative (SCI) for this year’s student intake. The programme, which provides a choice of PCs with Microsoft Office 2007 Pro, 3 year onsite support and McAfee as a complete and heavily discounted solution, was launched last year. It was successfully adopted by around 20 universities/colleges and has now been enhanced with particular focus on making its deployment and student communication even easier. Although the timing is tight, Dell can still setup new programmes for this year’s student intake and is holding a series of webinars describing the approach. Please contact your Dell account manager for more details or you can learn more about the SCI solution at

I'm hopeful that programmes such as this can help bridge that "digital divide" and start to plug that final 8% of students at the above university and move us that bit closer to 1:1 (student:device).

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