ICT industry giants including Intel, Dell, HP, Microsoft and Vodafone as well as financial institution AIB have banded together to offer Irish third-level students affordable laptops under the Student Laptop Programme.
Under the initiative, five different Dell and HP laptops will be available to students for under €1,000 and up to €1,400 and AIB has introduced a low-rate loan package for students who wish to avail of the offer.
Laptops purchased through the initiative will be pre-loaded with Microsoft Office Professional Suite, a broadband option and ready for use on existing third-level campus networks.
The Minister for Education & Science Mary Hanafin TD said the initiative will see thousands of third-level students acquiring notebook PCs.
“To survive and thrive in this growing knowledge-based economy, tomorrow’s citizens, employees and customers must be equipped with 21st-century skills. Intel is committed to improving education today so that students will be able to thrive tomorrow and into the future,” said Colin MacHale, Ireland country manager, Intel.
UCD is the first Irish third-level institution to adopt the Student Laptop Programme. “Having worked closely with industry, we are now ready to offer our students better and more affordable ways to purchase a laptop computer,” said Seamus Shaw, IT chief service officer, UCD.
“At present around 20pc of all students at Belfield have their own laptop,” Shaw explained. “And with this new initiative we might expect that up to 75pc of all students will purchase their own laptop over the course of the next three years.”
“With the core of the Belfield campus, including on campus accommodation, now supporting 100pc wireless internet access, UCD students can use laptops to access information and the internet from almost anywhere,” Shaw added.
By John Kennedy