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OfS chair issues warning over ‘digital divide’ in higher education

Pre-lockdown survey shows less than a quarter of students think they have good digital teaching

Office for Students chair Michael Barber has warned universities to reduce the digital divide in higher education “as a matter of urgency” after a survey revealed patchy online access to teaching and resources.

Largely carried out before the Covid-19 lockdown drove a huge shift to online teaching, the survey by higher education IT firm Jisc found 23 per cent of responding students did not agree that the quality of digital teaching and learning at their university was good or better. And some 28 per cent of the over 20,000 respondents said their university did not give them access to online systems and services from any location.

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