University of Leicester in top 10 top for on-campus wi-fi

Posted by ew205 at Dec 19, 2017 01:18 PM |
Data compiled by online review community StudentCrowd for Jisc

The University of Leicester is a top 10 UK university for on-campus wi-fi, according to data compiled by StudentCrowd, an online review community for students. The data has been collated from thousands of StudentCrowd reviews for Jisc, manager of the of the eduroam network within the UK, which serves more than 95% of higher education institutions.

StudentCrowd asks reviewers to rate universities on criteria including campus facilities, students union and wi-fi. The data, based on 7,348 student reviews, placed Leicester 10th.

Wi-fi access has become an essential for many people and students are no exception. Research published earlier this year by facilities management company Sodexo found that wi-fi is of the highest importance to this generation of students, with 79% of UK students considering it the most important service in their university environment.

Jisc’s own Student Digital Experience Tracker, which surveys 8,000 students, also emphasise the importance of connectivity and digital tools. The data reveals that 97% of HE learners find information online on a weekly basis during their course.

The tracker also reveals that 88% of students who responded use their own laptop and 84% their smartphone as part of their learning. With an average of 2.72 personal devices per learner, wi-fi connectivity is an essential service that supports students’ education.

The top 10 universities for campus wi-fi are as follows:

1. Durham University

2. Lancaster University

3. University of Sheffield

4. Loughborough University

5. University of Leeds

6. Keele University

7. Newcastle University

8. Royal Holloway, University of London

9. University of Winchester

10. The University of Leicester

Most universities now provide free wi-fi, so that students can connect to the internet on their own device. On campus, many universities offer eduroam, a European-wide wi-fi service for the academic and research communities, while university accommodation is generally served by different providers.

Eduroam is a roaming service which can allow registered users to access wi-fi from any university campus in the UK, regardless of whether or not they study there. In October 2017, eduroam reached more than 1.3m unique devices connected during the month.

Wi-fi  is useful for social activities, including keeping in touch with fellow students, which fosters a sense of belonging on campus. Students also rely on good connectivity for entertainment and Jisc has put Netflix servers in its Slough data centre so that students can enjoy stable and secure video streaming in a more cost effective way.

Dr Ross Parry, Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Digital) at the University of Leicester, said:

At Leicester we are building a ‘Digital Campus’. This means designing and delivering a new digital learning environment, embedding a new Digital Literacy Framework across all we do, and putting in place the digital tools needed for modern, transformational research and scholarship. But to make all of this work, and thrive, we need a great infrastructure. And that includes rich, reliable wi-fi for everyone. With that in place – used and valued by students and staff alike - we can then connect people, objects, data and systems, and start seeing the University as an extraordinary digital platform.”

Sarah Davies, head of higher education and student experience at Jisc, said:

“With students relying on digital devices for study, personal organisation and leisure, it's no wonder they see good wi-fi connectivity as a key aspect of their study environment. Generally, universities are responding well to this challenge, with 80% of HE students reporting that they have access to reliable wi-fi at their usual place of study.”

Paul Humphreys, StudentCrowd, founder and CEO, added:

"Some stereotypes of students make us cringe. However, we have found the following to be true - 'students see superfast wi-fi as a basic human need'. Universities must ensure their students can connect to superfast wi-fi on all parts of campus/facilities. Most students report a positive experience - the average rating for university wi-fi on StudentCrowd is 4.04 out of 5."

You can also read this press release on Jisc’s website.

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