University of East London steps into future
by Roberta Nicora

The University of East London steps into future by providing the latest Samsung devices and eBooks to thousands of first-year students.

The University of East London (UEL) announces today that it will be providing an estimated 4,000 first-year students with Samsung Note devices and eTextbooks in a major new initiative to support student learning and success.

Starting this week, UEL ‘freshers’ will benefit from an enhanced university learning experience after receiving a brand-new Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 customised to their individual academic needs. All of the devices come pre-loaded with core etextbooks as well as links to the university’s online library resources, the virtual learning environment (VLE) and other student learning resources and information.

The landmark technology package is designed to ensure students get the most out of their time at university by making their learning more enjoyable and productive. No longer will students have to waste valuable time travelling to and from the library weighed down by heavy books.

The distribution of the devices is taking place during UEL Freshers’ Week. The project, managed by JS Group, is a collaboration between UEL, Samsung and Kortext, the UK' leading digital learning platform and etextbooks provider.

The tablets, along with the comprehensive etextbook package, are being provided free of charge to students as part of UEL’s well established Progress Bursary programme. It represents an overall investment in the technology by the university of close to £2 million.

Professor John Joughin, UEL Vice-Chancellor, commented:

"The University of East London places a strong emphasis on helping students to get the most out of the time that they spend with us."

"We are delighted to be putting support directly in the hands of our students and providing them with a state-of-the-art digital learning platform for the duration of their studies."

"Our support for equality of opportunity is one of UEL’s defining values, and providing our entire first-year intake with Samsung tablets - pre-loaded with core etextbooks and links to virtual learning resources -ensures there is a level playing field for all of our students."

Graham Long, Vice-President Enterprise Business Team, Samsung UK & Ireland, said:

"We are delighted to be working with UEL on this innovative project, where all new students will be provided with the latest Samsung technology to help them with their studies."

"At Samsung we passionately believe that technology has a significant role to play in opening doors for the leaders of tomorrow, equipping them with the skills necessary to meet the needs of the ever evolving economy. This is a great example of a higher education establishment embracing digital trends and we hope many others will follow."

Peter Gray, CEO and chairman of JS Group, said:

"This is the first time that a whole year group have been given a tablet loaded with their key etextbooks for their course."

"It will provide a significant saving for students, who would otherwise d to buy these books. Students starting university are now ‘digital natives’. Having their course etextbooks on a digital learning platform is the best fit for how they study. We think UEL have paved the way for other higher education institutions to follow."

"This whole collaboration was put together and is managed by JS Group, who provide learning resources and student services in more than 25 UK universities."

Professor Joughin began the distribution of Samsung tablets by presenting one of the devices to newly enrolled psychology undergraduate Therese Fjeldheim, from Norway.

Ms Fjeldheim said:

"I didn’t know I would be receiving the tablet until I read about it online last week. I’m very excited to get it and looking forward to seeing what it can do."

Sambino Albino, an anthropology student from Italy who was also one of the first to be presented with a device, said:

"It’s great. I really didn’t expect to be receiving a tablet. From where I come from, they’re still using textbooks."

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