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21st Aug 2020

Simon Harris pledges to provide free laptops to third level students

It comes as part of a new government initiative.

While Simon Harris has spent most of the pandemic as our Minister for Health, he recently changed position to Minister for Further and Higher Education.

Determined to help aid third level students any way that he can Harris has recently said that he aims to provide those seeking further education with laptops.

According to Minister Harris has announced that 17,000 laptops have been ordered to assist students with online and blended learning.

A fund for student devices worth €15 million was part of a €168 million package for further and higher education sectors to deal with the impacts of COVID-19.

Speaking yesterday, Minister Harris said;

“COVID-19 has disrupted many aspects of our lives. For students in third level, it has resulted in a changed college experience.

This new academic year will mean many students will be attending courses online and will need access to devices. This investment will allow us to help 16,700 students access laptops and will ensure they can keep up to date with their studies.

It will also go some way to bridging the digital divide, support students and ensure equality of access to education.”

The devices will be distributed through targeted lending schemes run by the institutions. In the higher education sector, this will be overseen by Student Access Offices.

In the further education and training sector, this will be overseen by the Education and Training Board (ETB) management.