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Universities should be doing more to fund hybrid learning

A new survey from Sony reveals that 92% of higher education decision makers believe that their institutions should be doing more to help students transition to new ways of learning

A new study from Sony Professional Displays and Solutions has revealed concerns from both students and higher education decision makers over a lack of adequate investment in hybrid learning technology and support for students.

Sony’s research reveals that almost half of the European students surveyed (49 per cent) believe that the current IT infrastructure provided by their institutions doesn’t provide a quality experience for hybrid or remote learning. IN addition, only a third of European Higher Education IT decision makers (ITDMs), who were also surveyed by Sony, are treating the investment in distance learning technologies as a high priority.

The lack of adequate investment is forcing students to make their own investments with more than three quarters of students (78 per cent) having considered purchasing their own tech to support their learning needs. More than 65 per cent of students said they have spent up to €578 during this academic year alone, which the report said “raises concerns regarding inequity amongst peer groups, where some students have better tools than others depending on socio-economic status”.

From the institutions’ perspective, the research suggested that while ITDMs in universities across Europe largely agreed their institutions need to do more to help support students with changes to learning environments (92 per cent), survey data also indicated that their priorities may not be a match with what students feel is lacking. For instance, over three quarters (78 per cent) of students said AV tech such as collaborative smart displays and projectors are important regardless of the learning style, while only 40 per cent of decision makers interviewed said that they plan to invest in this area in the next five to ten years.

“In a changed world, hybrid learning has become central to teaching and learning strategies for students at all levels, but this research indicates that there are still major gaps when it comes to the technology universities are providing, and what students need for success. What we’re also seeing is some disconnect between what ITDMs are prioritising with their available resources compared to student preference,” said Alexandra Parlour, education marketing manager, Sony Professional Displays and Solutions.

“At Sony, we believe that technology is key in making lessons more engaging, as well as providing support for teachers and enabling better student outcomes. Through implementing simple but effective digital tools, educational institutions across the world have a huge opportunity to not only maintain the continuity of teaching, but to stay competitive in a changing world where students need a balance of both online learning and on-campus solutions.”