UK universities are leading the charge in technology adoption to extend the off-campus learning experience, according to new research by Citrix
This new data was obtained through a Freedom of Information (FoI) request, issued to 141 universities across the UK, with 109 of them responding.
The data revealed that the majority of university students (80%) and staff (79%) across the UK manage their own devices and schedules through access to apps and information from anywhere, on any device – whether that’s through a smartphone in a coffee shop off-campus, or using a personal laptop in another country as part of an Erasmus programme.
Encouragingly, a large volume of British universities (80%) are also using technology to increase global reach and access to the educational services they provide – although 17% of university organisations do not monitor or measure the technology experience provided to staff and students.
Despite this move towards flexible education, almost one in five (19%) universities do not have plans to implement a BYOD-specific strategy within their organisation. In doing so, they risk potential security and compliance gaps and increased IT complexity. However, 21% of universities are either in the process of doing so or planning to do so in the next twelve months.
Matt Smith, Director, Public Sector, UK & Ireland, Citrix, said:
“Education is now a commercial marketplace where students are paying money for services and expect digital interactions and pervasive connectivity to be the default. With potential tuition fee cuts on the horizon, it’s encouraging to see that so many higher-education facilities have turned to innovative, cost-effective technology to deliver this – in order to improve productivity, increase access to services and reduce their environmental impact.
“A great example of this includes University College London (UCL), who deployed a secure digital workspace to tackle the challenges faced with a growing student population and influx of devices, making applications available in off-campus locations to provide truly flexible educational services.
“It’s important to look at how many universities have gone to these lengths so far. Ideally, all should aspire to offer remote access to files and information at any location and across any device. Generation Z is used to these standards of consumer technology, and universities must reflect that to meet their expectations.
“Likewise, businesses across the country must redesign their work environments to meet the same standards, truly delivering a ‘work anywhere’ culture through a cost-effective and sustainable BYOD strategy. With the war for talent set to intensify, the winners will be those companies that have prepared their work environments for the next generation of workers.”