Technology key to students’ higher ed choices

The digital divide, the question of who has access to technology and who does not, is one of the fundamental issues driving the deployment of municipal wireless and municipal broadband in general. A new study out of the UK adds weight to the argument that technology and Internet access impacts the health and future of educational institutions.The digital divide, the question of who has access to technology and who does not, is one of the fundamental issues driving the deployment of municipal wireless and municipal broadband in general. A new study out of the UK illustrates how the health and future of educational institutions‚Äö?Ñ?Æand the municipalities that host them‚Äö?Ñ?Æare impacted by the availability of technology.

A study sponsored by impendent solutions provider Telindus found that 86 per cent of students who were polled said that broadband access in dormitories would impact their choice of schools. Thirty six percent considered “campus-wide Wi-Fi access a must,” and 100 per cent said they would alter their choice if the school, college or university id not offer access to a PC. According to a press release issued by Telindus, “for institutes, this means having to think like a business to ensure they can attract ‘customers’.”

Another news report I came across this weekend adds a context to this report that goes beyond raw data. That was a story in The New York Times reporting the demise of AntiochCollege in my home state of Ohio. When I was growing up back there, Antioch was known as perhaps the state’s most prestigious liberal arts campus. It was the home of the respected literary journal, The Antioch Review, and it boasted one of the most interesting and sometimes controversial faculties around. For all its merits (or demerits, depending on one’s political point of view; the school was proudly liberal), it added to the distinction and economic health of Yellow Springs, the municipality that was its host.

Without doubt, its closure will greatly impact economics and lives in that community. Now, it could be argued that Antioch’s closing had little to nothing to do with technology. But the Telindus report indicates that technology and access to computing and broadband service factors in heavily to a campus’s ability to attract and retain students and remain viable into the future.

Click here to read the Telindus press release.