Last updated: 22.12.12

Cash-strapped students 'turning to e-learning'

Students in the UK are increasingly looking to online learning as a way of resisting the rising costs of course materials.

According to a recent study conducted by the National Union of Students and CourseSmart, 81 per cent of undergraduates believe higher education facilities should be offering textbooks free of charge as part of their fees, the Guardian reports.

To avoid splashing out on heavy and expensive degree-related reading, 95 per cent of young people questioned are using internet-connected devices to help them with their studying.

They also have the opportunity to rent - rather than buy - digital textbooks, which means they are saving cash and learning more effectively, as stated by 63 per cent of respondents.

In addition, 99 per cent of individuals claimed to own at least one online device, while 77 per cent of this group said they use it for academia.

Moving forward, nearly all (98 per cent) of students suggested they would be content to do some of their university work online in future and 60 per cent indicated they will be purchasing a new device within the next year.

This highlights more than ever how the boundaries between training and the digital world are blurred and it is not just undergraduates who can benefit from these materials.

A recent study conducted by event solutions firm ON24 discovered that most human resources professionals are planning to improve organisation at their company by rolling out e-learning facilities in the new year.

It was revealed that 91 per cent of businesses are intending to introduce online training, while one-third of managers are going to be increasing their firm's adoption of digital education by 25 per cent.

One UK institution to offer such courses is Virtual College, a West Yorkshire-based organisation that provides a range of e-learning modules and has its own Learning Management System.

Among the topics covered by the company are How to Manage Sickness and Absence, Equality and Diversity in the Workplace and How to Develop a Culture of Openness and Trust.