Instead of printing a ton of induction packs to help first-year students adjust to higher education, a London university as instead opted to take the free paper-free route of handing out free tablets to newcomers.
The University of East London (UEL) is giving a free Samsung Galaxy Note 8 tablet to all its new students who are commencing courses this term.
It is thought that the incentive will cost around £2 million in total. UEL has also promised students that they get to keep the slates when they are done.
The tablets will come equipped with digital textbooks that offer information about starting university and e-library resources. Additionally, the Samsung Note 8 devices will carry textbooks, further reducing the financial burden new students face.
It is as yet unclear whether Samsung has a stake in the new scheme as an official publicity campaign. General consumer shopping trends do show that around the university enrolment period, sales of electronics tend to increase substantially. Following A-level results being released, high-street giants Currys and PC World reported a 50% increase in sales.
At present 90% of students in the UK own both a laptop and a smartphone. An additional 40% also have a tablet.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 presently costs £299. The 8-inch slate from Samsung is available in 3G and 4G variants and boats a 1280 x 800 HD resolution, 16GB storage and 2GB RAM. It also contains a 5MP camera and a 4,600 mAh battery.
“We are delighted to be putting support directly in the hands of our students and providing them with a state-of-the-art learning platform for the duration of their studies,” said Prof Joughin of the UEL.