CityU computer loan scheme expected to enhance learning outcome

by Sharon Ng
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In the information age, computers have become an indispensible part of our lives. With this in mind, City University of Hong Kong (CityU) is introducing the Long Term Loan Scheme, allowing all eligible students to borrow a notaebook computer for a maximum period of two-and-a-half years. The scheme is further evidence of CityU’s commitment to making education accessible to all students.

The scheme was first considered by the Committee on Information Services and Technology at the 7 April meeting. The significant and positive implications of the scheme on the teaching and learning model at the University were noted and the scheme was duly supported.

“The use of personal computers as a communication and collaboration tool has become essential for our students,” said Dr Jerry Yu Jer-tsang, Chief Information Officer. “Students no longer like to be restricted to fixed work places within the University, nor do they work regular hours. Therefore, we need the computers to move with the students and achieve the goal of ‘one student, one computer’, ” Dr Yu added.

“This scheme enables all students to have their own computer in the classroom and will enhance the way in which students construct their knowledge base,” said Professor Christian Wagner of the Department of Information Systems and a member of the Committee on Information Services and Technology.

The new scheme will be introduced in Semester A 2008/09 on a pilot basis to cover UGC-funded full-time first year and second year undergraduates (and year one to year three students in four-year degree programme) and first year associate degree students in the preliminary phase. Consideration can be given to extending the scheme to other students.

The loan period will be approximately two-and-a half years for first-year bachelor degree students and one-and-a-half years for all other students. The loaned machines will be returned to the University at the end of June in the year due.

The Computing Services Centre will select the computer model for the scheme each year. The MS Windows operating system, MS Office, anti-virus software plus other useful software as recommended by the Computing Services Centre will also be installed and configured prior to delivery to students. Both the hardware and the necessary software will be provided free-of-charge during the loan period. As the computer remains the property of the University, students are required to pay the warranty, maintenance and insurance charges in advance.