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Students slow to take advantage of Unisa laptop initiative

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Students at Unisa are yet to make the most of Unisa's student laptop initiative according to Association of South African Directors of Information Technology (ASAUDIT) General Manager, Val Theron. ASAUDIT and PURCO negotiate the favourable laptop deals with various technology vendors on behalf of South African higher education institutions, including Unisa. While she is optimistic about future sales, Theron admits to a poor uptake over the past three years since the tender was granted.

"The students have been quite slow to respond. I think that the problem was mainly that we had difficulty in marketing this (the initiative) to students."

The student laptop initiative aims to ease the process of acquiring a new computer for staff and students at public universities by negotiating better service, price and warranty terms. The initiative names its capacity to act as an intermediary in the event of poor service as a unique selling point on its website.

Theron also told that an attempt at reaching more students was made 18 months ago when tablets were added to the tender. The results of that action are yet to be seen and negotiations with mobile phone companies are already underway to add data to the deals in the hope that that will lead to greater uptake. The three year tender is also soon to be renewed and Theron assures that newer devices will be on offer almost immediately.

Last Updated on Monday, 28 July 2014 13:32  
Comments (4)Comments are closed
4Friday, 08 August 2014 20:54
I tried last year to enquire about pricing details and specs and it seems like you first have to "commit" to a contract before you can get any details.  I am not going to commit before I know to what I commit.  I tried to get the info via mails and people just referred me back to the same links.
Advertise the pricing and spec details on the page.  Did not check now if it changed in the meantime.
3Wednesday, 06 August 2014 12:39
I compared the price of the Lenovo Tablet against   Guess what? Kalahari was R200.00 cheaper.   Enough said ......
2Monday, 04 August 2014 12:25
I think the main reason for the slow response from the students is that there is no information about the cost of the initiative available. The website is unclear about the process. I have submitted a request about a year ago and still have not received a response.
1Thursday, 31 July 2014 10:32
Maybe students are thinking long term....and are investing in better technology such as ipads and mini ipads...macbooks,etc.
Also another factor to consider is that most of UNISA students are already in the workforce and can afford this better technology.
As for people like myself, I have been using the same PC for the past 10 years, so there is no need to purchase laptops
I think the laptop deal should mainly be focused at first year students who are probably looking to buy and looking for a good deal. They should market it at registration day of first years.