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 StudyNotesWiki.com 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.