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Digital Equality at St Mary's

Ever since the pandemic, more learning is based online, which means you'll need IT equipment and good internet access to be able to undertake your studies. At St Mary's, we are committed to the notion of digital equality: this means that we believe that students should not be excluded from all of the available online resources because of their personal or economic circumstances. So, we are now doing even more to make it easier for you to access technology.

On campus, we have a range of computer rooms and study spaces and we have free, fast wi-fi network for everyone to use. We also offer short-term laptop loans from the library and online tools like Microsoft Teams, Skype, and Zoom, Moodle, and Panopto lecture recordings so you don't need to miss any of your studies. You can access much of the software you need, free of charge and use free online cloud file storage. See what's on offer.

We also offer a range of advice and support for all your IT needs, including information about suitable equipment, advice on the software you might need.

The Digital Equality Scheme


We are committed to ensuring that no students are disadvantaged in their studies by their economic or social circumstances, so if your budget does not allow you to buy the IT equipment which is needed for your course, then we may be able to help.

We have introduced a long term loan scheme for laptops, headphones and dongles. Equipment can be kept for a semester, and then renewed if necessary. Hopefully, this time will give you the opportunity to source the equipment that you need permanently.

You will need to complete an application form in which you explain why you need to be loaned this equipment (link below).

To ensure that the equipment can reach those that need it most, we have put in place some eligibility conditions:

  • You must demonstrate an economic need - I.e., low household income (we may check this information with Registry records).
  • You must be a UK home undergraduate or PGCE student.
  • Other than in exceptional circumstances, you must be living off campus, due to the 24/7 access to IT equipment in the library.
  • You must collect the equipment from St Mary’s library within 14 days of notification and sign a loan agreement upon collection.
  • If you are applying for the Disabled Students Allowance, the loan will only apply until you receive your DSA, which will then enable you to purchase your own equipment.
  • If you are already in receipt of a St Mary’s award (bursary or scholarship) or in receipt of the government PGCE bursary, then you will only be eligible in exceptional circumstances. This does not apply to students in receipt of ‘St Mary’s Cares’ awards
  • Equipment must be returned at the end of each semester, unless you apply for renewal. Loans won’t run into the next academic year; new applications will need to be made. If you have summer re-sits the loan can be extended accordingly.
Apply now

Worried about your financial situation?

If you are not eligible, or are unsuccessful in your application for the loan scheme, but still have concerns about your financial situation, there may be other support available. Please contact our Student Funding Service at