Skip to content Exit mobile menu

Digital Equality at St Mary's

Since the pandemic, more of your learning will be 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 offer physically distanced computer labs 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. Look here to 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.

Long Term IT Loan Scheme

But if you can't afford to buy the IT equipment or internet access you need for your studies, we might be able to help. We have introduced a long-term loan scheme for laptops, noise-cancelling headphones and WiFi dongles.

You can keep the equipment for a term, then apply to renew the loan if you still need it. Hopefully this might even give you time to save or find other ways to pay for the equipment you need.

To make sure the equipment gets to the people who need it most, we've set the following conditions:

  • You will have to demonstrate an economic need such as low household or personal income (we may check declared household income on your registry information)
  • Loans generally run for up to 5 months at a time, following the University's semester dates. You are expected to return the equipment at the end of each semester. You can apply to renew the loan if you need the equipment for longer.
  • Loans will not extend over the summer vacation (equipment needs to be returned so that it can be updated over the vacation). However, if you have exam resits (or there is another exceptional circumstance) you can of course apply to extend your loan accordingly.
  • Loans will not run from one academic year to the next. If you need to borrow equipment for the next academic year you will have to make another application. 
  • Only UK undergraduate or PGCE students may borrow equipment. Other postgraduate and international students may not borrow equipment.  In exceptional circumstances loans to other students may be considered but only where sufficient equipment is available.
  • Other than in exceptional circumstances, only undergraduates living off campus may borrow equipment, as there are computers available 24/7 in the Library for use by students.
  • Dongles are only available for students who have no (or insufficient) Wi-Fi in their (off campus) accommodation, as the St Mary’s Wi-Fi is available for students on campus.
  • You must collect the equipment from the Library at St Mary's within 14 days of being informed that it is ready for collection. You will be required to sign an agreement before you take possession of it.
  • During the period of the loan, you are able to take the equipment off-site and use it as your own. However, the equipment must be returned or the loan renewed on or before the final date of the loan or penalties will apply.
  • If you are also applying for Disabled Students Allowance, the loan will only be for a period until you receive your DSA, enabling you to purchase your own equipment.
  • If you are in receipt of a financial award (scholarship or bursary) from the university, or in receipt of a government PGCE bursary, you might not be eligible for this scheme, unless in exceptional circumstances.

You will have to complete an application form with a personal statement explaining your need. You will also need to sign to agree to terms and conditions before you pick up the loan equipment. If you are eligible, but all equipment is out on loan, we will put you on a waiting list for when equipment becomes available and try to help you in other ways. Please click the button below, or click here,  to access the application form:

Long Term IT loan scheme form

* Please ensure that you have read the terms and conditions of device loans before submitting your application.

If you have any queries regarding the loan please contact and

Worried about your financial situation?

If you are not eligible, or you're 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 with any concerns about your financial situation.