University of Limerick Institutional Repository

The disconnected: COVID‑19 and disparities in access to quality broadband for higher education students

DSpace Repository

Show simple item record Cullinan, John Flannery, Darragh Harold, Jason Lyons, Seán Palcic, Dónal 2021-06-11T10:59:33Z 2021-06-11T10:59:33Z 2021
dc.description peer-reviewed en_US
dc.description.abstract The COVID-19 pandemic forced many higher education institutions (HEIs) across the world to cancel face-to-face teaching, close campus facilities, and displace staff and students to work and learn from home. Given the persistent nature of the pandemic, many HEIs have continued to deliver courses online and/or use a blended learning approach. However, there are concerns around differences in student access to digital learning resources while at home, including high quality broadband connectivity. This is important, since variation in connectivity may impact the type of online/blended model that faculty can deliver or constrain student engagement with online content. In this context, this paper combines national data on the domiciles of students enrolled in Irish HEIs with detailed spatial data on broadband coverage to estimate the number of higher education students ‘at risk’ of poor access to high quality internet connectivity. Overall it finds that one-in-six students come from areas with poor broadband coverage, with large disparities by geography and by HEI. It also finds that students from the poorest broadband coverage areas are more likely to be socioeconomically disadvantaged. As a result, this paper recommends that HEIs use their detailed registration data to help identify and support at-risk students. In particular, the results suggest that some HEIs may need to prioritise access to campus facilities and services to less well-of students living in poor broadband coverage areas. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Springer en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education;18, 26
dc.subject Online learning en_US
dc.subject Blended delivery en_US
dc.title The disconnected: COVID‑19 and disparities in access to quality broadband for higher education students en_US
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/article en_US
dc.type.supercollection all_ul_research en_US
dc.type.supercollection ul_published_reviewed en_US
dc.identifier.doi 10.1186/s41239-021-00262-1
dc.rights.accessrights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess en_US
dc.internal.rssid 3009682

Files in this item

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record

Search ULIR


My Account