Skip to main content

Digital Divide Project

The University is working with partners to try and address the digital divide.

The Digital Divide

The digital divide is growing

Many students are struggling with the Digital Divide at present. A significant number of school students are lacking regular access to suitable technology to undertake their schooling which has all moved online during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In April the Government announced a support package for some students, focused on students who are Care leavers, Children with a social worker and Children in Year 10.

Current policy stipulates that schools must use the budget that is already allocated to their 16-19 Bursary Fund to support students. Where that fund is already fully committed, settings will need to write a business case to the Education and Skills Funding Agency for additional funds. Although there is support there, it is not as easy to access as it is for pre-16 students.


An introduction from Dr Andrew Ross, Head of Widening Access and Participation.

Digital Outreach and the Digital Divide

Universities, charities and others are moving provision online to support disadvantaged students to succeed and progress in the way they have capability to do. Although the online provision to support students is available, the students who could benefit most are unable to access it. We have a responsibility to not only provide the content that gives young people the best chance of success but we also need to provide the means for students to access it.

At Bath, we have been proactively providing digital outreach activities and have delivered digital outreach programmes since before the COVID-19 crisis. This experience has allowed us to quickly to become one of the sector leaders in delivering digital outreach, moving our On Track to Bath and Discover Bath programmes online, as well other initiatives such as building a resource hub.

student working on a computer

Charities and Partners

The Widening Access Team at the University are coordinating a response, working with charities and partners to address the issues. Together we can provide a single response and support more students.

The charities and partners currently working with us are:
- Brightside
- Brilliant Club
- Digilocal
- IntoUniversity
- Mangorolla
- Nuffield Foundation
- Smallpiece
- Stone Group
- Talent Foundry
- Villiers Park
- with support from Universities UK

laptop, phone and notebook

The Approach

Together we have identified areas to focus on

Identify students

Alongside working with students who are part of our programmes we are working with schools, colleges and academy chains to understand the scale of the issues.

Coordinate and/or support digital delivery

Working with partners and other institutions from across the sector we can share good practice in delivering digital outreach. As well as delivering sessions to support current planning and delivery, we aim to build a toolkit which can be shared which focuses on the pedagogy of digital learning.

Contact Rae Tooth, Villiers Park who is leading on this area if you would like to support us.

Provide technology/internet

We are working with industry and corporate partners to deliver hardware to students. We are eager to work with people who can provide physical hardware (laptops/internet dongles), supporting with funds, supporting with sourcing and/or supporting with logistics.

If you can help email Andrew

Support engagement with tech

Working with specialists we want to provide support for students to best use any technology they have. This could be technical or practical usage support.

Email Andrew if you would like to support us.


Demonstrating impact of any project is key, and we will be ensuring that all the support we offer has an evaluation plan. If you would like to support the evaluation of these projects please contact Andrew

Related Resources

Explore reports and resources related to this project


If you would like to find out more or would like to talk about working with us please get in touch