Financing a computer now easier

Tertiary students will benefit from a new finance package aimed at giving them access to personal computers (PCs) and Notebooks. The package was developed by Absa, in collaboration with Intel Corporation and Microsoft.

Although international research has shown a high correlation between PC users and level of income, local research indicates that the penetration of PCs in higher education in South Africa is still below 4%.

As a result many students do not master IT skills while they are at university. This becomes an obstacle when they enter the job market.

“Too often the cost of a new laptop is just too high, particularly for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. We want to give students a head start by giving them the option to buy a new laptop as part of an existing student loan,” said Shannon Timothy, head of student banking solutions at Absa.

Microsoft South Africa’s managing director, Pfungwa Serima, said: “Because information technology and education are so critical to creating economic opportunities, we believe in equipping students with the practical skills they need to thrive in today’s knowledge economy,” said Serima.

Students can finance the computer equipment as part of an existing student loan or by taking out a new student loan solely to purchase a laptop.

Dell, HP and Mustek are the hardware suppliers on this programme.—Mail & Guardian reporter

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