Keeping Students Connected: New Remote Learning Initiative to Provide 500 Computers to Students In Need

Donor-funded initiative will support Trent students in overcoming technology barriers with computer hardware and reliable Internet service

Friday, August 21, 2020, Peterborough

Student Using Laptop

More than $270,000 has been raised with a new donor-funded Trent University initiative that will provide 500 students with Chromebooks to support students who will be navigating innovative, virtual environments at Trent this fall, and provide the technology and tools critical to student success.

The Remote Learning Initiative (ReLI), created to help students overcome financial and technology resource hurdles in 2020-21, is also providing students with supports for reliable Internet service.

“In today’s world, not having the correct technology can directly translate to not having access to a quality education,” says Sherry Booth, director of Philanthropy at Trent University. “The ReLI program is unique because unlike other post-secondary institutions that loan laptops to students, we are providing a permanent gift. We thank the generous donors - including alumni, staff, faculty, friends and foundations – who are providing students with the tools they need to thrive in a virtual environment.”

Fall classes will begin on September 10, as students return to Trent’s community of scholars at the Peterborough and Durham GTA campuses. Trent’s multi-access approach to learning this fall, will see many courses available through online or remote delivery, while also welcoming students to live and study on campus in a way that safeguards the health of community members. As video conferencing and other online tools are being utilized in dynamic ways to recreate and nurture personalized communities of learning, access to reliable technology is key to student success.

“Successful applicants to ReLI will receive a laptop, with all of the software and hardware required for remote learning, as well as the supports needed to connect them to reliable Internet,” says Tariq Al-idrissi, associate vice-president of Information Technology (IT) at Trent University.

Additionally, a new Virtual Computing Commons Service has been announced that will provide all Trent University students and faculty with access to a remote Windows Virtual Desktop that includes a suite of software applications required to support both teaching and learning.

This limited-time program is a collaboration between Trent University IT, External Relations and Advancement, and the Financial Aid Office. Distribution of the Chromebooks to Trent students began on August 17.

ReLI and other support programs for Trent students in financial need are available through the Financial Aid office.

To support Trent students through these unprecedented times please visit please visit