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


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


More than $270,000 has been raised through Trent's Remote Learning Initiative (ReLi). A donor-funded initiative has provided 500 students with Chromebooks to support navigating virtual environments at Trent, and provide the technology and tools critical to student success.

ReLi, created to help students overcome financial and technology resource hurdles in 2020-21, provides students with support 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 have provided students with the tools they need to thrive in a virtual environment."

Trent students returned to classes on September 10, which included a multi-access approach to learning with many courses online or delivered remotely, while also on campus in a way that safeguarded the health of community members. As video conferencing and other online tools are being utilized in dynamic ways to recreate and nurture personalized learning communities, access to reliable technology continues to be crucial to student success.

"Successful ReLi applicants received a laptop in August, with 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 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 teaching and learning.

This program has been a collaboration between Trent University IT, External Relations and Advancement, and the Financial Aid Office.

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