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One-in-Four parents say poor quality internet connection negatively impacts school pupils’ education




  • One in four UK parents (24 percent) believe children are struggling to complete lessons and schoolwork because of poor quality internet connection.
  • More than half (54 percent) of parents say they have had to invest money in technology to support their children in learning at home, of which one-in-ten has been forced to spend more than £500.
  • Huawei donates 250 Huawei Pupil Packs with a value of over £60,000 to five secondary schools in the Manchester area, in the support of the Greater Manchester Tech Fund.

Manchester, UK. February 2021. New data from YouGov Research, commissioned by Huawei UK, reveals millions of children across the UK are being held back in the virtual classroom, exposing a nationwide digital divide felt by families.

The research shows one in four UK parents (24 percent) believes children are struggling to complete lessons and schoolwork because of poor quality internet connections. More than half (54 percent) of parents surveyed say they have had to invest money in technology to support their children in learning at home, while one-in-ten (12 percent) has been forced to spend more than £500 since the first national lockdown.

The YouGov survey reveals that many households across the country are resorting to tactics such as switching off video during calls, tethering to a mobile connection or restricting internet access in the hope of securing a stable connection.

The survey of 4,000 UK adults also found that 86 percent of respondents believe that poor quality internet connections will have a negative impact on educational attainment, while 88 percent also said that having a reliable connection is important to the overall wellbeing of children during lockdown.

The polling comes as Huawei donates 250 Huawei Pupil Packs with a value of over £60,000 to help pupils most in need and to help break down the barriers in remote education.

The Huawei Pupil Packs - which contain a Huawei MatePad T3 10 tablet, a Huawei 4G B311 Wireless Router and a sim card pre-loaded with data, courtesy of Three UK – are being donated to pupils at schools identified by the Greater Manchester Tech Fund as those which would benefit most from new hardware.

The packs will ensure pupils have both the hardware and connectivity required for remote learning. Each of these schools are receiving 50 Huawei Pupil Packs:

-      Longdendale High School in Hyde

-      Sharples School in Bolton

-      The Derby High School in Bury

-      Burnage Academy for Boys in Manchester

-      Byrchall High School in Wigan

Karl Harrison, Head, Burnage Academy for Boys said:

“We serve communities in the most deprived areas of the inner city and some of our parents do not have the means to be able to provide the devices needed at present for their children. The fantastic generosity of Huawei will make an enormous difference to so many of our families and give our boys the opportunity to access remote learning in the pandemic.

This is truly humbling in the most challenging of times and we offer our most sincere and heartfelt thanks.”

Diane Modahl, Lead, Greater Manchester Tech Fund said:

“In Greater Manchester, we believe that our young people deserve every chance to fulfil their potential. We set up the Greater Manchester Tech Fund to support our most vulnerable young people to prevent them being marginalised and at a disadvantage from their peers. I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone at Huawei, for their generous donation to the GM Tech Fund. Huawei’s donation will help digitally-excluded young people with the technology and connectivity needed to continue their learning at home while schools and colleges remain closed. ”

Victor Zhang, Vice President, Huawei said:

“The shift to remote education has been challenging for all families, but it has been especially difficult for those pupils who don’t have the means to participate in video lessons or interact with other children. No pupils should be left behind, but we all know of school children who, through no fault of their own, are facing barriers to the education they should be receiving.

“Huawei remains committed to improving connectivity across the UK, as we have been for the last 20 years. We are eager to help during the pandemic and so we are really pleased to be donating 250 Huawei Pupil Packs to schools in Greater Manchester, with the support of our partners at Three UK. We hope this donation goes some way to breaking down those barriers and helping school children continue their education at this uniquely challenging time.”

The products featured in the Huawei Pupil Packs are:

HUAWEI MatePad T10

This tablet combines powerful performance with a 9.7 inch display, dual speaker system and long battery life. It also comes with TÜV Rheinland-certified Eye Comfort technology to reduce harmful blue light, offering better comfort for daily use. The MatePad has both rear and front cameras, perfect for participating in interactive lessons and sharing work directly with teachers and classmates.

HUAWEI 4G Router

This router enables up to 32 devices to share access to the same data SIM card. Simply insert a data SIM into the router and position the router in an area of the house that has the strongest mobile signal. The router then shares this data establishing a local WiFi connection; pupils connect their tablet to the WiFi and they’re online.

Pre-paid Data SIM, from Three

Huawei and the North West – In October 2019, Huawei opened a new office in Greater Manchester at the flourishing MediaCityUK complex. The office houses several of Huawei’s key business operations such as customer account teams and it serves as an operational base for the company as Huawei develops its business in the Northern Powerhouse.

About Huawei

Huawei is a leading global provider of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure and smart devices. With integrated solutions across four key domains—telecom networks, IT, smart devices, and cloud services—we are committed to bringing digital to every person, home and organization for a fully connected, intelligent world.

Huawei's end-to-end portfolio of products, solutions, and services are both competitive and secure. Through open collaboration with ecosystem partners, we create lasting value for our customers, working to empower people, enrich home life, and inspire innovation in organizations of all shapes and sizes.

At Huawei, innovation focuses on customer needs. We invest heavily in basic research, concentrating on technological breakthroughs that drive the world forward. We have more than 188,000 employees, and we operate in more than 170 countries and regions. Founded in 1987, Huawei is a private company fully owned by its employees.


EU Reporter partners with the British School of Brussels for student Journalism Award




EU Reporter has just announced the results of the first edition of a new, annual Young Journalism Award in collaboration with the British School of Brussels. As a former pupil at the school, it has been a great pleasure to keep the connection going and offer the current students in years 11-13 (ages 16-18) an opportunity to practice their writing skills and make an addition to their CV’s as many look towards applying for university. The competition involved writing a short essay of up to 1,000 words, responding to a set question. The question is left quite open to allow plenty of room for the students to get creative and approach it from their own unique perspectives, writes Tori Macdonald.

The entries were to be judged by members of the EU Reporter team: Senior journalist Catherine Feore; Editor-in-chief, Colin Stevens; and myself, Development Executive Tori Macdonald.

For the first edition, we began with quite a generic yet complex enquiry for the students, posing, “What being at an international school means to me” as the task for completion.

I was sure that the subjective nature of this question would bring in a variety of interpretations and as a lifelong expatriate myself, I was looking forward to seeing how each applicant’s stories compared to my own; everyone ultimately sharing this unique type of schooling experience.

Much to our delight, we received an impressive number of entries, each piece filled with enthusiasm, personality and an array of well-developed points, justifying their individual experiences as international students. A truly wonderful response for the first edition of this competition.

As one of the judges, I was astounded by the standard of language and essay structuring skills of the students, making my job very difficult indeed! I was sure that I hadn’t even been aware of some of the vocabulary used when I was their age!

However, there could only be three finalists and ultimately, one winner.

The individuals who made the top 3 positions were chosen following immaculate spelling and grammar; clear and concise essay structuring; balanced arguments, and above all, the most unique perspectives on the situation as there were a couple of highly common reoccurring themes.

Segments from the entries of the winner, second place and runner up are as follows, click on their names to view the full articles.

WINNER - Grace Roberts:

What made Grace the winner was her beautiful storytelling, truly tugging on the heartstrings of each of the judges. Furthermore, exceptional literary skills, wonderful incorporation of an analogy and rhetorical question, and all the while, a well evaluated and balanced set of reasons.

“I could be who I wanted to be without anyone knowing me prior to arriving. I could wear what I wanted; I could do my hair the way I wanted. I could be me. Of course, there were the few judgements from people as there always will be, but it was okay because I was happy and fine being me. I found a stable support system: friends who cared for me, teachers who gave me help when I needed it, a school system that strived itself on kindness and positivity.”

 Read full entry

 HIGHLY COMMENDED - Maxime Tanghe:

Maxime displayed a very impressive variety of vocabulary, starting off with a very strong introduction. He developed a wonderful focus around mindset and made intelligent critiques. Maxime also made a nice use of quotes to add depth to his points.

“The word “international” portrays to me a harmonization in beliefs and cultures. It requires a significant amount of respect and ethicality, which should be at the utmost importance for our modernizing society. Being a student at an international school has radically changed my perspective on not only myself and my perception of humanity, but it has also directly affected the way I value and treat others.”

 Read full entry

 FINALIST – Adam Pickard:

Adam also incorporated an advanced use of vocabulary along with well-developed explanations and sentence structuring. His interesting conclusions created a very unique angle on the situation which was refreshing as a contrast against the majority of highly positive articles.

“But in the bizarre multi-ethnic landscape of the international school, out of your natural environment, sharing a nationality with any given student was uncommon at most. With so many people from so many different places, one tended to look for those with a shared experience, for a topic of conversation if for nothing else.”

 Read full entry

A big congratulations to Grace, Maxime and Adam on their exceptional pieces and compliments to all the students that entered. An absolutely outstanding level of journalism amongst these young students, and no doubt very impressive futures ahead of each one of them.

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Scottish government comment on efforts to stay in Erasmus

EU Reporter Correspondent



Minsters have welcomed the support of around 150 MEPs who have asked the European Commission to explore how Scotland could continue to take part in the popular Erasmus exchange programme. The move comes a week after Further and Higher Education Minister Richard Lochhead held productive talks with Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Commissioner Mariya Gabriel to explore the idea. Until last year, over 2,000 Scottish students, staff and learners took part in the scheme annually, with Scotland attracting proportionally more Erasmus participants from across Europe - and sending more in the other direction - than any other country in the UK.

Lochhead said: “Losing Erasmus is huge blow for the thousands of Scottish students, community groups and adult learners - from all demographic backgrounds - who can no longer live, study or work in Europe.“It also closes the door for people to come to Scotland on Erasmus to experience our country and culture and it is heartening to see that loss of opportunity recognised by the 145 MEPs from across Europe who want Scotland’s place in Erasmus to continue. I am grateful to Terry Reintke and other MEPs for their efforts and thank them for extending the hand of friendship and solidarity to Scotland’s young people. I sincerely hope we can succeed.

“I have already had a virtual meeting with Commissioner Gabriel. We agreed that withdrawing from Erasmus is highly regrettable and we will continue to explore with the EU how to maximize Scotland’s continued engagement with the programme. I have also spoken with my Welsh Government counterpart and agreed to keep in close contact.”

Click here for more information.

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Digital economy

Commission sets up a Centre for digital preservation of cultural heritage and launches projects supporting digital innovation in schools

EU Reporter Correspondent



On 4 January, the Commission launched a European competence centre aiming to preserve and conserve European Cultural Heritage. The centre, which will work for a period of three years, has been granted up to €3 million from the Horizon 2020 programme. It will set up a collaborative digital space for cultural heritage conservation and give access to repositories of data, metadata, standards and guidelines. Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare in Italy co-ordinates the team of 19 beneficiaries that are coming from 11 EU member states, Switzerland and Moldova.

The Commission has also launched two projects to support digital education, worth up to €1 million each, through Horizon 2020. The first project, MenSI, focuses on mentoring for school improvement and will run until February 2023. MenSI aims to mobilise 120 schools in six member states (Belgium, Czechia, Croatia, Italy, Hungary, Portugal) and the United Kingdom to advance digital innovation, in particular in small or rural schools and for socially disadvantaged students. The second project, iHub4Schools, will run until June 2023 and will accelerate digital innovation in schools thanks to the creation of regional innovation hubs and a mentoring model. 600 teachers in 75 schools will participate and the hubs will be established in 5 countries (Estonia, Lithuania, Finland, United Kingdom, Georgia). Italy and Norway will also benefit from the mentoring scheme. More information about the newly launched projects is available here.

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