To What Extent can ‘Bring Your Own Device’ be an Enabler to Widening Participation in Higher Education for the Socially Disadvantaged?


  • Michael Bass Sheffield Hallam University
  • Siavosh Haghighi Movahed Sheffield Hallam University



BYOD, Higher Education, Personalised Learning, Socially Disadvantaged


Certain elements of higher education are historically regarded as being elitist and steeped in so much history and tradition that many institutions are unwilling to change to cater for the populations that they serve. Despite reams of government legislation and continued pressure from social groups the proportion of university students from socially disadvantaged backgrounds remains stubbornly low. This research aims to look beyond the financial and psychological support given to these groups and instead see what can be done to overcome the barriers to learning they face by utilising a Bring Your Own Device strategy. This research has focused on socially disadvantaged individuals from the UK and the findings have led to the conclusion that BYOD can be an enabler to widening participation. However, it is not an overarching solution for all and there is a distinct need for the technology to be properly integrated into teaching activities as some academic staff remain resolute to delivering in the traditional lecture format that does not facilitate engagement or interaction.

Author Biographies

Michael Bass, Sheffield Hallam University

Michael Bass is a lecturer in business systems and data analytics at Sheffield Hallam University. He runs his own successful consultancy service for new business enterprises and worked for several years in the private healthcare sector across Europe and Asia.

Siavosh Haghighi Movahed, Sheffield Hallam University

Siavosh Haghighi Movahed is a senior lecturer in Computer Networks and the course leader for MSc Advanced Computer Networks at Sheffield Hallam University. Working in industry for more than a decade both as a senior network engineer and a network manager in mission critical networks, has given him the ability to draw on previous experiences to design innovative practical teaching and learning environments. He is extremely passionate about innovative ways of learning and teaching computer networking in higher education.


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