University to provide enhanced e-learning across campus

Tuesday 18 October 2011

A new hi-tech system is being introduced at the University of Surrey to enable students to learn on computers and mobile devices via a more personalised platform.

The system will allow students to work virtually with others on their courses through group work, discussions and blogs, but also allows lecturers to set coursework and interact virtually with students through more innovative approaches putting all course information and interaction in one place, creating a robust learning platform.

The new Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), replacing and vastly improving the current system with the latest technology, will mean thousands of students can learn through a flexible and innovative computer system that provides them with more choice.

It’s called the ‘Desire2Learn® Learning Environment’ and is a result of a six year partnership between the University and the information technology firm Desire2Learn UK Ltd., a member of the Desire2Learn family of companies. It will be set up from this month (October 2011) and is due to go-live in August 2012 for the 2012/2013 academic year.

Professor Christopher Snowden, Vice Chancellor of the University of Surrey, said: “This is an exciting innovation for the students and the University to let everyone use the latest technology to further their studies and enjoyment of learning. The system enables us to enhance the teaching and learning process and provides us the flexibility to allow students to learn in personalised ways.” 

The University currently has 17,900 students registered in undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. All four faculties will be involved – Faculty of Arts and Human Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Faculty of Business, Economics and Law, and the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences. The implementation will also involve a number of other areas, including Library and Learning Support, Registry, IT Services, the Centre for Education and Academic Development and the Students’ Union.

The University’s main campus is in Guildford, Surrey, U.K. The University has global partnerships that exist with other universities in various countries around the world and an international partnership with the Dongbei University of Finance and Economics, Dalian, China. “We’re very pleased to be partnering with the University of Surrey which is well-known for its visionary approach to teaching and learning,” states John Baker, Director, Desire2Learn UK Ltd. He added: “The pioneering efforts of Surrey, in both technical offerings and teaching methods, are an excellent complement to our own beliefs that learning technologies should extend learning opportunities for all.”

Notes to Editors

About the University of Surrey

The University of Surrey is one of the UK’s leading professional, scientific and technological universities with a world class research profile and a reputation for excellence in teaching and research. Ground-breaking research at the University is bringing direct benefit to all spheres of life – helping industry to maintain its competitive edge and creating improvements in the areas of health, medicine, space science, the environment, communications, defence and social policy. Programmes in science and technology have gained widespread recognition and it also boasts flourishing programmes in dance and music, social sciences, management and languages and law. In addition to the campus on 150 hectares just outside Guildford, Surrey, the University also owns and runs the Surrey Research Park, which provides facilities for 140 companies employing 2,700 staff.

The Sunday Times names Surrey as ‘The University for Jobs' which underlines the university’s growing reputation for providing high quality, relevant degrees.
Surrey is a member of the 1994 Group of 19 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.   

Contact: Howard Wheeler, Media Relations Officer, Tel: 01483 686141

About Desire2Learn UK Ltd

Desire2Learn UK Ltd. Is a subsidiary of Desire2Learn Incorporated (“Desire2Learn”), a world-leading provider of enterprise eLearning solutions that enable institutions and other organizations to create teaching and learning environments that reflect their vision, goals, and branding. Desire2Learn and its subsidiaries support more than six million learners worldwide. Clients include higher education, K-12, and healthcare as well as associations, government and other leading organizations. Founded in 1999, Desire2Learn has personnel in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia. For more information, visit:, call 1.519.772.0325 or toll-free 1.888.772.0325 (within North America), +44 808.234.4235 (U.K. and Europe), 0.800.452.069 (New Zealand) and 1.800.656.210 (Australia).

John McLeod
Sr. Director of Marketing & Alliances
Desire2Learn Incorporated
519.772.0325 ext. 378

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