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UEL freshers, claim your free Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 tablet now

Samsung has this morning announced that it will be providing around 4,000 University of East London (UEL) freshers with brand new tablets and eBooks - totally free of charge.

Crucially, the devices in question - the Galaxy Note 8.0 - will come pre-loaded with "core" e-textbooks and links to the university's digital library resources, so these won't just come as flashy new reasons to procrastinate.

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Samsung says that the new initiative will "ensure students get the most out of their time at university by making their learning more enjoyable and productive." The South Korean powerhouse has partnered with UEL, JS Group and digital textbook provider Kortext on the scheme.

"The University of East London places a strong emphasis on helping students to get the most out of the time that they spend with us," said Professor John Joughin, UEL's vice-chancellor. "We are delighted to be putting support directly in the hands of our students and providing them with a state-of-the-art learning platform for the duration of their studies."

He believes that the distribution of the free tablets will "level the playing field" for students.

"At Samsung we passionately believe that technology has a significant role to play in opening doors for the leaders of tomorrow, equipping them with the skills necessary to meet the needs of the ever evolving economy," added Graham Long, the vice president of Samsung UK and Ireland's enterprise business team. "This is a great example of a higher education establishment embracing digital trends and we hope many others will follow."

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The tablets, along with the eBook package, are being provided to first-year students as part of UEL's Progress Bursary programme, which the university has reportedly invested around £2 million into.

While this could help cut out those irritatingly frequent trips to the library and might indeed successfully address the so-called "digital skills gap", hopefully this isn't the beginning of the end for physical books.

Aatif is a freelance copywriter and journalist based in the UK. He’s written about technology, science and politics for publications including Gizmodo, The Independent, Trusted Reviews, Newsweek, and ITProPortal.