9 in 10 education leaders say new printing tech is vital to student success

A study by print company Ricoh has shown that new printing technologies are an integral part of the higher education experience

Higher education leaders in Europe have stated that new printing technologies play a key role in syllabuses across the continent, according to research by Ricoh.

In the new study, 88% say that new skills learnt through the use of these technologies – such as digital fabrication and 3D printing – are vital to educational success and preparing students for the graduate job market.

David Mills, CEO of Ricoh Europe, said:

“Digital fabrication and 3D printing provide the ability to illustrate complex concepts across a variety of subjects. As the way people and machines work together continues to evolve, integrating technical abilities into the learning process helps ensure the skills required of the future workforce become second nature for today’s students.”

These particular skills are crucial for prototyping concepts and designs in textiles, medicine, automotive and engineering sectors, among others. 65% of those surveyed say 3D printing is an increasingly important component of STEM-based learning.

84% of educational facilities have already invested or are planning to invest in what are known as ‘maker education’ practices – printing technologies that enable students to construct and personalise objects to support their learning – over the next two years.

66% of respondents say investing in new printing technology is a key way to attract new students and improve student satisfaction with their institution and course.

Mills added:

“Rising tuition fees across much of Europe have had a fundamental impact on the role of educational institutions. Encouraged to act more like ‘service providers’, universities and colleges must continually raise the bar in both student satisfaction and accessibility.

“Responding to this by using print in new ways to offer increasingly diverse courses and tailored syllabus content is fast becoming essential.”

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