THE NATIONAL Union of Students welcomed the idea of a computer for every student, but said it was "exasperated and outraged" that students should have to pay for them.
"Every student should have access to a computer," a spokeswoman said.
"But to suggest students pay is like another top-up fee. We don't see it as the responsibility of students to provide all the books in the library, it is similarly not their responsibility to buy computers to complete their course."
Steve Molyneux, IBM professor of interactive communication technologies at Wolverhampton University, said he thought it realistic that by 2005 every student would have access to a computer.
"If we look at what has happened over the past 13 years, a machine costing Pounds 500 in 2005 will be perfectly capable of being used for educational value. This technology is the only way forward," he said.