The Arab Academy for Science, Technology & Maritime Transportation (AASTMT) is a regional university established in Egypt in 1972, operating under the Arab League.
The university has headquarters in Alexandria and well-equipped campuses in Cairo, Port Said, South Valley and El Alamein in addition to two campuses in Lattakia and Sharjah.
AASTMT has a population of around 25,000 students in 13 colleges offering programmes in engineering, artificial intelligence, pharmacy, dentistry, management sciences, law, logistics, computer science, media and languages.
With 9 post-graduate institutes and 16 research centres, in addition to many affiliations to and international accreditations, AASTMT has not only established a leading position in the region, but an advanced academic world-wide rank too.
Focused on innovation, The Academy was keen to adopt the “Smart University” concept to engage both its academic and student base. In 2018, this led to discussions with Kortext to explore how the Kortext Platform could:
- Help academics and students get the most from their course content
- Drive student retention, engagement, and progression and employability.
A core objective for AASTMT was to “Go Digital”, starting with their core textbook provision and supporting Egypt’s 2030 vision. This consists of 8 main goals to be met in line with the Sustainable Development Strategy for Africa 2063 and UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); ensuring inclusive, equitable and quality education promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all.
The project had a number of challenges to consider, including students’ connectivity and networking to access the Kortext Platform across 13 colleges and 8 campuses; along with integration into AASTMT’s existing learning ecosystem; The availability of digital textbook titles from old reading lists; and engaging students and academics who were new to digital textbooks.
It is essential that the students completing their studies at AASTMT are fully equipped for the modern workplace. Digital literacy is an essential part of our “Go Digital” strategy and also adds resilience to our business if the students are not able to attend classes physically for any reason. – His Excellency Prof. Dr. Ismail Abdel Ghafar Ismail Farag Academy President.
The Kortext platform was rolled out for students across 456 modules. The two key success factors for the project were set up and access, and engagement.
Set up and access
Kortext implemented one-on-one support working closely with AASTMT to integrate the Kortext Platform with AASTMT Moodle VLE so students could gain instant and direct access to their module content using their existing login credentials.
Students and academics were also given access to download the Kortext app for offline reading. This way, AASTMT’s students had both online and offline access to about 60,000 digital textbooks with synchronised content and notes.
Going digital with the module textbooks was a new concept for both academics and students and, as such, there was a need for training. From the outset, Kortext worked closely with AASTMT’s academics and library staff to train the trainers and to ensure that all students had access to their textbooks immediately.
Over 7,000 students are actively using Kortext each year to study and The Academy has seen significant uplift in student engagement with their digital learning materials on the Kortext Platform year on year. This uplift in engagement is particularly substantial considering use of the Kortext Platform was still in its infancy at AASTMT and this period covered not one but two years impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In total, since implementation in 2018, students at AASTMT have accessed almost 117,000 digital textbooks and have clocked up an impressive 114,000 study sessions.
His Excellency Prof. Dr. Ismail Abdel Ghafar Ismail Farag, President of AASTMT was pleased with Kortext’s approach to the project.
When we met Kortext, they completely took into account our needs both as an institution and the needs of our students. The core content used for teaching is crucial to delivering the courses; eBooks not only deliver easy portability, but also easy anytime, anywhere access. – His Excellency Prof. Dr. Ismail Abdel Ghafar Ismail Farag Academy President.
Commenting on Kortext’s 24/7 support for both The Academy, the academics and the students, he said:
The Kortext team is very reactive and supportive. They know what, when and how to deal with any of the challenges, offering the most suitable solution.
We are proud to be one of the first Egyptian institutions working directly with Kortext. There are clear benefits of partnering with Kortext that align with our ambition to ensure AASTMT remains at the forefront of higher education in the region. This initiative with Kortext will accelerate our ability to scale the very best of digital educational services to our students and academics.
Hussein Elkady, Business Development Director EMEA, Kortext, said:
It has been a pleasure working with a prestigious institution like AASTMT to deliver an eTextbook solution that is helping to bring their academy further into the digital world. In the face of the pandemic, Kortext enabled AASTMT to build their resilience and keep students learning while studying from home.
It has been fantastic to see both students and academics continuing to make the most of the Kortext Platform and its interactive study tools, and we look forward to seeing student engagement grow even further as the platform becomes more ingrained in teaching and learning and we move through the next academic year and beyond.