Kortext, the UK’s leading digital textbook and learning platform and Jisc, the UK higher education, not for profit and services partner, have signed a sector-wide agreement enabling universities to deliver affordable digital textbooks for their students. With university students shortly to start the new academic year but university library access restricted to meet Covid regulations and most universities providing blended learning solutions, the ability for students to easily access core eTextbooks has never been more acute.
Kortext has worked with all the major academic publishers and Jisc to ensure that students have the best opportunity to access eTextbooks for their studies both online and offline, anywhere, anytime and on any device. The agreement enables universities to deliver their students with access to all the eTextbooks they need, from thousands of publishers, covering over one million titles.
Throughout the period of the 3-year agreement, Jisc and Kortext will work together with the sector and publishers to better understand student engagement, learning patterns, behaviours and return on investment, in order to shape the offer for future years to support the student experience.
This new agreement follows the hugely successful Free Student eTextbook Programme that Kortext and Jisc launched in March 2020. In response to the pandemic, 150 UK and Irish universities participated to provide their students with access to textbooks for the remainder of their studies during the last academic year. Subsequently, a significant number of UK and Irish universities are already working with Kortext through Jisc, with many looking to provide all core textbooks needs and to deliver the high quality online learning environment that students crave.
Caren Milloy, Director of Licensing at Jisc, says: “This agreement is not just about ensuring that universities can support a valuable student experience through the provision of critical e-textbook content, it reflects a real step change for the sector. For the first time, UK universities have worked together to coordinate their expenditure on eTextbooks through their university libraries, leveraging that collective spend from across the UK to pilot new models seeking to make more textbooks available, to more students on a more sustainable financial basis. We are looking forward to working with students, universities, publishers and Kortext to define the future provision of affordable and sustainable course content and establish its role in student retention, progression and outcomes.”
Ellen Wilson, Vice President Higher Education Services at Pearson, added: “We have been working with Jisc and with Kortext on creating long term sustainable models for universities to be able to provide access to digital textbooks for their students as universities increasingly want to better personalise the student experience and provide valuable learning analytics data back to academics to better support student progression and success”.
Matthew Lawson, Director of Libraries at Middlesex University added: “We have been using Kortext for a number of years, and through our partnership with them, we have seen a significant improvement in student engagement and progression. In addition, the value to students of having their own digital copy of their textbooks available anytime, anywhere and connected to their fellow students and their academics has been a strong driver in outcomes in student experience and satisfaction, reflected in a 20% improvement in National Student Survey Scores since we began the scheme.”
James Gray, CEO of Kortext commented: “We are immensely proud to be working with the entire sector to create solutions that have a broad reach and support students in their studies and academics as they engage students through collaborative conversations around course content. Ultimately, this partnership could see a fundamental change in how textbook access for students is delivered by their university with the aim of enhancing the student learning experience and improving outcomes.”
For universities wishing to participate or understand more please contact either Jisc or Kortext here.
Kortext is the UK’s leading supplier of eTextbook and learning content solutions for universities around the world. We are used in over 80 countries and run all key eTextbook projects across the UK, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Our success comes from a focus on our cutting edge, cloud architect content and learning platform, our dedicated people, the passion we exhibit and the lasting partnerships that we develop.
Jisc’s vision is for the UK to be the most digitally advanced education and research nation in the world. At its heart is the super-fast national research and education network, Janet, with built-in cybersecurity protection. Jisc also provides technology solutions for its members (colleges, universities and research centres) and customers (public sector bodies), helping members save time and money by negotiating sector-wide deals and provides advice and practical assistance on digital technology. Jisc is funded by the UK higher and further education and research funding bodies and member institutions.