Kortext, the UK’s leading digital textbook and learning platform and Jisc 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-19 regulations and most universities providing blended learning solutions, the ability for students to easily access core e-textbooks 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 e-textbooks 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 three-year agreement, Jisc and Kortext will work together with the sector and publishers to better understand student engagement, learning patterns and behaviours, return on investment, to shape the offer for future years to support the student experience.
This new agreement follows the hugely successful free student e-textbook 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 the 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 Miloy, 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 e-textbooks 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 eucation 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.”
Universities wishing to participate or understand more can find out more, including contact details, on the Jisc partnership page of the Kortext website.