With the unprecedented impact on Higher Education from the Coronavirus outbreak, Kortext, the UK’s leading digital textbook platform, in conjunction with Jisc, the UK’s not for profit education and research services provider, are launching a nationwide programme to ensure all 2.4m university students and 217k academic staff have free access to their key learning resources during this crucial revision and exam period (the “Free Student eTextbook Programme” or “FSTP”).
Kortext has partnered with the leading textbook publishers, to provide this sector wide support programme for students during this period of potential campus closures. Many universities are shifting lecture delivery online and finding additional methods to support their students remotely, during one of the most important times of the year.
The FSTP aims to support the entire UK higher education sector within the next 3-4 weeks and Kortext will be working with all UK universities to facilitate this.
As the national response to the virus intensifies, many students will lose access to their essential course materials, much of which is currently accessed as print textbook copies through university libraries. The FSTP will provide each student with free digital copies of their core textbook titles covering all subjects and courses across the UK. Students will be equipped to continue to study anywhere, connect with each other and their lecturers through their content and be able to use the content at no cost throughout this crucial time.
“We’re conscious that the HE sector is under maximum strain right now as they work to find solutions to support students as they prepare for their exams. We’re determined to do what we can to help minimise the impact of this virus on student attainment and we are proud to be working with the sector to deliver the FSTP, a completely free to student solution to support them”, said James Gray, CEO and Founder of Kortext.
“The response that we’ve seen from across the sector to support students has been fast, heartfelt and emphatic. We’re all acutely aware of the disruption that the students and universities are experiencing at this most critical period of the academic year.” said Paul Feldman, CEO of Jisc, “We are delighted to help support the FSTP and will be working with our member universities to give access to this content for all students whilst we’re also providing advice and guidance on ‘how to prepare for coronavirus’ campus closures”.
The FSTP is being delivered in partnership between Kortext, who are providing their learning platform free of charge, Jisc, who are helping coordinate the roll out of the programme with all UK universities, Microsoft, who are helping with infrastructure, and the key academic publishers that include Pearson Education, Taylor & Francis, Cengage, SAGE Publishing, Elsevier, Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press and Wolters Kluwer.
“The importance of being able to provide core eTextbooks to our students and teaching staff during such a challenging time cannot be understated. That this access is being offered for free during the Coronavirus outbreak marks incredible generosity and care on the part of the contributing publishers who have chosen to make their content available, and Cambridge University Libraries are extremely grateful to Kortext and Jisc for all their work to make this possible.” added Patricia Killiard, Senior Deputy Director, Academic Services, Cambridge University Libraries.
Kortext Press Contacts:
Press Liaison: Jason Beech:
Tel: 07729 682146
Jisc Press Contacts:
Press Liaison: Faye Holst
Tel: 07503 658968
Kortext is a leading digital textbook and personal study platform that delivers digital content and solutions to students at over 100 UK universities including Anglia Ruskin University, Imperial College London, Middlesex University, The University of Manchester, The University of Surrey, The University of Sussex and UEL as well as international universities across the world. The platform holds 1m eTextbooks from over 2,000 publishers including Pearson Education, McGraw Hill, John Wiley & Sons, Macmillan Education, Sage Publishing, Taylor & Francis, Cengage, Elsevier, Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press and Wolter Kluwer. (www.kortext.com/libraries/)
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 cyber security protection. Jisc also provides technology solutions for its members (colleges, universities and research centres) and customers (public sector bodies), helps 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. (www.jisc.ac.uk/coronavirus)
Related article (www.jisc.ac.uk/news/free-student-etextbook-programme-18-mar-2020)