19 Mar 20

Free Student eTextbook Programme (FSTP)

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 beworking 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 content providers to support students, teachers and researchers 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. Initiatives like this from Kortext will help ensure students can access critical textbook content. We are continuing to encourage and work with all content and software providers to maximise access and help our member universities prepare for campus closures” Paul Feldman, CEO of Jisc commented.

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.

Any interested Higher Education Institution can contact Kortext at ( support@kortext.com) or visit the Jisc website for further details ( www.jisc.ac.uk/coronavirus ). 

Download the pdf to read the full press release