Kortex and Jisc to ensure UK learning resources access

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Kortext, the UK digital textbook platform, in conjunction with Jisc, the UK’s not for profit education and research services provider, is launching a nationwide programme to ensure all 2.4m university students and 217K academic staff have access to key learning resources.

Kortext has partnered with the leading textbook publishers, Pearson, Wiley, Cengage, Palgrave Macmillan and others to facilitate this sector-wide support for students during a period of campus closures and the shifting to online delivery of teaching and learning.

The aim is to roll this programme out across the entire UK HE sector within the next four weeks; Kortext and Jisc will be working all UK universities to facilitate this.

The programme provides each student with free digital copies of their core textbook titles covering all subjects and courses across the UK. Students are then equipped to continue to study anywhere, both online and offline, and they can connect with each other and use the content.

'We’re conscious that the sector is under maximum strain right now as they work to find solutions to support students while 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 a completely student free 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,' said Paul Feldman, CEO of Jisc. '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.'

The programme partners helping to bring this together include Microsoft, which is delivering infrastructure, Kortext who are providing their platform free of charge and the key academic publishers that include; Pearson Education, 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 for academic services at Cambridge University Libraries.