Kortext, the leading student learning content and engagement platform, has partnered with Jisc, the UK’s digital body for education and research, to provide 10,000 free ebooks and academic publications to all further education (FE) and sixth form colleges across the UK.

In a 12-month pilot scheme, the Kortext Open Resources Collection – a curated collection of Open Access (OA) books and Open Educational Resources (OERs) – will be available to all Jisc FE member institutions. This means that the UK’s 1.7 million FE students will have free and fair access to these resources which support a broad range of subjects from arts, business, and environment all the way through to information technology and English literature.

James Gray, CEO Kortext says: “We are proud to be leading the access and affordability agenda, and this arrangement will positively impact all students in further education across the UK – nearly half of the total post-18 education students. In total, three-quarters of the UK’s students in further and higher education can now access learning materials on the Kortext platform.

“For too long there has been an uneven playing field when it comes to equitable access to resources for further education. With Jisc and Kortext joining forces, students will have free and easy access to important resources at the point of study, helping them develop their critical minds in preparation for higher education or employment. The more these resources are adopted by academics, the less students have to worry about paying for course content, which we hope will make a big difference to some of these young people’s lives.

“The materials are available now for colleges to integrate into their resource lists, enabling students to access them anytime, anywhere on any mobile, tablet or laptop.”

Liam Earney, executive director, digital resources at Jisc, said: “Jisc has pledged to help students and teachers across UK higher and further education to gain access to affordable e-books, e-textbooks and related teaching content. This pilot represents a first step to moving towards a more equitable and affordable market for learning content and provides us with an opportunity to monitor how this broad range of content is received and used by both staff and students and help us identify areas for growth.
“Maximising on freely available content can be challenging, bringing it together into subject collections and with the capabilities of the Kortext platform, students and educators will easily be able to find content of relevance to their courses and understand its use.”
“We will continue work with Kortext to ensure the offer evolves – responding to sector need and member feedback as we look at next steps.”
To find out more about the Kortext Open Resources Collection, visit: https://www.kortext.com/jisc-fe-kortext-open-resources-collection/
To register for access to the Kortext Open Resources Collection, visit the Jisc website: https://subscriptionsmanager.jisc.ac.uk/catalogue/2710

More Information

About Kortext

Kortext is the market leading study platform for students, providing a gateway to millions of online learning resources. In just eight years, it has become the UK’s number 1 student learning content and engagement platform, providing eTextbooks and other essential learning materials to students and academics. Kortext is used by universities and colleges to deliver course texts to students around an aggregated, single

bookshelf. The platform is powering universities’ ability to deliver connected, world-class online learning environments. Through Kortext, universities across the world are now providing an enhanced study experience and equipping students with digital resources for their courses from day one, ensuring equality of access and opportunity, leaving no student behind. https://www.kortext.com/ About Jisc Jisc’s vision is for the UK to be a world leader in technology for education and research. It owns and operates the super-fast national research and education network, Janet, with built-in cyber security protection. Jisc also provides technology solutions for 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. https://www.jisc.ac.uk FAQs What is the Kortext Open Resources Collection? The Kortext Open Resources Collection – in association with Jisc – is a curated selection of over 10,000 academic eTextbooks and learning resources and is free of charge for FE and HE students in the UK. When does the Kortext Open Resources Collection launch? January 2021. Who can access the Kortext Open Resources Collection? The collection is available free of charge for all of the UK’s 1.7m further education students through their colleges.

How do students access the Kortext Open Resources Collection?

The collection can be accessed through the college library and / or through their Virtual Learning Environment on the Kortext platform via smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop, and can be viewed anywhere, anytime. What titles are in the Kortext Open Resources Collection? The full list of titles includes content from Taylor & Francis, Routledge, Springer Nature, Libre Texts, Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press and other leading university academic publishers from around the world. Why is this a good thing for FE students and institutions? FE funding is very limited compared to school and HE funding, and nearly one in five FE students have economic circumstances that limit their ability to buy required books. By providing free, open access to this academic content, academics can incorporate these materials into their courses to better support their students. Providing more than 10,000 academic eTextbooks free of charge for all of the UK’s 1.7m FE students will ensure equal access to their learning materials. Likewise, the free of charge use of Kortext’s engagement analytics will help FE institutions better support their students’ personal needs. What does this mean for Kortext? Since its launch in 2013, Kortext has become the most established digital textbook and engagement platform for Higher Education learning – and is used by over 1.3m students, across more than 120 universities in the UK. However, until now, Kortext has never been available to Further Education. Now, the Kortext platform and engagement analytics services are available for all 1.7m students and academics studying and teaching across all the UK’s Further Education and Sixth Form Colleges for the very first time.

Is this the first time Kortext has given away books for free to students?

No. In March 2020, when universities had to close their libraries due to Covid-19, and students had no access to their physical libraries, Kortext acted swiftly and worked with Jisc to launch the nationwide Free Student eTextbook Programme (FSTP) to ensure all 2.4m HE students – and 217,000 academic staff – could continue their teaching and learning from home.