Kortext, a learning platform and supplier of digital textbooks, in partnership with Jisc, Microsoft and a host of supporting publishers, has offered all 180+ universities in the UK and Ireland free access to critical textbook content (Free Student eTextbook Programme, FSTP).
This move will give the UK and Ireland’s 2.7m Higher Education students, equal access to thousands of textbooks covering tens of thousands of modules of study, ensuring all students can continue their studies over the coming months.
The FSTP will especially benefit the country’s growing number of underprivileged students, who rely heavily upon library resources.
2019 saw the highest number of young people from the most disadvantaged backgrounds across the UK confirm a place at a university or college – accounting for, for the first time, more than a fifth of all places.
Microsoft will support the initiative through tis Azure cloud platform.
Its Vice President for Education, Anthony Salcito comments: “At this time of campus closures due to the Covid 19 pandemic, the most disadvantaged students are the ones that suffer the most from being unable to access their University library.
“As such, moving key learning content online through Kortext and supporting an entire sector in this way is directly aligned to Microsoft’s Vision of empowering every student on the planet to achieve more.”
James Gray, CEO and Founder of Kortext adds: “The scale of the FSTP is truly ground-breaking. Only by pulling together as a sector has the programme been made possible and ensured we are able to support all UK students with an unprecedented amount of content on a single, customisable digital bookshelf for free, thus ensuring they can continue to study at this crucial time of year.”
Amongst the first universities to go live with campus wide access to eTextbooks have been the Universities of Liverpool and Manchester.