Rice University-based nonprofit OpenStax, which already provides free, high-quality, open textbooks to nearly 1.5 million college students per year, is partnering with Open University’s U.K. Open Textbook initiative to bring OpenStax’s textbooks to the United Kingdom.
The yearlong project is funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation as part of its commitment to supporting learning resources that students can download, edit and share. The work is part of an ongoing OpenStax initiative to make its open-textbook model available to students around the globe.
OpenStax’s open textbook initiative is expected to save U.S. students more than $145 million in the 2017-2018 academic year, and the publisher is hopeful that its approach can have a similar impact on U.K. students.
A 2012 survey by the U.K.’s National Union of Students and the California-based publisher CourseSmart reported that 81 percent of U.K. students thought textbooks should be provided free by their institution; a 2017 survey by Save the Student, the U.K.’s largest student finance website, found that U.K. students spend an average of about $506 per year on textbooks.
(Next page: Important steps to ensure U.K. students can take full advantage of the open textbook initiative)