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81 per cent of students want textbooks included in tuition fees

Thursday 27 September 2012 NUS News

NUS and CourseSmart study finds 81 per cent of UK university students would like to see textbooks as part of fees.

NUS and CourseSmart study finds 81 per cent of UK university students would like to see textbooks as part of fees.

A study released by CourseSmart, the world’s largest provider of eTextbooks and digital course materials, and NUS, indicated 81 per cent of UK students felt that universities should be offering textbooks free, as part of their fees.

The study surveyed 1,652 UK students on university expectations, digital use, and online course material, during August 2012. 

In the context of increased tuition fees, there is a need for institutions to listen to students to build courses that meet the needs of today’s students. Rachel Wenstone, NUS vice president higher education said:

“We need to change how courses are taught to meet the needs of the 21st century student. Technology provides a good, accessible way of learning. This must be balanced with the need for high-quality course content and traditional delivery in order to provide a high-quality student learning experience.”

Online devices (laptops, computers, smartphones etc) and education appear increasingly linked in today’s university environment, the study revealed. For 63 per cent of students, online devices were reported as helping them learn better. 77 per cent of students said they predominantly use their online device for academic purposes. 95 per cent use their devices for at least some course-related reading.

For institutions, these numbers are significant, particularly when one considers just how ‘plugged in’ students now are. 99 per cent of surveyed students reported owning at least one online device. A third used tablet eBook readers. These numbers are set to expand, with 60 per cent planning to buy a device in the next 12 months.