What is being done to solve the 'University textbooks are too expensive' problem?

The textbooks and reference books used in college classes are much higher than those used in high schools, and some people may have bought them from seniors or bought them at used bookstores to save money. There are

reports that university textbooks are not only expensive in Japan, but also in the United States between 2018 and 2019, where university students spend an average of $ 415 (approximately 46,400 yen) on teaching materials. Amy Freeman, librarian at the University of South Carolina , explains why college textbooks are so expensive.

Why do college textbooks cost so much? 7 questions answered

Freeman argues that university textbooks are so expensive that 'the university textbook industry has little competition.' Only five companies have an 80% share of the US textbook market, of which Cengage Learning and McGraw-Hill Education have announced that they will be merging in 2020.

Students are given the teaching materials to purchase from their professors and instructors, and cannot choose their own textbooks, so the rising costs of teaching materials are a huge burden on students. A study conducted at a public university in Florida (PDF file) in 2018 showed that 64.2% of students did not buy the required textbooks and 42.8% took courses because the textbooks were too expensive Was reduced. In addition, 35.6% answered that their textbooks were too high and their grades dropped, and 22.9% said that their textbooks were too high and dropped their credits.

In recent years, e-books have appeared, and textbooks and reference books can be arranged using data instead of paper. In order to address the problem of soaring costs of teaching materials, some publishers have access to the textbooks of certain publishers at any time by using the semester or yearly subscription service provided for universities by the publisher. It is said that it has been adopted by universities. However, it is up to the professor or instructor to determine if the required textbooks belong to the registered publisher, so textbook subscription services do not necessarily cut costs.

It has been pointed out for many years that too high a cost of teaching materials has hindered student learning, and there is also a university called Open Educational Resources (OER), an open source initiative that makes textbooks available to anyone for free. increasing. According to a

study published in 2019, students around the world can save a total of $ 1 billion (about 110 billion yen) by using OER, and students studying using general textbooks It is said that the results are equal to or better than.

However, university textbooks are expensive because there is a cost to improve the quality of assignments and materials attached to the textbooks. Although OER textbooks can be used almost free of charge, the disadvantage is that the quality of tasks and materials is lower than that of general textbooks. Although up the utilization of OER textbooks, from the part of the faculty of 'OER textbooks are really quality is low' opinion you out also.

Still, Freeman says one of the benefits of OER textbooks is that they can 'print or copy materials freely.' Because e-book textbooks are difficult to copy and print due to licensing issues, OER textbooks that can be printed as much as you want are useful for students who are new to e-books.

According to Freeman, 'If you can borrow textbooks from a university library, you can save money. There are other online textbook rental and pre-sale services. Students can buy textbooks and reference books. It is important to create opportunities for students to cut costs, such as OER and libraries, because giving up can negatively affect their performance. '

in Note, Posted by log1i_yk