Free Digital Textbooks 2017

Western Sydney University and The College will provide all students enrolled in first-year and Diploma subjects with free digital textbooks for 2017. First year subjects are listed as Level 1 units in the Handbook.

This ground-breaking initiative is one of the world's largest provisions of free textbooks for commencing university students and is exclusive to Western Sydney University.

With the average cost of a text book being $100 per book, our students will receive up to $800 worth of value.

To ensure our students have everything they need to make the most of their studies, this innovative initiative means every student in every first-year subject will have free and simple access to the textbooks, delivering learning benefits individually and collectively to the entire class.

The textbooks will be delivered as digital textbooks, providing access on campus or at home. The textbooks can be read and used on any device.

Rather than carrying bulky textbooks, students will have easy access to fully searchable digital textbooks, which feature the ability to highlight and mark notes on-screen.

For students with a disability the books are completely accessible to screen readers and other support tools.

This program is in direct response to student feedback indicating that covering the cost of purchasing textbooks was one of the biggest financial hurdles when starting university.

The digital textbooks will be easily accessible via the University's learning management system (known as vUWS) in each first-year and Diploma unit across the University and The College.

There are a small number of units that will require printed textbooks, and students in those units will be advised on how and where to collect them.

In addition to the textbooks provided for the units they are enrolled in, students will also have access to view the textbooks from other first year units via a central portal.

Contact

If you have any questions, contact the Library's Information Central (opens in a new window) service:

Email - ic@westernsydney.edu.au
Phone - (02) 9852 5353

Frequently Asked Questions


Why isn't the University offering free devices, such as iPads, anymore?

The University has received feedback from students indicating that covering the costs of purchasing textbooks was one of the key challenges they experienced when commencing their studies. Data indicated that many students already had a tablet style device when commencing university and as a result, providing textbooks would be more useful than tablet devices. Textbooks can cost up to $800 in the first year of study, taking this burden off of students will free up funds for students to purchase their own device.

Why did the University decide to supply students with digital textbooks rather than physical books?

Digital textbooks will provide our students with the flexibility of accessing their textbooks at any time on any device without needing to carry textbooks with them to class or study. With increasing use of portable devices, including laptops and tablets, the University is seeking to use innovative resources that enhance student learning. Most digital textbooks will feature the ability to highlight and mark notes on-screen, making them as practical as physical books. In addition, the initiative will also ensure that all students have access to the textbook in each class, delivering learning benefits to each student individually and collectively to the entire class.

Who is eligible for free digital textbooks?

All students enrolling in first year units will be eligible for the free digital textbooks in 2017. Also, all University Diploma Program students enrolling in the first year units in 2017 will be eligible.

The provision of texts will commence in Autumn session 2017 (commencing February 2017) and include Spring session (commencing in July 2017) and Summer session (commencing in December 2017 and carrying over to January 2018). Unfortunately, units studied in Summer B commencing in January 2017 are not eligible for the provision of the texts.

Who is ineligible for free digital textbooks?

Students not enrolled in first year or Diploma Units in 2017. Units studied in Summer B commencing in January 2017 are not eligible for the provision of the texts.

I deferred my 2016 offer – am I eligible?

If you deferred your 2016 offer and are commencing study this year, you are eligible to receive the free digital textbooks.

Why are postgraduate students not eligible?

The program is a first of its kind and therefore limited to select units offered at the undergraduate level. The university will assess the effectiveness of the initiative with potential expansion in future.

Why are second and third year students not eligible?

When accepting their offer to study at the University, current second and third year students may have had the opportunity to receive a free device. The University has received feedback from students indicating that covering the costs of purchasing textbooks was one of the key challenges.

How will the offer be available to students?

The books will be available via vUWS (Learning Management System) at the start of semester.

When will I receive the digital textbooks?

All textbooks will be available prior to the commencement of session.

Do I get a voucher to buy the digital textbooks, or will the e-books appear automatically in vUWS?

A link to the books will appear within vUWS at the start of semester.

Are there any technical requirements needed to access the digital textbooks?

The books will be available on all devices. Some of the books will require you install a free app to download – this will be clearly marked on the book when accessed.

What if I have trouble accessing my e-books?

If you are experiencing any issues in accessing your digital textbooks, please contact the Library's Information Central service via:

Email - ic@westernsydney.edu.au 
Phone - (02) 9852 5353

I have a disability, how is the University supporting me?

Most digital textbooks will be accessible to screen readers and other tools, which will support students with disabilities. If you require further assistance, please contact the Student Disability Service via disability@westernsydney.edu.au or on 9852 5199.

I commenced studying at the University/The College in 2016 but will be undertaking first year units in 2017, does this offer apply to me?

Yes, all student enrolled in eligible units will have a textbook available to them.

Can I access the digital textbooks after I have completed a unit

The books are only available whilst you are enrolled at the University and in an eligible unit. The Library will provide access to these titles on an ongoing basis.

If I defer my studies or change courses prior to the Census date, do I have to pay back the cost of the textbooks?

No, once you are no longer enrolled in an eligible unit, you will lose access to the title.

Are the textbooks being funded by the Student Services and Amenities Fee?

No, the initiative is not being funded by income from the Student Services and Amenities Fee.

I have another question. Who should I contact?

If you have any questions, please contact the Library's Information Central service via:

Email - ic@westernsydney.edu.au