The Arab world is a major focus for CourseSmart in 2014, the company has said, as it struck a deal this week to supply the Middle East and Africa regions.
The digital textbook provider has partnered with academic service provider Naseej—which has offices in Dubai, Egypt, Kuwait and Morocco, among others—as an “on the ground” representative to supply government-run universities with academic textbooks.
M.d. Fionnuala Duggan told The Bookseller that many academic publishers were concentrating on the Arab market. “English Language Teaching texts are popular and some institutions see intakes of 50,000–60,000 students,” she said, adding: “Our strategy going forward is to work with partners on the ground in international areas.”
Academic publishing consultant Graham Taylor of The Long Game said: “The best new opportunities seem to be in the Arab world at the moment. I think these institutions are more prone to adopt ’top down’ solutions than elsewhere. They have problems acquiring all the printed textbooks they need because of price and supply-chain issues, and they will accept off-the-shelf solutions with good back-up and customer service provided by publishers and technology partners.”
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