News - March 8, 2007

Free textbooks at WSO

Students can now download textbooks for free from the WSO website. This follows on from the student union's second-hand bookshop, in a move to keep down the costs of studying.

The books available are basic texts for subjects such as statistics, chemistry, economics and mathematics. ‘We hope to extend the selection with more specialised books for specific studies, but at present it’s based on compulsory reading,’ says Nynke van der Laan of the WSO. The books have been compiled by professors and lecturers, and some of them are in English.
The idea of ‘FreE-Learning’ comes from Denmark and has been adopted by the Dutch publishers Studentensupport. The WSO is the first student union in the Netherlands to make books freely available to everyone at universities and polytechnics. On the site you have to ignore lots of ads in and around the text. But the ads plus no printing costs mean that the books can be offered free of charge. ‘We offer books for free to students to help them, so they have to put up with the ads,’ said Van der Laan.