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Partnership to aid SA higher education digital-first transition

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 05 Mar 2024
Poppy Tshabalala, managing executive of public enterprise sales for Vodacom Business.
Poppy Tshabalala, managing executive of public enterprise sales for Vodacom Business.

Vodacom Business and Kortext have partnered to provide digital learning material – including textbooks and videos – to higher education institutions in South Africa.

Global educational firm Kortext provides digital learning and student engagement software for higher education.

According to a statement, the parties reached the partnership agreement conceptualised and led by Vodafone Business Ventures, the social enterprise of Vodafone Business.

Starting in SA, they will work together to deliver a digital learning experience for students, whether on- or off-campus, in groups or working independently, it states.  

The Kortext student content and engagement platform features five million e-textbooks and educational videos sourced from global publishers. Deployed at 6 000 universities worldwide, the platform incorporates advanced generative artificial intelligence (AI) study tools in its ‘Premium’ product.

Furthermore, Kortext's predictive learner analytics product, ‘StREAM’, offers insights into student engagement to academic tutors and student support teams, facilitating informed interventions that actively curb withdrawals and elevate overall outcomes.

James Gray, CEO and founder of Kortext, says: “We are truly excited to be leading the higher education sector as it transitions to digital-first education. In partnership with Vodacom, we can deliver an unrivalled student experience combining content, study tools, device, data and connectivity.

“The advent of generative AI will simply make this more compelling, underpinned by the recently launched Kortext Premium study tools that leverage generative AI to support and enhance student engagement and learning, delivering on the desire for students and educators to explore AI through institutional-aligned tools.” 

Vodacom has committed to digitise education in SA, working with institutions to deliver student connectivity on- and off-campus.

The mobile operator’s Connected Education (ConnectED) platform provides training for educators and learners, with access to enterprise grade IT support.

Poppy Tshabalala, managing executive of public enterprise sales in SA for Vodacom Business, comments: “This agreement with Kortext will help us to build on the successes of our ConnectED programme, to bring education via mobile devices and networks to universities, students and gig economy workers looking to progress their careers. This will also help to close the attainment gap between students of all backgrounds.”   

Amit Chakrabarti, head of ventures at Vodafone, concludes: “Education is an important vertical market for Vodafone and Vodacom. Working with Kortext, we can now provide an end-to-end service for educational customers and their students spanning connectivity, hardware, software and content.”