In an effort to reduce the costs to students, the Hallym University College of International Studies is considering integrating the free textbooks from OpenStax College.
By adopting quality, openly-developed textbooks from OpenStax for just one class, CIS estimates saving students $10,800 (12,700,000 won) over three years while ensuring more students are not potentially subject to copyright infringement.
Textbooks, especially imported English-language textbooks, are very expensive in Korea. Many students cannot afford the cost of such textbooks. The cost combined with a nationally, unofficially accepted disregard of copyright law means that the majority of students illegally copy part, if not whole books. Many professors tend to disregard how a student gets their course materials, just that they must.
OpenStax College textbooks are licensed using a Creative Commons Attribution license (CC-BY 3.0). This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon their works, even commercially, as long as they credit the authors for the original creation.
The College of International Studies at Hallym University is attempting to educate students about the importance of copyright, while at the same time providing free, legal course materials. In the Fall 2015 semester, two College of International Studies general studies courses are piloting current OpenStax College textbooks. If the pilot program is successful, some College of International Studies professors will begin developing free textbooks for other courses offered at Hallym University CIS.
The goal is that every general education course offered by the College of International Studies will use low cost, liberally-licensed textbooks to allow students to focus on knowledge, and not how they will pay for it.