BibliU, provider of a learning enablement platform, today announced details of its Series B funding. The company has raised the first tranche of $15M led by its current investors with participation from new investors. The funds are targeted for expansion in the U.S. market, including new product development, additional publisher partnerships and further investments in sales and marketing.
All existing institutional Series A investors – Stonehage Fleming, Oxford Science Enterprises, Guinness Ventures, and Nesta Impact Investments – participated in the round. Richard Hill, Head of Direct Investments at Stonehage Fleming, joins the BibliU board of directors in a newly created position.
“Since our initial investment in 2020, BibliU has experienced tremendous growth – both in the U.K. market, where half of the nation’s higher education students now have access to content through the BibliU platform, and in the U.S. market, where universities and colleges are replacing legacy bookstore models with BibliU’s digital-first solution for content,” said Richard Hill, Head of Direct Investments, Stonehage Fleming. “We’re excited to increase our investment in BibliU, and by the growth opportunity BibliU has created. We also believe BibliU is delivering significant impact not only through substantially reducing the costs of textbooks and course materials but also by increasing student engagement and improving learning outcomes for students. This is an important aspect for our investors.”
BibliU addresses long-standing pain points in higher education that directly impact student success. Even those students with full financial aid packages that cover tuition, room and board, do not anticipate hidden costs such as textbooks and course materials. These expenses can derail a college education. Sixty-five percent of students in the U.S. admit to not buying their course content due to cost, while similar research from BibliU found that 70 percent of students in the U.K. have skipped buying their textbooks and learning materials.
The BibliU study also found that more than a third of students (35 percent) said they could not afford to buy their textbooks. Since digital content equalizes socio-economic disparities and students gain access to the required learning materials from day one, BibliU is helping colleges and universities promote diversity, equity and inclusion.
During its 2021 fiscal year, BibliU achieved 236 percent growth in recognized revenue. The company officially launched its Universal Learning solution, which aggregates digital content from thousands of publishers and OER (open educational resources) sources on one platform for one low price, per student, per class. Reception from the higher education market was positive, enabling BibliU to welcome new clients such as Wichita State University of Applied Sciences and Technology, Jackson College, and Dublin’s Trinity College to the platform.
EDUCAUSE recently released a brief detailing diversity in the higher education information technology (IT) workforce. The report is designed understand factors that help promote and maintain the success of higher education’s IT workforce. The report, “Diversity in Higher Education: Information Technology,” created with CUPA-HR – human resources support for higher education — examines demographic makeup of the higher education IT workforce so as to better understand the workforce today and to identify opportunities in the pipeline for future higher education IT leaders.
This EDUCAUSE brief is a snapshot of diversity and pay
equity in higher education IT, a look at the aging of IT administrators, and
the characteristics of possible pipeline positions from data collected in the
2018 CUPA-HR Administrators in Higher Education, Professionals in Higher
Education and Staff in Higher Education surveys.
In all, EDUCAUSE says higher education entities provided
data for more than 36,577 incumbents in 51 information technology positions for
the 2017-18 academic year.
Among higher education IT employees, 26% are women and 21%
are racial/ethnic minorities. Representation of women and racial/ethnic
minorities in higher education IT is much lower than among college students,
the primary constituent population they serve. According to the report, the
representation of minorities varies greatly within higher education IT, with
far more minorities represented in staff and professional positions than in
White men make up the majority (59%) of higher education IT
employees, and about 70% of minorities in higher ed IT positions are men.
Black and Hispanic women are the least-represented groups in
higher ed IT, together occupying only about 3% of all IT positions (and only
0.5% of all IT administrative positions).
One way to increasing the diversity of higher education,
EDUCAUSE suggests, is for institutions to recruit experienced individuals from
regions of the country with better representation of women and racial/ethnic
minorities. For example, female IT professionals and administrators are better
represented in the Northeast than in the rest of the country, whereas
minorities are much better represented in the South and West. “This data
highlights the need for considering nationwide or regionally-targeted
recruiting strategies when seeking diverse candidates — particularly for
leadership roles,” the report states.
In general, Black and Hispanic women are underpaid relative
to their white male peers; white women are paid equitably; and Asians are
generally paid more than white men.
Aging, Retirement and the pipeline
An important concern for many U.S. employers is the expected
wave of retirements in leadership positions as the last of the Baby Boomers
(born between 1946 and 1964) turns 55 years old in 2019, with many already at
or past the expected retirement age. Administrators in higher education IT are
no exception. For higher ed IT, this demographic transition may present an
opportunity to make progress on diversity as this less-diverse generation gives
way to a younger, more diverse generation.
The median age of the IT administrators highlighted in this
report is 52 years old; however, the proportion of higher education IT
employees that are older suggests that higher education IT may soon face
succession planning challenges.
Around 43% of IT administrators are 55 years old or older.
The median years in position is seven, but almost 39% of higher education IT
administrators have more than 10 years in their current role. This is high
compared to all administrators in higher education, where the median time in
position is five years, and only 25% of administrators have more than 10 years
in their current position.
Certain IT positions are considered part of the pipeline to
administrative leadership roles. Some of these positions have higher
representation than average for women or individuals from certain racial/ethnic
groups, and may provide opportunities to recruit diverse future leaders as
older employees near retirement.
“Some in higher education IT have argued that to close the
gap on diversity in the field, a different way of thinking about recruitment,
retention, and creating inclusive environments may be necessary, including
deliberate efforts to use this type of data to recruit more diverse leaders,”
the report’s authors write. “Higher education IT may also need to consider
recruiting diverse candidates for leadership roles from outside of higher
education or from positions not typically identified as part of traditional job
EDUCAUSE says the data collected on information technology
positions in higher education can help institutions focus their attention on
key aspects of diversity for this critical part of the higher ed workforce.
“The time to begin succession planning is now — and the data show that certain positions in the immediate higher education IT pipeline may present opportunities to improve DEI in the process,” EDUCAUSE notes.