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Blackboard signs Nation-wide Agreement in The Netherlands

(PresseBox) (Amsterdam, ) Blackboard Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBB), a leading provider of enterprise technology to the education community, today announces that Blackboard has signed a major three year nation-wide e-Learning expansion agreement with SURFdiensten and SLBdiensten in The Netherlands. SURFdiensten facilitates the use of ICT in higher education and research, while SLBdiensten provides licenses for vocational, adult education, and secondary education. Over a million students in The Netherlands and Belgium currently access Blackboard's software.

The existing agreement originally dates from 1999 and allows higher, vocational and secondary education institutions in The Netherlands and Belgium access to the Blackboard Learning System(tm) and Blackboard Community System(tm). The new contract extends the current agreement into 2010 and allows continuity for enterprise e-Learning software in The Netherlands and Belgium. It shows mutual commitment between Blackboard, SURFdiensten and SLBdiensten for this market.

The new contract offers education institutes the option to take advantage of new Blackboard webservices, including the SafeAssign(tm) plagiarism detection and deterrence services and Scholar(r) social bookmarking services. SafeAssign empowers academics and students to protect the originality of work, as well as creating an opportunity to educate students on the importance of proper attribution and citation.

Scholar provides an innovative way for users to connect with researchers studying similar topics at institutions around the world, allowing professors, students, and other academics to store and share online bookmarks related to their areas of study and interest.

Jan Bakker, Managing Director of SURFdiensten said, "Signing this contract with Blackboard is key for the huge installed base of Blackboard users in Dutch and Belgian higher education. We expect the solutions that Blackboard offers will satisfy not only our existing needs, but also the future demands of students and faculty of our member institutions."

Charles Stork, Director of SLBdiensten, said, "We are very pleased with this renewal. This gives existing Blackboard users in vocational and secondary education in The Netherlands the opportunity to use Blackboard for three more years. We believe Blackboard will provide our member institutions a high-quality learning environment."

"We are delighted that we have expanded our agreement with SURFdiensten and SLBdiensten," says Michael Chasen, President and CEO of Blackboard.

"Since our inception, our clients and partners in The Netherlands and Belgium have been valuable contributors to our product and corporate strategies. With this expanded relationship, we expect to work even more closely with education leaders in The Netherlands and Belgium."

About SURF and SURFdiensten
SURF is the collaborative organisation for higher education and research institutes in The Netherlands, aimed at breakthrough innovations in ICT.SURF Foundation was founded in 1987 by the joint universities. At present SURF represents over sixty institutions and is active in many international collaborative platforms such as JISC, TERENA and GLIF.
SURFdiensten is the organisation for licenses for higher education and research that facilitates the use of ICT, offering software, content, ICT services and hardware at unique prices and conditions.

About SLB Diensten
Founded in 1992, SLBdiensten is intermediary between vocational, adult, and secondary education institutions and software, courseware & hardware suppliers. SLBdiensten's good negotiating position and broad product assortment have made SLBdiensten the leading supplier for vocational, adult, and secondary education institutions.

Blackboard Inc.

Blackboard Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBB) is a leading provider of enterprise software applications and related services to the education industry.

Founded in 1997, Blackboard enables educational innovations everywhere by connecting people and technology. Millions of people use Blackboard everyday at academic institutions around the globe, including colleges, universities, K-12 schools and other education providers, as well as textbook publishers and student-focused merchants that serve education providers and their students. Blackboard is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia.