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Celebrating one year of innovation, progress and unity

Today marks the first anniversary of Cambridge University Press & Assessment.

Graphic to celebrate our first anniversary

The first 12 months as a single organisation brought rapid change and success across publishing and assessment, despite economic disruption and the continuing global pandemic.

The Press & Assessment came together amid growing desires from learners, teachers and researchers for a joined-up Cambridge experience, and surging demand for innovative digital products that combine expertise in learning and assessment. 

Our Chief Executive, Peter Phillips, said: "Our first year has been defined by innovation, progress and unity in the way we have served learners, teachers and researchers, as we brought together two large international organisations against a backdrop of enormous global challenges.

"What's really exciting is that we are only at the start. We came together because of the huge potential of a single global organisation to deliver our mission in education and research. We are already showing we can fulfil that potential. What our teams have achieved in our first year as Cambridge University Press & Assessment has been fantastic and there is even more impact to come." 

New UK and International Education groups 

The integration is continuing to progress as new UK Education and International Education groups are established, unlocking further opportunities to meet the needs of customers and lead on digital in assessment and learning.  The UK Education group, led by Jill Duffy, began operating on 1 March. The new International Group, to be led by Rod Smith, is formally established today. 

Peter Phillips said: “Our UK and International groups will help us better support our customers, providing more inclusive and accessible products through enhanced digital learning and assessment capabilities.”

Unique experiences

The first year also included the integration of English learning and assessment products. Speaking at the launch in April, Francesca Woodward, Global Managing Director, English, said: “In the past learners and teachers have taken exams, and used textbooks and digital resources from different parts of our Cambridge family, and our new single brand for English brings all of this together under one roof. It helps us to show the world that we create unique learning and assessment experiences that could only come from Cambridge.”

Our Where Your World Grows branding for English

It has been a remarkable year for academic publishing, which carries forward the Cambridge University Press imprint. The integrated organisation built richer links throughout the University of Cambridge with the creation of Cambridge Advance Online, a programme of online courses for professionals led by the university’s academics to bring the best of Cambridge professional education to a global audience. Cambridge also acquired online learning technology company CogBooks, which will enable the combination of Cambridge’s world-leading content with the startup’s adaptive courseware technology, helping institutions deliver flexible high-quality learning, both in person and remotely. This has all gone hand-in-hand with the continuing move to open research and open access publishing, the launch of innovative new scholarly journal concepts and some landmark publishing, which has included the Cambridge Centenary Ulysses, and the Cambridge Family Chronicle Bible.

The cover of the Cambridge Centenary Ullyses

People and planet: Climate leadership

From the outset, we recognised that as a global organisation we have a responsibility to people and the planet.

Christine Özden will serve as our first ever Global Director, Climate Education, to work with the Executive Board and with stakeholders inside and outside of our organisation to develop a climate education strategy that will guide activities for teachers and learners in this crucial area. Christine currently leads Cambridge Assessment International Education, and will take on the new role later this month.

We have set a joint target of achieving carbon zero on all energy-related emissions by 2048 and to achieve a 72 per cent reduction on those emissions by 2030. These efforts were recognised when we were shortlisted for the Sustainability Award at the Independent Publishing Awards, and achieved ISO14001 certification for our UK operations environmental performance, the international best practice standard. Our first report to the UN details more about how we are playing our part in meeting the challenge of sustainability.

Independent Publishing Awards 2022 shortlisted logo

This year the UK’s Department for Education agreed to proposals from our UK exam board, OCR, for a new GCSE in Natural History, the culmination of a decade-long campaign led by naturalist Mary Colwell. Pupils will develop a rigorous understanding of the natural world, from their own local wildlife to global challenges such as climate change, biodiversity and sustainability. The new qualification builds on research by OCR and Cambridge University Press & Assessment, involving more than 2,500 teachers, students and environmental experts.

Behind all of these successes are our global teams, and as the world considers its post-pandemic future, the wellbeing of our people continues to underpin the organisation’s approach to ways of working. Twelve global staff networks have come together to enact real change alongside a new steering committee tasked with embedding equality, diversity, inclusion and belonging into every part of the organisation. We have consulted widely on how to make publishing and learning materials more inclusive and developed principles for embedding this thinking into plans for future products and services.