22 October, 2020 - 01:05 By Tony Quested

Cambridge University Press to merge with Cambridge Assessment

Cambridge University Press

Cambridge University Press and Cambridge Assessment are being combined into a single entity from August 2021.The University of Cambridge says the merger was accelerated by the rapid uptake of digital education during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Cambridge University Press is both the oldest printing and publishing house in the world and the oldest university press. Cambridge Assessment researches, creates, and delivers world-class assessments securely to over 170 countries, supported by leading-edge technology and a global team of more than 2,500 people. CUP has been producing books since the first University Press book was printed in 1584.

The new organisation will have the capabilities to provide world-leading assessment, learning and academic research offerings globally, under the Cambridge brand and backed by first class teaching and research departments. The name of the new organisation is yet to be unveiled.

The move is in response to a growing desire from learners, teachers and researchers to engage with Cambridge in a joined up digital way, and the demand for innovative products that combine expertise in learning and assessment.

University of Cambridge Vice-Chancellor Professor Stephen J Toope said, ‘I am delighted to announce this major and hugely exciting development. Cambridge Assessment and Cambridge University Press have a proud history of contributing to scholarship and education around the world. By bringing together their enormous strengths and capabilities, they will be able to contribute to society more effectively and more powerfully than ever.’

Cambridge University Press Chief Executive Peter Phillips said: “Our customers already see us simply as Cambridge, so joining the two organisations is a natural next step that is given added impetus by the rapid changes we are seeing in education and research.”

Saul Nassé, chief executive at Cambridge Assessment said: ‘This is a challenging but exciting time for learning and assessment and this move positions Cambridge to make the most of the opportunities ahead. I will be heading for pastures new, but am looking forward to leading Cambridge Assessment into 2021 and working with Peter to build a single organisation that’s all set for great success in the future.”

A spokesperson for Cambridge Assessment added: “By formally bringing the Press and Assessment together now we are setting ourselves up for growth and investment in our future.”

“We have been successfully collaborating for a number of years and in June we launched a joint Single Strategy so that we can serve our learners, teachers and researchers better as Cambridge. However, the COVID pandemic shows no signs of ending soon. This is massively accelerating trends that we have seen building for some time – a move to digital learning and online assessment with competitors moving quickly into this space. 

“Creating one organisation is not driven by a need to save costs. This is about maximising our competitive advantage, opportunities for growth and the strength that being ‘One Cambridge’ will give us in the market.”

Cambridge Assessment and Cambridge University Press employ around 6000 staff globally, of which around half are based in Cambridge.

• PHOTOGRAPH: Cambridge University Press head office in Cambridge, England. Image courtesy – Wikipedia User:Cmdcam01


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