Cambridge University Press and exams group Cambridge Assessment are to be merged into a single organisation, the University of Cambridge has announced.
The combined body, whose name has yet to be decided, is planned to launch on 1st August 2021.
CUP c.e.o. Peter Phillips and Cambridge Assessment chief executive Saul Nassé will work together over the next few months to create the new unified organisation. Phillips will then lead it, with Nassé departing.
The two organisations together employ a total of 6,000 employees globally, roughly evenly spread between both. A Cambridge Assessment spokesperson declined to comment on whether any staff redundancies were likely as a result of the development.
The announcement said the move was "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". The need for an integrated approach has been accelerated by the rapid uptake of digital education during the Covid-19 pandemic, it added. "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 announcement promised.
The 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."
Phillips commented: "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 and I have brought the press and Cambridge Assessment ever closer over the last few years and we have a shared commitment to this change which will enable yet more impact by Cambridge on teachers, learners and researchers."
Nassé 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."