Cambridge University Press Reaches 100-Million User Milestone

In News by Porter Anderson

With students accessing the system from 170 countries, Cambridge University Press & Assessment is ahead of its anticipated schedule.

Peter Phillips. Image: Cambridge University Press

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

‘Aspirations and Potential’
England’s Cambridge University Press & Assessment today (August 3) has announced that total 100 million or more users are accessing the service from at least 170 countries, a milestone reached faster than the program’s administration says was expected.

Cambridge University Press and Assessment is the combined entity resulting from a merger made only two years ago, in August 2021. At that point, a goal was set of reaching 100 million “learners” by 2026.

Three years ahead of its schedule in terms of attracting users, the program—which is the publishing and assessment department of the University of Cambridge—provides examinations including the GCSE and the IGCSE (the General Certificate of Secondary Education and the International General Certificate of Secondary Education, respectively). The company also produces A-level examinations, Cambridge Nationals, English-language tests, the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) and Linguaskill.

Phillips: ‘A Moment to Celebrate’

In a prepared statement on today’s announcement of success, Peter Phillips, who heads of the company as its CEO, is quoted, saying, “This is a moment to celebrate. I’m delighted that we’ve passed our target of reaching more than 100 million learners, something which has happened only because of our deep commitment to students and teachers and to the quality of our assessments and learning materials to support them.

Researchers downloaded 114 million academic books, research journals, and other scholarly materials digitally over the last year, in addition to the physical copies they read.Cambridge University Press & Assessment

“Each of those learners has [her or his] own story, aspirations, and potential. Our commitment to every one of them has remained the same, and will remain the same, regardless of how many more people we reach.”

The company also says today that even 100 million users is an understatement. “In addition to work with learners and teachers,” the communications group says in its media messaging, “the academic team enables millions of researchers to access outstanding academic books, research journals, and other scholarly materials.

“Researchers downloaded 114 million of them digitally over the last year, in addition to the physical copies they read.”

No announcement from this sector can occur without a reference to open access, of course, and Cambridge says that its work in the field “is enabling more people than ever to access high-quality research. Within the last year, more than 50 percent of Cambridge University Press journal articles were published open access.”

Expecting to have “the vast majority” of its of its research papers available in open access by 2025—another self-imposed goal—the company this year removed open-access publication fees for scholars from more than 100 low- and middle-income countries, the staff says, in a bid to make access to top-quality content more equitable.

A view from the tower rooftop of Great St. Mary’s Church in Cambridge, July 4, 2019. Image – Getty iStockphoto: Sean Wang

More from Publishing Perspectives on Cambridge University Press is here, more from us on the British market is here, more on university presses is here, more on academic and scholarly publishing is here, more on open access is here, and more on digital publishing is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.