In 2022, Cambridge Assessment International Education issued grades to 460,000 students from more than 5,400 schools in 147 countries. After a year of ever-closer collaboration, Cambridge Assessment International Education (Cambridge International) and Cambridge University Press Education are formally integrating in August 2022, retaining the Cambridge International awarding body.
Benefits of integration
Bringing together the skills and capabilities of different units to make working with the organisation a frictionless experience will create much better solutions for all our customers. Our research across the years shows that aligning the curriculum, content, assessment and professional development around a common view of how to deliver excellent education, improves standards and allows high-quality products to be built.
Our International Education team unites Cambridge Assessment International Education, Cambridge University Press Education and Cambridge Partnership for Education to offer schools and governments worldwide a more joined-up experience of working with us, and an innovative range of products that combine our expertise in learning and assessment.
With this change Christine Özden, who has been Chief Executive, Cambridge International Assessment Education for three and a half years and led our summer 2022 exam series, is moving into a newly created role – Global Director, Climate Education.
A record Cambridge International exam series
We are the world’s largest provider of international education programmes and qualifications for 5- to 19-year-olds, and June 2022 saw a record number of candidates taking Cambridge International qualifications.
Delivering 1.6 million exam entries on time in exceptionally difficult circumstances is an extraordinary and excellent performance. Through an ongoing pandemic, we delivered high-stakes assessments for 220,000 students taking Cambridge International AS and A Levels and for 250,000 students receiving Cambridge IGCSEs or O Levels.
This year, 95 percent of entries came from exams, while 5 percent came from a Portfolio of Evidence of students’ own work submitted by schools and marked by Cambridge examiners. Last year, three-quarters of our students worldwide took exams.
The challenges have been extraordinary. We worked closely with schools and teachers and overcame some incredibly complex technical assessment changes that have never had to be faced before, as well as maintaining standards during a period when students have been away from school.
“There’s a massive responsibility to provide students around the world with the grades so that they can progress. To deliver that responsibility, in our biggest ever exam series, is something we can be very proud of,” says Christine Özden, who served as Chief Executive, Cambridge Assessment International Education.
Cambridge Learning for Schools
During the pandemic, we invested significantly in our international education publishing and reaped the benefits with a very strong performance this year. Our excellent 5–14 series is emerging to become the market-leading text across most regions, as are our new IGCSE Science titles which are also in high demand – a real testament to the quality and integrity of our publishing despite some logistical and distribution challenges.
”Our business was tested by the pandemic and it has done well, with the release of the biggest publishing programme we’ve ever undertaken. The way that we have performed has been remarkable: the result of hard work, amazing teamwork and genuine creativity and innovation,” says Rod Smith.
Strong sales stem from schools returning to classroom learning as well as distributors choosing to stock more and order earlier this year. This exceptional year has seen Cambridge Learning for Schools sales rise above £45million.
“Now that we’re one organisation, we can be more ambitious in joining up assessment and content and data through digital solutions, more ambitious in the way that we use technology to provide a better service, and build a stronger community with our customers.”
Rod Smith, Group Managing Director, International Education
Cambridge Early Years
Three years ago, a project group of colleagues from Cambridge International and Cambridge University Press Education began working on an early years project for India. It now serves as the first example of how we developed the curriculum, materials, and resources together to create a coherent approach to a whole educational area. A year and a half after launch, it has gained real traction in India and we are working together to add Early Years to the Cambridge Pathway globally. This will include curriculum, assessment and teaching and learning support.
We published a new four book series for the state of Victoria in Australia, reflecting changes made by its curriculum authority to the syllabus for Australian History studied at years 11 and 12 to address the lack of balance between post-colonial history and indigenous history. The new syllabus design is likely to attract more students than the old due to increased national awareness of first nations peoples’ history and cultures. We took advice from the History Teachers’ Association of Victoria (HTAV) and key members of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) and assembled a team of expert academics and teachers to author the resources led by Emeritus Professor Richard Broome AM, La Trobe University. We made a joint donation with the authors of 10 percent of net revenue to the Indigenous Reading Project, a charity that seeks to improve literacy.
Cambridge International and Cambridge University Press Education have accelerated our digital readiness. Customers’ acceptance and expectation of digital delivery for assessments, teaching and intelligence has been accelerated by the pandemic.
Educators now see and have deeper experience of how digital can be an important part of providing resilience in the system post-pandemic and are much more open to those products.
Huge improvements were made in our back-to-school digital onboarding platforms and processes which saw our customer service teams work with colleagues in Manila and Mexico to deliver around-the-clock service to drastically reduce customer inquiry wait times.
Underpinned by research
Our Assessment Research and Development group provides in-house support that is critical to the development and management of our high-quality learning and assessment products and services in the UK and worldwide. During the year, Assessment Research and Development published a significant review of the strengths and weaknesses of comparative judgment – an emerging way of running assessments – and carried out for Sweden the biggest review there’s ever been of research on textbooks and digital materials. It conducted research on where the grades are placed in international qualifications and developed new data-driven processes for relating the assessment of different papers from one year to another.
The Cambridge Mathematics Project is a collaboration with our University’s Faculties of Mathematics and Education championing a world class mathematics education for all students from 3- to 19-years-old. Based on its popular ‘Espresso’ digests of research on mathematics teaching topics, the team published The Primary Teacher’s Maths Journeybook: A Year of Professional Learning and held its first Cambridge Maths Journey Week to celebrate and explore the team’s work. Director Lynne McClure, who has led Cambridge Mathematics since its inception, was awarded an OBE in the New Year Honours 2022 for services to education.