It has been a very successful year, one of continued strong growth internationally. In the year covered by this report – August 2017 to July 2018 – we have generated revenue of £438m, up by six per cent on last year.
That growth has been driven in particular by increasing demand for IELTS (International English Language Testing System), the high-stakes English test for study, migration or work that is jointly owned by Cambridge Assessment English, the British Council and IDP: IELTS Australia. More than three million tests were taken in the past year, with demand growing particularly strongly in India and Canada.
It was also a successful year for Cambridge English Qualifications, with increasing entries across the world for the full range of English language exams from A2 Key to C2 Proficiency, as well as Pre A1 Starters, A1 Movers and A2 Flyers, a series of fun and engaging activity-based English language exams.
Growth has been driven in particular by increasing demand for IELTS (International English Language Testing System), the high-stakes English test for study, migration or work
During the year, the Nursing and Midwifery Council and the General Medical Council, which regulate medical professionals in the UK, announced along with their counterparts in Ireland, that they would recognise the Occupational English Test (OET). Run jointly by Cambridge English and Australia’s Box Hill Institute, OET is designed specifically for healthcare professionals and was already recognised by authorities in Australia, Dubai, New Zealand and Singapore. It is available every month in more than 100 locations in 40 countries around the world.
Welcoming the announcement, OET Chief Executive Officer Sujata Stead said: “What sets OET apart from other tests is that it is designed for healthcare.”
A study published in April 2018 highlighted the continuing importance of Cambridge English’s CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults). The analysis of 600 English language teaching job advertisements in more than 60 countries showed that CELTA is requested by nearly 72 per cent of employers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Indeed, recognition of qualifications and tests from Cambridge English as a whole continues to increase, with more than 1,100 new organisations signing up in 2017–18, including big names such as HSBC, Airbus, Renault, Calvin Klein and Schweppes. Higher education institutions joining the list included Harvard College and Wellesley College in the USA, the University of Ottawa in Canada and France’s École Polytechnique – the latter becoming the 8,000th institution to recognise the leading English qualification C1 Advanced. In all, Cambridge English Qualifications are now recognised by over 24,000 universities, employers and governments.
Cambridge Assessment International Education also grew strongly, with total entries up by eight per cent internationally on June 2017. Globally, over half a million students took Cambridge IGCSE, O Level and International AS & A Level exams this year and will now be planning their next steps into further education or the world of work. There has also been a six per cent growth in the number of schools internationally which offer Cambridge programmes.
Both our international exam boards rebranded in September 2017, Cambridge International Examinations changing to Cambridge Assessment International Education (or Cambridge International for short) and Cambridge English Language Assessment changing to Cambridge Assessment English (or Cambridge English for short). For Cambridge International, the name change reflects its broader education remit beyond exams. The exam board is not just a trusted provider of qualifications but a partner for schools and governments as they improve education and learning. Cambridge International also chose a new name – Cambridge Pathway – to represent its offer from the beginning of primary school at age five through to the end of secondary education at 18 or 19. The Cambridge Pathway gives schools a flexible curriculum with clear progression at each stage.
For Cambridge English, its new brand is rooted in its purpose: to help people learn English and prove their skills to the world. It also reflects how Cambridge English is part of Cambridge Assessment, and able to benefit from its 160 years of expertise as well as its status as a department of the University of Cambridge.
A major driver for the rebrand for Cambridge English was making its wide and varied portfolio of products clear, so it has also started the process of simplifying the way it presents its exams. To make the progression from one exam to another easier to understand, it introduced the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) level attached to each exam’s name, with for example, Cambridge English: First (FCE) now known as B2 First.
Also rebranding was our Admissions Testing Service, which is now called Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing, and so too was Cambridge Michigan Language Assessment (CaMLA), a joint venture between the University of Michigan and Cambridge English. CaMLA is now known as Michigan Language Assessment, a name which has been developed to better reflect its 65-year history as a leading developer of American English language tests.
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