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Chair's introduction

2015–16 saw further strong progress in our quest to build a digital Press while maintaining our commitment to high-quality print materials, and disseminating the best learning and research to the world. Cambridge is uniquely well-placed to embrace that vision, and I am grateful to the Vice-Chancellor and other colleagues within the University for their ongoing support of our mission and for the confidence they place in the Syndicate Operating Board’s governance of the Press.
Like so many publishers, the Press found this to be a challenging year for trading, and we have had to respond to rapidly changing market conditions. The role of the publisher is evolving: our growing digital products and services now account for a third of our revenues. It is important that we continue to innovate, experimenting with new business models and seeking out creative partnerships.

The role of the publisher is evolving: our growing digital products and services now account for a third of our revenues. It is important that we continue to innovate.

The recent United Kingdom referendum on membership of the European Union, and majority vote to leave, has created a period of unwelcome uncertainty likely to continue over many months before there is clarity over the longer-term political and economic consequences. The Press, with 90 per cent of its sales outside the UK, and its global reach and reputation, remains well placed to serve the world’s students, teachers and researchers.
I greatly appreciate the ongoing dedication of the staff of the Press, who maintain the highest professional standards through times of challenge and change. On the governance side my particular thanks go to Professor Steve Young who stood down after a productive stint on the Operating Board, and to Professor Sarah Worthington who completed her term as Chair of our Audit Committee.
As I write, the headquarters of Cambridge Assessment are taking shape on the site across the road where this time last year the Edinburgh Building stood, and we look forward to that organisation’s arrival – a geographical consolidation of the close collaborative ties which already bind us to one of the world’s great examining bodies. Both we and they form an integral part of one of the world’s leading research universities, whose brand we carry in our dealings with teachers and research students around the globe. In continuing to draw together the extraordinary assets that exist across the whole range of its activities, the University of Cambridge is well positioned to enjoy an exciting educational future in the digital age.

Sir David Bell


Sir David Bell

Chair of the Press Syndicate

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