The global pandemic continued to have an enormous impact on the education publishing market. Although schools around the world were closed for much of 2020 and into 2021, we continued to fulfil our mission by providing teachers and parents with unprecedented access to our materials. Inevitably, the pandemic has affected print sales and resources, but this has enabled us to focus on increasing our digital offer.
In countries where we historically had less of a digital presence, our teams adapted and accelerated development plans. For instance, in our African markets we secured our first digital adoption at a vocational college for 10,000 students and acquired and launched Oxford Reading Safari—a personalized online and interactive reading programme. In Kenya, the team developed eBooks and used them on multiple platforms, leading to a 160 per cent increase in the number of users. In Pakistan, a similar initiative saw the number of users increase by 3,000 per cent.
There was a
increase in the number of users in Kenya accessing eBooks
In Pakistan, the development of certain eBooks resulted in a
increase in visitors
Significant partnerships will help to further Oxford University Press’s market growth and support teachers and learners over the coming years. These include:
- Popular audio learning platform Ximalaya has adapted Oxford Reading Tree content for learners in China. With Ximalaya’s 70 per cent market share, we were able to significantly extend our reach with our Oxford Reading Tree courses, attracting 10,000 new subscribers within the first three months of launch
- Also in Mainland China, we launched the first-ever Oxford University Press store on the online marketplace, Tmall. This now hosts more than 700 Oxford University Press products from Education, ELT and Academic portfolios, including the popular Oxford Reading Tree series, English learning dictionaries and World’s Classics series
Oxford Owl regularly has
unique users per month
reception-age pupils in 6,672 schools will receive our Nuffield Early Language Intervention (NELI)
Support material was downloaded
times in Hong Kong, double that of 2019
We further strengthened our role in supporting the development of children’s language with the continued success and evolution of the 500 Words competition, which supported the conversation around Black Lives Matter, the launch of the latest ‘word gap’ report, Bridging the word gap at transition, and the launch of Oxford Children's Language in Australia.
While children across the globe were sent home and teachers worked hard to continue their education, here are some of the ways in which we supported that effort:
- While UK schools were forced to work remotely, our digital learning platforms saw an impressive increase in daily usage. Oxford Owl and MyMaths increased by 970 per cent and 245 per cent respectively. Oxford Owl now regularly has two million unique users per month
- The team added hundreds of eBooks, activities, and blogs to Oxford Owl to support home educators and shared resources for inclusion in BBC Bitesize daily lessons
- Two-fifths of primary schools in England have signed up to take part in our programme to support four and five-year-olds whose early language and literacy development has been most affected by the pandemic. 62,000 reception-age pupils in 6,672 schools will receive the Nuffield Early Language Intervention (NELI) in the 2020/2021 school year
- In Hong Kong our support materials were downloaded 6.2 million times, doubling downloads in 2019 and the number of active Oxford iSolution users in 2020 tripled
- In Kenya, online teacher training events reached up to 4,000 teachers per event and expanded into workshops for parents to assist with home schooling during lockdown
- In Australia we provided digital access to one million secondary students across Australia and supported more than 800 schools with free resources through the UK, international, and Australian co-marketed Learning Anywhere campaign in response to COVID-19
While the pandemic continues to have a drastic impact on education, we have partnered closely with teachers and parents, innovated, and provided solutions globally to reduce disruption to learning.