The University of Cambridge formed the ‘Local Examinations Syndicate’ over 160 years ago. Its aim was to raise standards in education by administering exams for people who were not members of the University and inspecting schools.
For the first time in 1858, 370 school candidates in 7 English cities sat exams set by the University of Cambridge. Today this has risen to more than 8 million candidates a year in 160 countries. The Syndicate began examining internationally in 1864, and this aspect of its work grew quickly.
In 1998 the Syndicate created a new structure, leading to the establishment of three exam boards:
- Cambridge Assessment International Education – the world’s largest provider of international education programmes and qualifications for 5 to 19 year olds.
- Cambridge Assessment English – provider of the world’s leading range of certificates for learners of English.
- OCR – a leading UK exam board, dedicated to recognising achievement in learners of all ages.
The Syndicate adopted the brand name ‘Cambridge Assessment’ in 2005.
In August 2021, Cambridge Assessment came together with Cambridge University Press to form a single organisation: Cambridge University Press & Assessment. The new organisation provides world-leading academic research, learning and assessment globally, backed by the first-class teaching and research departments of the University of Cambridge. It is a not-for-profit organisation.
Cambridge University Press & Assessment is now on a journey to integrate its learning and assessment services. In 2022, three new groups were established – for English language, UK and International Education – to better support our customers worldwide.
Cambridge Assessment International Education is part of the International Education group, along with Cambridge University Press Education and Cambridge Partnership for Education. This new group began operating in August 2022.