Oxford University Press (OUP), a department of the University of Oxford, dates back to the earliest days of printing. The first book was printed at Oxford in 1478, just two years after Caxton set up the first printing press in England. The University was involved with several printers in Oxford over the next century.
From the late 1800s OUP began to expand significantly, opening the first overseas OUP office in New York in 1896. Other international branches followed, including Canada (1904), Australia (1908), India (1912), and Southern Africa (1914).
OUP’s diverse program reaches far beyond traditional university publishing. OUP publishes in 40 languages in a variety of print and digital formats, with more than 6,000 titles a year covering a broad academic and educational spectrum. OUP’s books are aimed at all audiences, from pre-school to secondary level schoolchildren; students to academics; general readers to researchers; and individuals to institutions. OUP sells more than 110 million units each year, is present in 100 countries, and employs 6,000 people worldwide. As a worldwide publisher, OUP is committed to furthering the University's objectives of excellence in scholarship, research, and education.
Analysis & Key Developments
Oxford University Press closed the fiscal year ending in March 2015 with an increase in performance. Revenues grew to 767 million GBP, from 759 million GBP in 2014. Surplus from trading before interest, funded projects, minority interests, and taxation was 111 million GBP, 14% of turnover.
Changes in Management
After six-and-a-half years, Professor Andrew Hamilton stepped down from his position as Vice-Chancellor and Chair of the Delegates of OUP. He was replaced by Professor Louise Richardson, former Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of St Andrews, Scotland, in January 2016
In December 2015 OUP launched a website devoted to Shakespeare scholarship. The site updates is theme each month and provides resources on Shakespeare from across OUP’s list, including school texts, books for general readers, and scholarly research.
In 2015 OUP acquired the e-learning business Epigeum, a provider of online courses used by 230 universities in 27 countries. Epigeum is designed to support universities and colleges in core activities such as teaching, research, studying and management.
In April 2015 OUP bought the language portal bab.la. The free online platform joined Oxford Dictionaries and provides 40 dictionaries for 28 languages, a language forum, vocabulary lessons, language games, quizzes, verb conjugation for twelve languages, phrase books for universities, business, and travel, an internship platform, and many other language-related products.
In May 2015 OUP launched a joint venture with awarding organization AQA to deliver a new suite of international GCSE and A-level qualifications. Also in May, OUP and Overleaf announced a new partnership. Through this partnership, authors who submit to OUP’s Biostatistics journal will have access to Overleaf’s collaborative cloud-based writing and reviewing tool.
In June 2016 OUP announced it would outsource some of its technology services to Cognizant Technology Solutions. The merger will provide OUP with a global service desk, infrastructure and network management, application management, platforms management, testing, and service management.
In 2015 OUP faced difficulties in India, South East Asia, and some parts of Latin America and a painful loss in South Africa, according to its annual report. Strong results were elsewhere, with an increase in Asia by more than 10% despite relative weaknesses in India and China.
OUP’s digital sales gained 7% across the organization and accounted for 20% of the total turnover in 2015. OUP since claimed that "digital products now account for more than half of academic turnover," according to its annual report.