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July 21, 2011

Roundup: Cengage acquires and partners • Benesse chairman • CUP opens digital platform

Teaching-English-in-Japan-Education-NatGeo" Cengage has acquired National Geographic's School Publishing Unit. The acquisition gives Cengage the National Geographic Science series, National Geographic Explorer! Magazines, and Hampton Brown’s literacy and language programs. This follows the success of Cengage's tie-up with NatGeo on its ELT courses and readers. The company (formerly Thomson Learning) has also partnered with Blackboard Inc. also to integrate Cengage Learning’s digital content and solutions with the Blackboard Learn™ platform.

It was revealed that the billionaire chairman of Benesse, Soichiro Fukutake, has a soft spot for New Zealand. The chairman of the company that owns Berlitz and is the largest education company in Japan regularly commutes between downtown Auckland and the company's corporate headquarters in Okayama, Japan.

Cambridge University Press has launched a digital content platform for libraries which it says will become "one of the largest and most significant repositories of digital academic material in the world.” From October 2011, University Publishing Online will provide institutions with e-books and "related database products” from publishers across the world. It is based on Cambridge Books Online, which offers access to front and backlist PDF titles.

Dr Andrew Brown, Director of Academic Publishing at Cambridge University Press, said: “A key concept of University Publishing Online is to preserve the individual identity of each of its publishing partners, as every academic press makes a unique contribution to the world of scholarship through its own particular process of selecting, editing and presenting material. By respecting these differences, while offering the contributions of all on a single platform with a highly sophisticated common search engine, University Publishing Online will set new standards for the integration of key academic content with a user-friendly interface and customer-oriented purchasing models of unrivalled flexibility.”

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