Statements on the invasion of Ukraine
Supporting Ukrainian learners and researchers - update 8 April 2022
Ukraine’s humanitarian crisis is having a devastating impact on a generation of children and young people, as well as their teachers and educators. As schools and centres of education come under direct assault, we strongly condemn the Russian Federation’s violent actions.
Above all, our hearts go out to all those affected. This tragedy has galvanised our community, who are showing kindness and compassion as they apply their great talents and expertise to help those most in need.
Cambridge University Press & Assessment, and its global network of partners, peers and collaborators, is working to support Ukrainians in line with our mission: to contribute to society through the pursuit of education, learning and research around the world.
These efforts, including the many resources for teachers, students and researchers detailed here, are continually developing as the situation evolves.
Curriculum mapping, providing continuity for displaced children
As millions of Ukrainian learners, including many forced to flee their homes and country, suffer from disrupted schooling, it is vital that schoolchildren resume their studies as soon as possible. School leaders in the affected regions tell us that their students - whether in Ukraine or abroad - need a smooth transition and access to quality materials, including textbooks, online resources and the high-stakes examinations that allow for progression. We are working to assist this transition by mapping the Ukrainian curriculum to the education systems of countries receiving refugees, starting with mathematics. These maps can be provided to teachers to help them understand where their new Ukrainian students may be on their learning journeys, compared to their usual class cohorts, and where there may be differences in sequencing. We are also mapping the Ukrainian system to our own Cambridge curriculum, so we can translate and provide materials that we will make freely available online.
Providing high-quality assessments and opportunities for progression
Our international exam board, Cambridge International, is working with schools throughout Eastern Europe to support progression and assessment for displaced students and teachers. We are in regular contact with school leaders in the affected regions to understand their needs and help them. In addition, our Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring has made all of its baseline assessments available for free to those teaching Ukrainian students until further notice. This will provide support for students from early years right through to post-16. For more information, please contact CEMfirstname.lastname@example.org.
Resources to help teachers
We and the Cambridge author Chris Sowton are providing free access to Teaching in Challenging Circumstances, which includes practical advice for language teachers working with displaced people who may be suffering trauma. A burgeoning online community of Ukrainian teachers are exchanging practical ideas and tips across borders. Many are joining our series of series of weekly live and recorded webinars specifically for Ukrainian teachers, with English Language Learning authors and teacher trainers focused on the free handbook. Our online course, Volunteering with Refugees (FutureLearn) | MOOC List (mooc-list.com), is also free for teachers and volunteers working with Ukrainian refugees.
Resources to learn and teach English
We are providing a range of free resources to help younger children learn English. These include fun videos to help children aged 2-6 take their first steps into learning the language, while our Sing and Learn series is designed to help young learners remember and use new words. Our Monkey Puzzles let younger learners test their English, unlocking new games as they progress, and our learning activities help children practise their reading, writing, listening and speaking. Kahoot! allows children to have fun exploring and practising English language and reading skills, and we have a range of songs, stories, colouring worksheets and guides for parents and guardians to help them support their child’s learning.
We also have more than 175 free online activities to help teenagers and adults practise their English. We also have the Cambridge dictionary, associated app and personalised vocabulary practice, as well as word lists and quizzes. Learners can use Write & Improve, a free tool developed by University of Cambridge, to improve their English writing online.
We are providing direct and unrestricted access to English language teaching materials and courses via a dedicated Cambridge Ukraine website which is actively promoted by the Ministry of Education: supporting-teachers-in-ukraine (cambridgeenglish.org).
Our Teaching English Online MOOC is a free online course we run in partnership with FutureLearn. The course was awarded the British Council’s ELTons award in the category of ‘Innovation in teacher resources’ in 2019. Teachers who want to learn how to transfer their teaching skills to an online context and start teaching English online can access the four week course free.
Details of all our English resources are published on our Ukrainian Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/CambridgeUniversityPressUkraine.
Resources for academics and researchers
Working with Research 4 Life, we have made all our academic journal content free to institutions registered in Ukraine. In collaboration with some of our publishing partners, we are also providing unrestricted access to other relevant content, including from the Association for Study of Nationalities, the American Political Science Association, the American Society of International Law, the Association for Slavic, East European, & Eurasian Studies, and the Central European History Society.
Resources to cope with trauma
We also know from our experience during the pandemic that it will be important for teachers to help children with any mental health or social and emotional challenges. We have a range of high-quality resources in this space that we are currently translating and will make available soon.
11 March 2022
Cambridge University Press & Assessment continues to condemn the Russian Federation’s violent actions in Ukraine. We are passionate about our mission to contribute to society through the pursuit of education, learning and research around the world. This unjustified conflict has raised serious ethical questions as well as operational challenges to achieving our mission in the region.
Many of the centres in Ukraine that support our learners have been converted into refuges for local residents, but we have seen evidence that schools and other places of learning have been either accidentally hit or deliberately targeted by Russian forces – such activity is deplorable. We have been in regular contact with our colleagues in the country to understand what action we should be taking. They tell us that it is currently impossible to support our learners in the country without asking individuals to put their lives at risk. We will, therefore, continue to pause our physical operations in Ukraine, hoping that these can be swiftly restarted when circumstances allow. Our online products and services remain available to all those who can access these, and we will continue to accept new learners where possible. We are also actively reviewing how else we can support our colleagues and their families, our learners, and all other citizens within Ukraine and those who have had to leave the country.
Education has the power to unlock the potential of individuals, enrich communities and develop nations, and we want to continue to provide those opportunities where we believe it is right to do so. We have taken the decision to suspend all new activity in Russia and Belarus while the conflict continues. Our colleagues in Russia will continue to honour our existing commitments to support learners based in Russia to complete the studies and assessments they have already started while it is safe, legal and operationally possible to do so. Gaining the skills, knowledge and behaviours that will allow our learners to positively influence their friends, families and wider societies is in everybody’s interest. We are in discussion with the wider academic publishing community, as well as academic colleagues at the University of Cambridge, as we consider how the ongoing conflict and international sanctions impact publishing of Russian and Belarussian academic authors. We have signed a multi-publisher statement on Ukraine summarising our collective position.
Our thoughts continue to be with all those affected by these unconscionable events.
1 March 2022
Everyone at Cambridge University Press & Assessment has been shocked by the Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine. As an organisation, we have been working swiftly to understand the difficulties faced by our colleagues and all those with whom we work in both countries, and to take whatever action we can to help ensure their safety, and that of their families and friends.
In these most challenging of times, we believe it is essential for us to continue to be led by our mission, supporting our learners, teachers and researchers in whatever ways are legal, practical, and safe. To that end, we have paused our operations in both countries temporarily (other than where we have prior and specific commitments to support teachers, learners and researchers) so that we can respond to the still emerging nature of international sanctions and consider any further action we need to take.
Our thoughts are with all those affected by these unconscionable events.