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July 2016


  1. Introduction / activities
  2. New members
  3. EPF / IPA meeting in London April 13th 2016
  4. What Works Conference
  6. Publisher's forum Berlin, April 28th
  7. Network meeting in Aarhus, May 12th
  8. News from the member states and others
  9. Forthcoming Network meetings in 2016
  10. BELMA
  11. Fraus Publishers celebrating 25 years of educational publishing
  12. This year's AGM

1 Introduction / activities

This newsletter will probably not reach all of you before the holidays, but I will send it again to our Scandinavian friends in early August when they return from their summer holiday.
I will only mention BREXIT this once:
For the last 4 or 5 years, the EEPG hasn't had a British member and yet it is thriving ....
But seriously: A lot happened in April, May and June - the "What Works conference" in London and most importantly our very successful network meeting in Aarhus (see below).
As already at the beginning of the year, there have been several requests by members to assist with arguments for a free textbook market. Lithuania, Portugal and Greece, for example, face new challenges, in Greece the minister of education wants to have textbooks produced by teachers supervised by the ministry, effectively cutting out the publisher all together (see below).

2 New members

CJ Fallon from Ireland joined in May but we are also busy campaigning in Italy, France, Belgium and the Netherlands. Hopefully, by our next AGM in Frankfurt we can present at least one or two more candidates.

3 IPA-EPF meeting in London 13th April

The meeting was held a day after the "What works conference" and was mainly concerned with discussing the usefulness of the conference and whether it should move to another place (such as Brussels) to achieve more impact. Judging by attendance (120 participants + 20 speakers) it was the most successful WW conference yet, but the feedback was very mixed. The mixture of "publishing" and "policy" subjects was seen as problematic. The EPF will look into this and come up with alternatives (shorter conference, focussing on publishing issues, maybe bi-annual) in October.

Mozaik (Hungary) and the BFU (Danish educational publishers association) will become EPF members.

There will be no EPF September meeting but the EPF open forum in Frankfurt. Last year, the forum was held in a very small room but this year, it will be back to its former venue and hopefully attract both interesting speakers and an interested audience.

José Borghino outlined the IPA strategy at WIPO SCCR which involves bringing as many educational publishers to Geneva as possible to meet with Geneva missions, ambassadors and bureaucrats to explain why broadening copyright exceptions will be harmful. Jay Diskey pointed out that the week after Frankfurt may be a good opportunity to meet many publishers (including Canadian).


Education for Social Responsibility and Social Cohesion. A concept for the the education of history teachers and teachers of civic education in Europe

The EEPG was asked to become a partner in this project. The application was in HORIZON 2020 Marie Sklodowska Curie - Initial Training Networks. Unfortunately, the application was turned down.

4 What Works Conference

The conference took place during the London Book Fair and it was quite a mixed bag of talks and presentations. Unfortunately, the presentations are not accessible online (yet?). However, here are a few highlights:
  1. Francesco Avvisati's keynote was based on this interesting study by OECD. Please note that there are also several country reports available from this website.
  2. Laurie Forcier from the office of the chief education advisor at Pearson talked about how Pearson is reinventing itself preparing for the future. She talked mainly about Pearson's new efficiacy agenda, adaptive learning and AI in education. More information can be found here.
  3. While sessions 2 and 3 were only marginally interesting for publishers, session 4 about data protection, privacy and cybersecurity should concern everybody in the publishing industry as well as in schools. In my last newsletter, I already linked to a presentation by the Dutch publishing association; at the WW4, Job Vos from Kennisnet explained again, how the private sector (publishers, suppliers, distributors) and the public sector (schools, ministries) can work together

6 Publishers' Forum Berlin, April 28th

This year, the publishers' forum had a very strong focus on education.

Most of the presentations are only available for participants, so if there is anything you would like to have a closer look at, let me know and I'll give you a password.
I was particularly intrigued by Michael E. Hanses's talk about how Cengage had changed in the last few years after chapter 11 (restructuring was completed in March 2014). Unfortunately, the PDF that is online doesn't contain any of the interesting figures, but here are a few things I have noted down:
  1. used books make up 2/3 of the educational market in the US - publishers need to re-invent themselves.
  2. change the mindset - focus not on the product but on the student/user
  3. digital platform with 3.5 million students is the main money spinner now http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/cengage-learning-achieves-milestone-of-more-digital-units-sold-than-print-textbooks-300269060.html
  4. use students to write the textbook, have focus groups that are monitored 24/7
  5. main problems of students is time management - publisher needs to provide solution.
  6. out of about 4500 employees, 1500 are now software engineers

7 Network meeting in Aarhus, May 2016

Thanks to our host Systime, the excellent keynote speaker Alan Greenberg and the lively discussion of all participants, we had a very inspiring and useful meeting. 10 publishers discussed questions about the customer, inhouse staff and business models. The presentations and photos will go online on July 15th (we have a bit of website problem at the moment). The questions and individual answers answers can also be downloaded as a PDF.

8 News from the member states (and others)

As mentioned above, government intervention in educational publishing and reforms in education are again on the agenda of many of our members. In June, the Lithuanian parliament had a hearing about "Do Lithuanian schools need new content?". I was asked to present the European perspective but since I had a prior engagement, I couldn't attend and sent a video instead.

If you do not want to watch this but are interested in the presentation text itself, please let me know. I have already forwarded the material to Texto Editores and Pataki and I am happy to do both send you the presentation and put it online after July 15th.

Here are a few links you might be interested in from around the world:
On the situation in Russia ( I wouldn't alert you to this if Prosveshenye was still a member)
Canadian copyright law and education.

9 Forthcoming network meetings this year

EEPG Conference:
15. - 16. September 2016, Berlin, Germany

Please find an updated conference program and information on accommodation online here.

Please register from the member's area to take advantage of the members discount. If, by mistake, you receive an invoice for the non-member amount, please let me know and we will issue a bill with the correct amount. As of July the first we had 16 registrations, so this event will be an excellent opportunity to mingle with publishers from the group and beyond.

Network Meeting Copyright:
4th - 5th November in Athens.

Speakers are now fixed:
Jens Bammel (formerly IPA) and Sebastian Schwemmer (from the Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen), more information forthcoming.


BELMA participation is up by 10% from last year. Nearly one third of the entries are online courses only, but almost all entries have at least a digital component. Several entries are on the subject of religion and migration with very good materials. The overall quality this year is exceptional. The first evaluation round is almost complete and the shortlisted titles will be announced at the end of July. Then, the jury will meet for 5 days in August to present and discuss each title at length. The winners will be informed well in advance before Frankfurt. In 2016, the Awards ceremony will take place on Wednesday, 19 October at 4 pm in the Education Forum in hall 4.2 at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

Meanwhile, the revision of criteria has slowed down a little. The feedback from the first round of experts was very inconclusive, so we need to revise the questionnaire. Consequently, not all of the experts you named have been contacted again but will be in early August.

However, we have already amended the criteria to cater better for the huge number of online entries, making sure that ease of access, UX design, etc are judged accordingly.

12 This year's AGM

The AGM will take place in the Novotel Frankfurt, Lise Meitner Straße on Tuesday 18th Of October at 2pm.

11 Fraus Publishers celebrating 25 years

Our member Nakladatelsti Fraus has been publishing educational books and materials for 25 years. An overview of the history canbe found here.

And here are some photos from the event at the Prague Book World 2016

2016 NL 3 Fraus1.JPG

2016 NL 3 Fraus2.JPG

2016 NL 3 Fraus3.JPG

2016 NL 3 Fraus4.JPG

Wielandstr. 33, 10629 Berlin / Germany
Phone: +49 171 275 63 23
E-Mail: helga.holtkamp@eepg.org