Rizzoli Education

Oxford University Press presents the ‘Oxford Test of English Advanced’

The only advanced language proficiency test recognised by Oxford University

Publications and new digital products by Oxford University Press are distributed in Italy exclusively by Rizzoli Education

Great news for English language learners due to the ‘Oxford Test of English Advanced’, the new exam aimed at students wanting to certify their proficiency in English at an advanced level: levels B2 and C1 of the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages).

This new test — developed by Oxford University Press (OUP), a leading publisher, and distributed in Italy exclusively by the educational publishing house Rizzoli Educationis the only language proficiency test accepted and certified by Oxford University.

According to a recent survey conducted by Oxford University Press, 91% of students prefer a test that is also valued in the job sector and by educational institutions. Such is the case with the ‘Oxford Test of English Advanced’, which is already recognised for admissions to postgraduate programmes at Oxford University.
Oxford University Press also extended its survey to English teachers, which revealed, in particular, that:

  • 85% of respondents expect an increase in students interested in obtaining English certification in the next 12 months;
  • 88% of teachers expect an increase in the importance of learning English in their country;
  • more than 90% recognise the importance of English for both students’ employment and their personal and professional development.

The main features of the Oxford Test of English Advanced, which joins other English language proficiency examinations by Oxford University Press (Oxford Test of English and Oxford Test of English for Schools) are as follows:

  • alignment with CEFR descriptors: developed following the latest versions of the descriptors in the CEFR Companion Volume, the test assesses the examinees’ actual skills, which are indispensable in academic and professional environments such as mediation and presentation;
  • convenience: certification is fully online and available year round, for maximum flexibility;
  • adaptation: the exam lasts approximately two hours and is adapted to the student’s reading and listening levels, minimising stress and providing an accurate reflection of English language proficiency. Like the other tests in the Oxford Test of English suite, it is not possible to fail: a result is always obtained.

Upon presentation of the ‘Oxford Test of English Advanced’ in Rome at an event organised by Oxford University Press in collaboration with the British Embassy and Rizzoli Education, Anthony Calanducci, Head of Italy at Oxford University Press English Language Teaching, said: We are happy to present the Oxford Test of English Advanced, thus expanding our range of educational solutions for teachers and students. For students, the possibility of being assessed is an indispensable tool, as it provides an opportunity to demonstrate their level of English proficiency. With this new test, Oxford University Press provides a fast, flexible and reliable assessment tool, perfect for anyone wanting to prove their competence at a higher level (B2–C1). The Oxford Test of English Advanced helps to establish educational standards and benchmarks, ensuring that learning objectives are aligned with the desired outcomes. In essence, it is not only about measuring knowledge, but also about promoting growth, inspiring progress and improving the quality of education,Calanducci concluded.

Andrew Nye, Director of Assessment at Oxford University Press English Language Teaching, added:Our English language proficiency tests are the result of years of rigorous research to ensure the highest standards in English language assessment. All levels of the Oxford Test of English have been designed and developed by OUP and a team of independent education, language and assessment experts. The process lasted several years, and great care was taken at each stage to ensure reliability, accuracy, alignment to the CEFR and quality.’ He continued:This alignment with international standards implies the presence of mechanisms to ensure a high level of quality, such as the validation of test questions with different language groups to ensure that the questions are balanced and reliable. Our processes are also audited by Oxford University to ensure that they meet the highest testing standards,Nye concluded.

Santiago Ruiz de Velasco, Director General of OUP English Language Teaching, emphasised: ‘I am delighted that we can now offer English language learners the opportunity to certify their skills with the world’s largest university publishing house, validating the months and years often patiently spent “finding the words”. As the most widely used language in international exchange, English allows people to participate in global conversations on the most pressing issues, from the climate crisis to social movements. I am proud of the fact that with the Oxford Test of English, we are helping students to demonstrate their advanced English proficiency, which can help them find job and education opportunities around the world, as well as express their opinions on topics of international importance,’ Santiago Ruiz de Velasco concluded.


Oxford University Press and Rizzoli Education

Part of the University of Oxford, a university par excellence in research, scholarship and education publishing worldwide, Oxford University Press (OUP) is the world’s largest university publisher, with the widest global presence: it publishes thousands of new publications each year, has offices in about fifty countries and employs around 5,000 clerical staff worldwide. It is known to millions of people through its varied publishing programme, which includes scholarly works in all academic disciplines, Bibles, music, school and university textbooks, children’s books, materials for teaching English as a foreign language, business books, dictionaries and academic journals.
Publications and new digital products by Oxford University Press (OUP) are distributed by Rizzoli Education exclusively for Italy. Rizzoli Education, Mondadori Group’s educational publishing house, operates in the sector on all levels of education, from primary to secondary school. For over 45 years, Oxford University Press and Rizzoli Education have supported quality education and training in Italy, preparing future generations for an increasingly interconnected and global world. This strong partnership involves millions of students in Italy with the supply of high-quality educational resources that support learning and growth.

Rizzoli Education launches the “Glow Up” empowerment campaign

An initiative promoting gender equality and inclusiveness in the school textbook publisher’s sales force

Rizzoli Education reinforces its commitment to gender equality and inclusiveness with the launch of the Glow UP empowerment campaign for its sales network.

The initiative has two key goals. The first is to continue interpreting and concretely implementing the Manifesto for gender equality and plurality launched in 2021, promoting the values of multiculturalism and the coexistence of different generations; principles the publishing house has always supported, inspiring not only its editorial and educational offering but its work environment.

The second main goal is boosting self-confidence among the people forming the Rizzoli Education team: highly qualified professionals with certified know-how whose work provides teachers with top-level assistance every day.

With Glow Up, the Mondadori Group publishing house wants to “add glow” to the value of the people in its sales network and establish the conditions for casting light on these people’s “unique”, specific talent, boosting their sense of belonging and fidelity.

In addition, the company wishes to develop an increasingly inclusive workplace where everyone can express their own qualities in the best possible way, creating a system capable of attracting the new generations, who are increasingly sensitive to these issues.

Rizzoli Education’s empowerment campaign will begin with a series of events focusing on women, promoting the affirmation of an increasingly feminine and inclusive leadership style in its sales network. The pillars of this process, which will be the focus of a series of webinars, meetings and events, are three keywords:  education, to generate awareness of one’s own value, flexibility, to support women making important life choices, and confidence for development of personal skills.

The first event – intended for women in the publishing house’s sales network – featured Francesca Rigolio, Chief Diversity Officer and Head of Human Resources in Trade Education Books for the Mondadori Group, with Alessandra Andriani, partner and general manager of the consulting firm MCA, and Annalisa Aceti, Rizzoli Education Sales Manager. The themes discussed at this inspirational meeting included career, power, language and stereotypes that can represent obstacles for gender equality.

Rizzoli Education‘s Glow Up campaign will continue throughout the year 2023 with monthly initiatives for the entire sales network to boost self-confidence and the ability of members of the publisher’s sales staff to respond to the new challenges of the market.

Rizzoli Education lancia la campagna di emporwement "Glow Up"

Rizzoli Education for gender equality and plurality

The educational publishing house is promoting a manifesto and a series of concrete actions to offer schools more inclusive models

Rizzoli Education, the Mondadori Group educational publishing house, long engaged in providing educational content and innovative products for learning, is adopting an awareness programme that aims to give schools increasingly inclusive models.

Conscious of the responsibility involved in the production of teaching materials, Rizzoli Education is also promoting a series of concrete actions that place increasing attention on issues such as gender equality, which is also at the heart of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Starting from these inspiring principles, the project aims to bring the educational community, both female and male students, their families and teachers closer to the values of gender equality, multiculturalism and inclusion, precisely because plurality of thought is able to offer new opportunities.

Based on these keywords, Rizzoli Education has developed a manifesto, a declaration of values and intentions that was outlined today by Alessandra Porcelli, the editorial director of Rizzoli Education.

“We present a manifesto that is an expression of the values we believe in and the inspiring principles that guide our entire business and that we have matured thanks to our many years of collaboration with Irene Biemmi, a specialist in gender pedagogy at the University of Florence.

As publishers, we constantly deal with such issues, which are of increasing interest, not only in the media and in everyday life, but, in particular, in the world of education and textbooks. Issues on which there is still a long way to go and to which we want to contribute. We do it and we will continue to do so, thanks to the opportunities that we have every day to work alongside with teachers in the development path of new generations. Citizens that we hope will learn to be aware, free from prejudices, and stereotypes of any kind and able to respect and enhance difference,” said Alessandra Porcelli, editorial director of Rizzoli Education.

The manifesto will be presented during a live streaming event organised by Rizzoli Education featuring the participation and testimonies of a range of voices from the worlds of journalism, research, publishing, business, the arts and sport.

They include, the sociolinguist Vera Gheno, the journalist Francesca Mannocchi, the swimmer Federico Morlacchi, the professor of pedagogy Dario Ianes and Francesca Rigolio, Chief Diversity Officer and Head of Human Resources for the Book Division of the Mondadori Group, who underlined:

“Education has always been a fundamental lever for the redistribution of skills and for the best allocation of talent in the labour market and the Rizzoli Education project fully perceive this spirit and interprets its role in a proactive and innovative way,” said Francesca Rigolio, Chief Diversity Officer and Head of Human Resources for the Book Division of the Mondadori Group. “The organisation that a community, and so a company, gives itself has significant consequences on the structure of the opportunities, not only material, that are available to the people who are part of it. By creating a specific Diversity&Inclusion function, the Mondadori Group aims to improve the balance of opportunities offered to its staff, while promoting an inclusive culture against discrimination”, concluded Rigolio.

The event organized by Rizzoli Education will be an opportunity for a reflection and an exchange of the inspiring principles of the publishing house’s project:

Saying no to stereotypes and prejudices.
Valuing people and not their gender. There are no predetermined roles, only female or only male. Women and men are equals in society and in any other context in which they can express their skills and personality.

Looking at plurality and inclusiveness.
Conscious of the changes taking place in society, Rizzoli Education aims to stimulate an inclusive and respectful vision of differences, in line with the principles of fairness and equality, equal opportunities and non-discrimination, adopting an attitude that values differences and reflects a plural and multifaced world.

Language affects reality.
Language and the way we express ourselves are the tools that affect the perception of oneself and others. This is why Rizzoli Education has undertaken to use both verbal and visual language in textbooks that contributes to deconstructing the stereotypes conveyed by language through the research of inclusive and neutral solutions and that do not express prejudice.

Helping to reconfigure the imagination of younger generations.
This commitment is aimed at proposing non-sexist female and male representations and avoiding other forms of prejudice, stereotypes and discrimination, providing more open, aware and free models for both female and male students. The hope of Rizzoli Education is that younger generations, to whose education the company’s books contribute, will be able to expand the possibilities of building their own identity and planning their future, in both educational and professional contexts, as well as in their life choices.

These are the inspiring principles that Rizzoli Education carries out in its daily activity as a publisher of books for schools, making use of the scientific advice of experts on issues of gender and plurality.

Through its collaboration with Erickson, Rizzoli Education has also implemented a series of guidelines focused in particular on issues of gender equality developed by Irene Biemmi.

These indications have resulted in a handbook that has been shared with all the people involved in the creation of textbooks: authors, illustrators, picture researchers, and editors. The overall focus is on a balanced representation of genders, i.e. the protagonists and authors, with a specific focus on textual and visual language through inclusive solutions which leave no space for stereotyped or conventional visions in textbooks.

This project is the result of Rizzoli Education’s many years of experience, both in the development of guidelines on gender equality issues and on content supervision aimed at ensuring compliance with the publishing house’s inspiring principles.

In fact, in 2018 Rizzoli Education, again in collaboration with Erickson and Irene Biemmi, launched the Obiettivo Parità (Objective: parity) project for primary schools: a programme specifically monitored and overseen by Irene Biemmi for the selection of anthological content, language, illustrations and of gender balance in entire works in general.

Five years after the launch of Obiettivo Parità, Rizzoli Education has decided to extend its attention to the principles of gender equality to all of its production, broadening the spectrum of values with a more general reference also to plurality, as featured in the manifesto.

The full presentation of the Rizzoli Education manifesto will be available in live streaming today on the Rizzoli Education YouTube channel https://rizzoli.page.link/41021 today from 4:30 pm.

The Rizzoli Education illustrated manifesto for gender equality and plurality has been realized by Nicolò Canova.

Oxford University Press and Rizzoli Education: new exclusive distribution agreement

The contract celebrates forty years of cooperation in Italy

More than tow million Italian children have taken their first steps in English with the Oxford books TreeTops, before going on in secondary school with other incredibly successful titles, including High Five and Horizons, also used by two million students

Oxford University Press and Rizzoli Education have signed a new exclusive agreement for the distribution in Italy of books for the teaching of English published by the historic British publisher.

The new five-year contract will allow the two players in the educational publishing sector to renew a strong partnership that has been consolidated over many years.

Together, Oxford University Press and Rizzoli Education have been the protagonists of many successes, thanks to which they continue to look to the future and its challenges with clear objectives, great vitality and a reinforced spirit of collaboration.

Through this partnership Oxford University Press celebrates more than forty years of activity in Italy. The first exclusive distribution agreement dates from 1978 with La Nuova Italia Editrice, the historic publishing house, that today is a Rizzoli Education brand.

Since then Oxford University Press has reached the top of the Italian market, where it is the leader in both primary and secondary schools, with high quality books that are adopted by thousands of English teachers.

A key factor in this success has been the commitment to producing books specifically developed for Italian schools and brought to market thanks to the partnership with Rizzoli Education.

This close partnership has given to schools a number of successful titles. in addition to TreeTops, High Five and Horizons, best sellers with sales of well over two million copies, as well as the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (published in 1948 and now in its ninth edition) used by hundreds of millions of students around the world, and Headway, the international course, also distributed in Italy by Rizzoli Education, which, since its publication in 1986, has been used by millions of students around the world to study English.


Oxford University Press is a department of the prestigious University of Oxford. For more than 500 years it has shared innovative ideas and thought through the publication of books that promote the university’s mission to pursue excellence in knowledge, research and education.  

Rizzoli Education operates in the educational publishing sector at all levels, from primary to secondary schools, with printed and digital products and technology and services for both teachers and students.