Nelson has been a partner in K-12 and post-secondary education in Canada for over a century. As the evolution of post-secondary continues to progress, Nelson recognizes that these two important markets each require a singular focus to ensure students and educators receive the right solutions to enable learning success.

As faculties prepare for the upcoming school year, Nelson is selling its domestic textbook business to Top Hat, the leading active learning platform for higher education, and is currently in late-stage discussions with a key post-secondary player, as well as its other publishing partners, to finalize its retraction from the market in order to deepen its focus on K-12 education and technology.

Toronto – May 26, 2020 – Nelson, Canada’s leading educational publisher, announces today its strategic decision to withdraw from the post-secondary market.  Nelson will now solely focus on the K-12 education market locally and globally. Since 1914, Nelson has played a key role in delivering world-class learning resources to K-12 and post-secondary communities. As the education landscape continues to shift, Nelson recognizes that these two markets are moving at different speeds. Each requires a core focus to ensure students and educators receive the right solutions to enable learning success.

Over the last two years, Nelson has disrupted the K-12 landscape with the launch of Edwin, a digital learning ecosystem that drives student engagement and outcomes. A singular focus on K-12 education will ensure students can successfully move forward into the next chapter of post-secondary education.

“We believe in the transformational power of education and the role it plays in building a stronger society and in turn an effect on gross domestic product for our country. That is why focusing on engaging students in K-12 education will result in better post-secondary preparedness and future workforce readiness,” says Steve Brown, Nelson President and CEO. “Enabling student and educator success is at the core of everything we do. As post-secondary institutions prepare for the upcoming school year, we want to ensure faculties and their students have access to high quality and flexible content in premium online courseware for a new learning environment brought on by a global pandemic.”

The last few months of campus closures and course disruptions have accelerated the need for students and educators to access high-quality learning materials in a flexible format to support online course delivery. Nelson’s retraction from the post-secondary market will see Top Hat’s acquisition of its Canadian domestic higher ed textbook business, bringing more than 400 titles to Top Hat’s powerful active learning platform and strengthening it with tools to provide engaging and effective learning outcomes.

In the coming weeks, Nelson will finalize its withdrawal from the post-secondary market through collaboration with its existing publishing partners, and as it concludes a second strategic agreement with another key player in the field. To support the needs of the upcoming school year and beyond, Nelson and the key player are committed to work together to provide Canadian customers continued access to the great portfolio of print and digital products currently distributed by Nelson. With this acquisition, post-secondary institutions will be able to benefit from uninterrupted warehouse ordering and a dedicated office presence to ensure a smooth transition.

Nelson has been a trusted partner in post-secondary education and will continue to work closely with its partners to ensure continued support and service during these transformative times.


About Nelson

Nelson is Canada’s leading educational publisher. Nelson believes in the evolution of life-long education and dedicates its business efforts to the creation of quality, innovative solutions that support the needs of every student and educator to empower learning success.

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For more information, please contact:

Colleen Aguilar, Vice President, Communications & Marketing, Nelson,

Emily Morphy, Social Media & Digital Content Specialist, Nelson,