French Management Schools welcome international students

With thanks to Mr Jacques Perrin, General secretary of the chapter of Management Schools within the Conference des Grandes Ecoles, and, Director of High Education and Development of competences and technological groups of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Nice/Côte d'Azur.

The Conference of Grandes Ecoles is a non-profit association of 135 engineering schools, 30 Management schools (gathered in the Chapter of the Management schools) and 15 schools of diverse teaching-specialised and multiple teaching.

The Grandes Ecoles are institutions of higher education which are either placed under the authority of the Ministry of Education and six other ministries, private, or placed under the authority of the Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

According to the President of the Conference of the Grandes Ecoles, Mr Alain Cadix, between 2000/2001, the Grandes Ecoles welcomed more than 16,000 foreign students. 142 nationalities were represented. 57% of these students were welcomed in graduate programs, and 23% of these last ones were postgraduate programs. With regards to the successful opening of the Mastères Specialisés, their composition is 22% foreign students.

How have the French Management Schools embraced internationalisation Mr Perrin?

The French Management schools have been very pro-active in the internationalisation and the welcoming of foreign students.

From the 1970s, we can notice an academic strategy with a number of partner institutions in order to sign exchange agreements.

This first trend is based on the principle of reciprocal arrangements (one student for one student). Students are offered the opportunity of spending a significant period of time (3 months to one year) of their studies in a partner institution abroad. The inventory today shows an average of 35-40 academic partnerships per school.

The second strategy, born in the 1980s has made foreign students partly or fully participating to the program proposed by the school in order to get a diploma.

The most significant initiative in this field is the implementation of a consortium: CIAM (International Center of admissions for Management studies) including 5 of the biggest consular management schools (HEC, ESCP, ESSEC, EMLyon and CERAM). CIAM is setting up and organising the recruitment of foreign students from 35 location around the world with the assistance of French cultural services (branch of French Embassies), and is in charge of the promotion of the different programs of the schools.

What are the effects of globalisation on Management?

Globalisation does not involve a unique, uniform and inflexible management. Many streams are noticed in the management, as the introduction of the new technologies offering students new programs become more and more specific (ex. Management and Technology). Besides, these changes attract many foreign students.

Unlike the American system, the Management à la française takes into consideration European cultural diversity: "Think global, Act local" is not a myth! This is then a competitive advantage for European schools.

Globalisation speeds up the internationalisation phenomenon of our own students (immersion with foreign students in different cultures and ways of working in an international context).

Could you explain the role of the different accreditations AACSB, AMBA, and EQUIS?

AACSB, founded in 1916, is the premier accrediting agency for bachelors, master's and doctoral degree programs in business administration and accounting. More than 400 institutions in the world are accredited by the American association. AMBA is an English accrediting association for MBAs and postgraduate programs.

EQUIS, the most recent, is the most demanding accreditation on the European scale. In order to obtain the accreditation, institutions are suggested by EQUIS to step up targets of progress and quality through the certification model EFQM.

Do you have a message for the attention of international students?

French Management schools welcome international students from the 4 corners of the world. They will have a great opportunity to discover the cultural and historical wealth of Europe, and the advantage of living in an economic area-the European Union-with a rich past and a promising future.

As far as Education, Technology and Economy are concerned, Europe is inventing and constructing a new model which is going to be a reference.


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