Grandes Écoles are a distinctive element of the French higher education system, which parallels the classical university system. Many of them were founded back in the 18th and 19th century with the purpose of training highly qualified engineers. Unlike universities in France, which are comprehensive educational institutions covering various fields (sciences, law, economics, medicine, humanities, etc) with a large student body and which are open to anyone with a high school diploma, "Grandes Écoles" are much smaller in size and recruit their students with very selective processes.
Ever since their creation, Grandes Écoles of Engineering have stood at the forefront of technological and scientific developments in their field and have trained a majority of the engineers who have given rise to France's industrial achievements. Grandes Écoles supply France with most of its engineers, industrial research specialists, managers and administrators. According to the Conférence des Grandes Écoles (www.cge.asso.fr), Nowadays over 60 % of the managing directors and the chief executives in France's 100 largest firms are graduates of the "Grandes Écoles". Broad courses of study enable them to assume top positions and offer them different career possibilities.
Grandes Écoles of Engineering usually offer prestgious Master's degree programmes, the most important of which is the Diplôme d’Ingénieur, the French Master’s degree in Engineering. Because of the strong selection of the students and of the very high quality of the curriculum, the Diplôme d’Ingénieur, which gives right to bear the title of an Ingénieur, is one of the most prestigious degrees in France; it is protected by law and submitted to strict government supervision. It is more valued by companies than a university degree in terms of career opportunities and wages.
Polytech Excellence” is a flagship initiative of the Polytech Group, launched by its 13 member engineering schools with the support of the French government “Investments for the Future” framework. The Polytech vision is to promote the well-known model of French “Ingénieur” degree and to strengthen international collaboration by establishing a long term mutually rewarding academic cooperation, all over the world, with prestigious partner institutions which are sharing the same vision on engineering education and research development.
1 : Water engineering, Environment
2 : Electronic engineering and embedded system
3 : Energy, Process engineering
4 : Biotechnology, Bioengineering, Food Science
5 : Biomedical Engineering
6 : Civil Engineering
8 : Computer Science
9 : Materials Science
10 : Applied Mathematics
11 : Mechanical engineering
The strategy developed by the Polytech Group is based on two axes: the first one opens and facilitates access to engineering degrees (equivalent to Msc.) by newer student populations within France, while the second one aims at establishing long term academic cooperation at the international level by exchanging students and staff through a structured network of partner institutions. This strategy is developed with the support of a major representative entity from industry - the UIMM which is an employers' association whose mission is to represent and promote the interests of companies for all sizes and types engaged in metallurgy - and with the “Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie” (AUF) which is one of the most important higher education and research associations in the world. The Polytech Group wishes to facilitate integration of foreign students in the existing engineering courses delivered by the 13 schools and develop a general offer of double degrees jointly awarded with partner institutions.
The approach proposes by Polytech is based on the n+1+2 concept. In such approach, after n years in higher education, the candidate follows a specific year within his home institution in order to improve his knowledge in French and in some technical/scientific domains. Following this preparatory year, he joins, for two years, one of the engineer specialty offered by the Polytech Group. At the end of the course, the candidate can receive the “diplôme d’ingénieur” from the Polytech Group and a master degree from his home institution.
The Polytech Group is offering about 90 different engineer courses from the following fields:
The Polytech Group wishes to establish a close cooperation with the partner institutions by supporting the development of the preparatory year with the partner institution. This support could be implemented through various actions like providing teaching resources, staff exchange, eLearning material, capacity development, etc. The objective is to consolidate both engineering degrees and to establish mutual recognition through multiple degrees.
A minimum of B2 level in French is required before coming to France. This language training can be integrated within the first years of engineering courses in the home institution. In order to facilitate integration of international students in the Polytech Group, students would follow the Polytech Preparatory Program along with their regular degree program. Certain pre-requisites are needed, apart from the main domain skills, in math, physics, chemistry and computer science. General oral and written communication skills, international economic environment, business laws, company organization and general operational and financial management skills are also to be acquired during this preparatory year. A detailed mapping can be done between the partner institutions and the Polytech schools to mutually finalize this preparatory course.
Funding will be organized for a certain number of students based on their academic merit in the framework of our agreement. The partner institution participates to the selection and decision for this Scholarship Program. The Polytech Group ensures to the partner institution the possibility to send annually the defined number of qualified students in the different engineering field which are identified as priorities. The pedagogic collaboration opens up doors to additional actions like faculty exchange, joint research projects, etc.
The Polytech Excellence initiative is par of the IDEFI projects selected in 2012. More details can be found on the following website: http://investissement-avenir.gouvernement.fr/
Polytech Excellence is developped in joint partnership with l'Agence Universitiare de la Francophonie et l'Union des Industries et des Métiers de la Métallurgie.