Will 2020 be a turning point?

Published on 23/09/2020
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Dear EDHEC graduates, dear Alumni, 

In September, it is a tradition on our campuses to wish each other a happy new academic year and to pass on these wishes to our students on the first days of term. Today, I would like to extend those wishes to you, our graduates, who act as ambassadors for our school on a daily basis. 

These are peculiar times. The health crisis has generated a wave of uncertainty, requiring us to gather our strengths to assist our students as best we can. We are all committed to the task, guided by two principles in delicate balance: the health of our students and staff on the one hand and educational continuity and quality of the EDHEC experience on the other. 

Your commitment to working with us is clear. Your online student testimonials, your donations to the COVID emergency fund for our most vulnerable youth, your invaluable advice in the hunt for internships and jobs, and your assistance with the entrepreneurial projects of our future graduates are testimony to your ongoing involvement in the life and future of our school. Once again, we are truly thankful.

This new academic year is also unique in that it marks a turning point in EDHEC’s history. We are embarking on the EDHEC for Future Generations strategic plan, which charts our ambitious course to 2025. The current crisis makes this plan even more compelling, not least because we are facing a major challenge in the French third-level arena. For several years now, EDHEC has been becoming more and more attractive to preparatory-school pupils, whom we thank most sincerely. That trend continues to accelerate. While the official final results of the third-level entrance examinations have not been published because of the health crisis, last year’s admissions rankings and a survey we conducted among new entrants leave us in little doubt that we are now the fourth most popular undergraduate programme for candidates from preparatory schools in France (SIGEM ranking). They have overwhelmingly chosen EDHEC, sometimes even over schools in Paris. It is with great pride that I wanted to share this with you and the entire EDHEC Community. 

With this vote of confidence comes obligation, however. We are, therefore, stepping up our development plans and, in particular, strengthening those areas of differentiation that give us so many key advantages over our competitors.
They include:

  • The need for selectivity:
    80% of French students on our undergraduate programme come from preparatory schools, which are highly selective on parallel admissions, from which we derive real benefit;
    75% of students on our BBA have a baccalaureate with merit or distinction. 

  • International recognition of the impact of our research on the business world: Over the years, you have all followed the success story of the EDHEC-Risk Institute, as well as the sale of Scientific Beta in January 2020 ‒ such achievements set EDHEC apart and give it the means to progress at the highest level. 

  • The law is another historical area of expertise for EDHEC. The field of Business Law and Management is a unique discipline, which has seen more than 700 of our graduates forge a career in the legal and tax professions. Today, we are launching the EDHEC Augmented Law Institute with a view to positioning the knowledge, skills and role of the lawyer at the heart of corporate and societal transformation. 

  • The international and the entrepreneurial are interrelated EDHEC-specific value propositions. The EDHEC Entrepreneurs lab at Station F has just been selected to take part in the French Tech Tremplin initiative and we continue to work on our projects in San Francisco and Singapore. The international dimension with which you are all familiar is strategically important to and present in all of our projects: we believe that confronting ‘otherness’ is a fundamental obligation. The GETT Programme at the heart of the Master in Management, in partnership with Berkeley Haas Business School and SKK (Korea), is highly attractive and emblematic of the programmes we aim to develop over the coming years. At the same time, we continue to expand our international collaborations (for example, we recently signed agreements with Tsinghua University in China, the University of Saint-Gall in Switzerland, King’s College London and Stanford University in the United States). 

  • A study we conducted in 2020 with Institut Montaigne on The new frontiers of higher education confirmed our approach. More than half of all respondents from around the world (France, the United Kingdom, the United States, India and South Africa) believe that higher education should promote the acquisition of soft skills, such as agility, creativity and critical thinking. EDHEC for Future Generations, therefore, is also about working every day to train multifaceted managers capable of navigating a complex world. The most recent strategic partnerships we signed this summer with Eurecom (on Management and the Internet of Things) and Mines ParisTech-PSL (on climate change and sustainable finance) demonstrate our ambition and the level of excellence we wish to achieve. 

The year 2020 is, first and foremost, a springboard. At the beginning of the academic year, we stand ready to accelerate the transformation of our school and to promote our values, our convictions and key areas of differentiation. You can be sure that our EDHEC teams will continue to invest all of their energy in enhancing the value of your degree. I am counting on you to fly the flag and to work with us for the future generations. 

Thank you! 

Emmanuel METAIS
Dean of EDHEC Business School

Career change? Moving house?