New Normal: EDHEC steps up its engagement in favour of future generations

Written on 08 Jul 2021.

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Faced with the health crisis and sweeping changes in society, EDHEC Business School has reasserted its intention of placing business at the service of future generations and implementing the School’s Impact Future Generations strategic plan 2025 presented in March 2020. During its annual press conference, EDHEC detailed its priorities and strategic battles: multi-disciplinary teaching, career support for students, entrepreneurship and social diversity. 

Hybrid knowledge to decrypt the world and broaden career choices

Tomorrow’s generation of leaders must be capable of identifying opportunities in a complex world undergoing sweeping change. Faced with this challenge, EDHEC is intensifying its hybridisation policy, through three new partnership agreements signed in disciplinary fields as varied as engineering sciences, law and information.  

  • EDHEC BBA - UTC Compiègne double degree: training manager-engineers. Amid the increasing digitalisation of the economy, EDHEC and the Technological University of Compiègne (UTC) are creating a four-year double degree that allows students to develop dual competencies in engineering sciences and management sciences. They can also choose one of the following three majors: Marketing, Finance or Engineering. On completing the programme, students will obtain a double degree in the form of the International BBA from EDHEC and a proprietary degree (diplôme d’établissement) issued by UTC. This new programme, due to open in September 2022, prepares students for careers in the fields of finance, e-commerce, marketing and technology, as well as for a broad array of professions such as data analyst, data scientist, digital brand manager or chief data officer, and for emerging functions like growth hacker, KYC (Know Your Customer) officer, cryptologist or data ethnographer. The double degree builds on the momentum of the existing collaboration between EDHEC and UTC Compiègne, initiated in 2020 with the opening of the Executive MBA in Healthcare, Innovation & Technology.


  • EDHEC BBA - Institut d’Etude à Distance/Ecole du Droit de la Sorbonne (IED-EDS) track: longstanding dual expertise extended to undergraduate programmes. As a pioneer in training and research in a dual law and management culture, EDHEC has created a Law and Management track within the International BBA, which allows students to take classes delivered by IED-EDS while benefiting from tutoring within EDHEC with a view to obtaining a French Bachelor (Licence) in Law then a Master 1. This track has been set up in relation with the EDHEC Augmented Law Institute, whose aim is to position the knowledge, skills and function of corporate legal officer at the centre of corporate and societal transformations.


  • EDHEC MiM - ESJ Lille double degree: opening doors to a media career. Students wishing to pursue careers as information or media experts will obtain a double degree from EDHEC and ESJ Lille, France’s leading journalism school.Thanks to the double admissibility agreement signed between the two institutions – covering the competitive entrance exams for the ESJ Lille Master and the EDHEC Master, respectively – students will enjoy the benefits of teaching that excels from both EDHEC and ESJ Lille as part of a cross-curriculum starting in September 2021. After a first year spent in their school of origin, ESJ Lille students will join the Business Management track of the EDHEC Master 1 to acquire a business and management culture. After the first year of their Master, EDHEC students will continue their studies at ESJ Lille where they will develop in-depth knowledge of new media, along with the tools for understanding and decrypting the news. Internships related to the media and information sectors will see them gain practical experience and further enhance their employability.

Career Booster: a customised programme for optimising employability

At a time when questions over young graduates’ employability and entry into the job market are at the centre of debate, EDHEC is investing massively in its career support mechanism by launching Career Booster, a customised, innovative programme founded on three pillars:

  • A phase devoted to constructing the student’s professional project and defining their career objectives – it enables students to identify their strengths and match them against the expectations of businesses, e.g. skills assessment in relation to the job market, all-round assessment, customised advice and professional coaching throughout the year and at distance. Over 10,000 career interviews are held each year.


  • Intensive and customised preparation – based on the pitch model common to start-ups, students train themselves to present their job applications and prepare for the most competitive recruitment processes. To make their job searches more effective, they can follow specific sessions focused on particular activities or functions. One of the strengths of the Career Booster programme is in preparing students for the selection stages of graduate programmes, a facility that enables 15% of young Master graduates to join the high-potential tracks offered by large corporations every year. A total of 7,500 students a year follow these sessions and close to 2,000 take part in assessment centres.


  • Multiple opportunities to interact with recruiters – Career Booster is supported by the privileged links EDHEC maintains with recruiters in order to foster connections between students and future employers and to develop visibility for the latter by via various original actions. Every year, close to 400 companies, 20% of which are international groups, take part in these initiatives.


Many innovative procedures enable students to better identify their strengths:  

  • Definition of an original “make-an-impact skill model” based on five major competencies: creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, agility and sensitivity to societal issues,
  • Preparation of an attitude-based approach, in addition to a skills-based one. This approach focuses on using skills in real situations and complex environments - co-creation, adaptation, authenticity and all-round vision,
  • Creation of a 100%-online career self-development programme offering all students the chance to train themselves at their pace by following their own personal development objectives.  

Despite the pandemic, the figures for EDHEC students finding employment testify to the performance of their degree and the career support they receive:

  • Close to 90% of 2020 graduates looking for employment found a job
  • 53% of them found work before the end of their programme
  • 93% said the job they found matched their career objectives.

There was also a high degree of international mobility: 35% of the class of 2020 had their first professional experience abroad (in one of 45 countries), while 60% work outside their country of origin. Lastly, the increasing importance of societal issues was confirmed by the choice of young graduates, with close to 30% saying their position comprises an ESR aspect.

Entrepreneurship at the service of future generations

Encouraging entrepreneurship is one of the cornerstones of EDHEC’s strategic plan and the School is developing ambitious new projects in this area:  

  • EDHEC has created the Centre for Responsible Entrepreneurship, which brings together EDHEC Entrepreneurs (the School’s incubator and accelerator), all initiatives and courses centred on entrepreneurship within programmes, together with research projects, particularly the EDHEC Family Business Centre. The objective is to ensure a continuum between start-ups, programmes and research, and thereby to strengthen entrepreneurial innovation among all stakeholders in order to devise new, more responsible practices and to foster the transformation of businesses in a way that serves future generations.    


  • Thanks to sizeable acceleration since its creation, EDHEC Entrepreneurs is now the second-largest partner programme at Station F. Starting with 40 places at opening in 2017, EDHEC Entrepreneurs now has the capacity to host 110 places at the world’s largest start-up campus. All in all, EDHEC Entrepreneurs has supported close to 400 start-ups over the last 10 years on its various sites in Paris, Lille and Nice, creating over 4,000 jobs, with a total of €17m of funding raised already in 2021, for example. EDHEC intends to continue supporting and promoting high-potential start-ups liable to change the world of tomorrow, such as (rechargeable toiletries) and Jump (innovative wage portage services).


  • Internationally, EDHEC is gearing up to open EDHEC America, an EDHEC Business School Hub in Berkeley, California in October 2001, in a region where the School counts some 200 students every year, thanks particularly to agreements forged with UCLA, Berkeley and Stanford universities. The goal is to strengthen the School’s links with its network of partners, universities, alumni and businesses in California, to develop new services for students and also to set up a direct presence in the region’s rich entrepreneurial ecosystem. As a strategic partner of Berkeley SkyDeck, EDHEC will offer its students privileged access to the prestigious American university’s incubator via the HotDesk Program (Incubator) and the Cohort Program (Accelerator). The activities and services offered include mentoring, classes, workshops, pitch competitions and learning expeditions, together with access to a broad network of professionals and to social and environmental impact venture capital funds.   

Tangible measures to strengthen social diversity

To promote equal opportunities and foster access to higher education, EDHEC established an ambitious social policy in co-ordination with the EDHEC Foundation. This policy is embodied by the EDHEC For All programme which currently enables 15% of tuition fees to be redistributed in the form of bursaries. EDHEC wishes to go further in this direction and has announced a series of tangible measures to strengthen social diversity within all programmes and to ensure that bursary students account for 20% of the total number of students for all its programmes in three years’ time.

The experimental mechanism retained by EDHEC comprises three main strands:

  • Introduction of significant financial assistance for CROUS bursary students, on a progressive basis according to their rung in the classification system and corresponding to between 25% and 75% of tuition fees.


  • Creation of an experimental “double appeal” mechanism for admissibility to the BCE entrance exam for grandes écoles. The best non-admissible bursary students will have the chance to sit an oral. Between the written and the oral exam, all admissible bursary candidates will be offered support to prepare their oral. This procedure, which respects equity as regards the admission process, offers the best students originating from more modest backgrounds the chance to demonstrate their talent. An identical system is planned for admissions to the second year via the parallel entrance process (AST2), with the aim of making the entrance process more inclusive, while also maintaining high standards of selectivity and excellence.     


  • Opening of the “EDHECTalent” programme, in order to act upstream and provide specific support to 50 young bursary students on preparatory classes - selected on the basis of their record - with the aim of fostering success among all students.    


Amid an unprecedented health crisis, EDHEC has retained the course set out in the Impact Future Generations plan and continued to implement its strategic projects. To learn lessons from the pandemic and imagine the contours of the post-Covid academic world, we have worked with our different stakeholders on a forward-looking exercise “EDHEC New Normal”. This confirms our engagement in favour of impactful reseach, multi-disciplinary teaching, greater social diversity, and high-impact careers that enable our students to spearhead the major transformations taking place in the world today

underlines Emmanuel Métais, Dean of EDHEC Business School.