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Top of the class: Hauts-de-France excels in higher education

06 Dec 2016 | Front page, A region on the move

Tomorrow’s talent: the many nationally and internationally renowned institutions of higher learning in Hauts-de-France give this region France’s fourth largest student population—a valuable pipeline for the future.

Fresh and dynamic

With more than 210,000 students, Hauts-de-France boasts France’s fourth largest student population in higher education. Over the years, nine universities and over 30 prestigious grandes écoles have emerged, closely attuned to the real economy—and to the region’s own business and community needs.

Excellent teaching

Schools and universities in Northern France have recently won kudos for quality instruction and outstanding faculty, with expert observers ranking them at the top of their fields.

Award-winning digital creation and animation school Rubika is one example. This cutting-edge institution has scooped up a string of prizes, particularly for short films. And French business daily Le Figaro has just named it no. 1 in France for its video-game curriculum--for the second year running.

The region’s business schools are equally impressive: in the 2017 rankings by student magazine L’Etudiant, Lille’s Edhec placed fifth in a field of 38 institutions in France. IESEG, which recently won its third international accreditation, came in eighth, followed by SKEMA in ninth position.

Stronger together

Major change in the fields of higher education and research has generated new energy among the region’s educational institutions, leading to new tie-ups and partnerships.

An example is Douai’s Ecole des Mines engineering school and Télécom Lille, which will merge on January 1 to create IMT Lille Douai, France’s largest engineering school north of Paris.

Likewise, ISA, ISEN and HEI recently joined forces to create Yncréa Hauts-de-France, now the largest associative network of engineering schools in France with some 5,500 students.

Links like these reflect the very dense network of engineers in France, where 206 institutions train 35,000 graduates a year—an ideal springboard for building international ties.

Global student exchanges on the rise

Each year several thousand international students arrive in Northern France for studies lasting several months or several years. The global partnerships driving these student exchanges have strengthened regional expertise in both education and research.

They also allow students to graduate with double degrees, completing programs at partner institutions around the world and gaining rich intercultural and multidisciplinary experiences that will benefit their future careers.

To cite just one example, Université Technologique de Compiègne (UTC) has just launched a platform in Mexico—its third international program after China and Chile. UTC currently offers 17 double degrees with 150 partner institutions worldwide. 

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