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At INSEEC, education goes hand in hand with digitalisation

With annual revenue of €200 million, more than 22,000 students and campuses in Paris, Shanghai and San Francisco, INSEEC is a French higher education group with an international dimension. Under the impetus of Chairwoman Catherine Lespine, the Group’s new Chief Operating Officer José Peran plans to use digital technologies to further enhance the quality of education.

INSEEC has invested €5 million in digital technology, from online offerings to e-learning to the virtual campus

“We started our digital transformation 10 years ago. Our objective was to develop tools to help our students, professors and administrators improve their work methods, using an agile development method rather than set, five-year plans,” begins José Peran. He cites three recent examples of the Group’s principal digital innovations. Firstly, its website that brings together over 1,000 proposed jobs and internships for students. “Originally developed for the INSEEC School of Communication, our career website was then made available to all of the schools in the Group. It is constantly being upgraded, and students can apply for jobs directly online using an internally-developed “Facebook-for-professionals”. E-learning is another digital initiative. “In 2016, we created our own studio to develop e-learning modules and webinars.” Now, in early 2017, more than 250 video capsules are already available on the Group’s intranet, and José intends to step up the rate of content production. The Learning 7 Virtual Campus is the Group’s most recent innovation. Its objective is to reproduce campus life online. “Using the Learning 7 web interface, students can remotely dialogue with their professors, easily access their lessons and take exams.”

These innovations are driven by a 50-strong IT services team. “Over the last few years, we have developed one of the market’s best-performing learning management systems. We now have all of the digital tools we need to carve out a leadership position in France and the rest of Europe.

INNOV INSEEC, a new brand for marketing digital services

Leveraging these innovations, INSEEC has recently launched INNOV INSEEC, its new 100%-digital brand. “INNOV INSEEC is our new brand bringing together all of our schools’ online programmes.” A la carte and flexible, it especially targets French and international students who are not always able to travel to class, but also working people who want to take advantage of distance learning. “Ten percent of our teaching now takes place on the internet.” We hope our INNOV INSEEC programme will boost this proportion to 20-25% within five years. José notes that students from the Group’s schools are also increasingly using digital technology as a complement to traditional courses. “In our Paris-based School of Communication, more than 50% of fifth-year students take online courses.” This figure is indicative of the ramp-up of blended learning in all forms of education. “As is already the case in the realm of professional training, tomorrow’s higher education will be hybrid: half in class, half online.”

Supporting tomorrow’s digital success stories

At the INSEEC Group, digital technologies extend beyond the confines of its schools. “Our mission is not just to teach, but also to support tomorrow’s success stories.” To this end, the Group’s various schools have numerous incubators, which have already played a role in the development of companies such as ENOVAP and Quantum, both of which are products of the incubator at Ecole Centrale de l’Electronique. José adds that many successful French entrepreneurs came from the Group’s schools, such as the founders of well-known French websites Melty, Maddyness and Monsieur T-Shirt. All three are graduates of INSEEC’s School of Communication. The INSEEC Group has also developed partnerships with major companies such as Orange and Microsoft, and organises hackathons with “42”, the school founded by Xavier Niel. Lastly, the highly mediatised Startup Weekend Paris Viva Tech was held at one of INSEEC Group’s largest campuses, the Eiffel Campus in Paris. José is pleased to say that “it was an incredible springboard for our students’ good ideas.”

INSEEC has also created venues for its entrepreneurial objectives on the international scene. In 2015, the Group opened a new campus in San Francisco, which is now running a digital innovation challenge oriented around smart devices. Its objective is to help students bring their projects to fruition, from formalising their idea to creating a prototype and putting them in contact with investors. “It’s an American boot camp in the heart of Silicon Valley that will enable our students to breathe life into their digital projects.”

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