It is understood, the international is now mandatory for schools and universities. Yet is it appropriate that they know how. Because development on foreign markets is not always a bed of roses. If it is a unique showcase, it can also be a source of many disappointments. Little reminder of the rules of the game and the mistakes to avoid for successful international.
1. To define a project. Too many institutions embark on international markets "the flower in the gun", with the idea that the world is waiting. The disappointment is likely to be end of the road. "It is important above all to have a vision of what is to be realistic and clear." "And, of course, means that you can spend," said Christopher Cripps, Director of International Affairs, the Central School of Paris. There are countries "make sense": for example, priority partners of the France (or destinations target companies we work with), and others that offer only limited interest for the institution.
2 While choosing its foreign partners. It is indeed by them that, more often, expanding international it is rare that it creates an "offshore" ex nihilo campus. These partners must be commensurate with the ambitions and the means of the institution. A second school, even meritorious, will have difficulty to make alliance with Harvard. "Everyone can succeed internationally." "But unnecessary hit of at the outset at the door of the universities", notes Christopher Cripps. The reverse is true: CET has no interest in partnering with an unknown University to the bottom of Maryland. "We chose to work in China with partners like us and with whom we have been able to establish a true relationship of trust", explained Jean-Louis Mutte, Director General of the ESC Amiens group, who signed two agreements with two local universities, to Yangzhou and Shanghai.
But this implies especially to know the country, the quality of its teaching, the level of his training... and its graduates. In the matter, surprises abound. Some school officials were thus faced fanciful assessments of foreign students, or even degrees of convenience.
Also better prioritize its priorities: it is not possible to carry out front several dozens of partnerships expanded. Unnecessary, thus to solicit all azimuths. If necessary, it will distinguish strategic partners, with which you build privileged relationships, and other.
3 Explain the French specifics. At the beginning of negotiations, take the time to properly explain to potential foreign partner the intricacies and complexities of the French system of higher education. A master has nothing to do with a master's degree specialized, a high school is not a "high school", etc. "This allows the discussion on clear bases and then avoid having to return long on points which have not understood," said Benoīt Legait, Director of the Ecole des mines de Paris.
4 Banning the naļve optimism. Number of institutions are seeking to conclude any agreements with a prestigious Partner Award. Opens the way to all kinds of unfair clauses or unbalanced agreements. Institutions of developing countries, in particular, a while they have important financial means, reach with art consumed negotiation to provide without scholarship untie programs, research laboratories, air tickets or buildings.
5 Not to burn the steps. Start with the base: Exchange students. They know its partner, to assess each other, foster relationships between teachers and officials. At the international, was built on the duration. Concluded an agreement of dual degree with the prestigious Keio University in the Japan, Essec has worked for twenty years with it. Do not hesitate to return to load if there is no answer: the interlocutor is perhaps overwhelmed, or he is not accustomed to the international. Also avoid sending too many students in the same foreign University: not more than a dozen by agreement, to avoid creating ghettos.
6 Employ a trust representative on-site. It will provide valuable advice on the choice of interlocutors, the steps to accomplish, susceptibilities to... It may also dampen a wrong committed situation. This type of profile is essential in countries like China or the India. And this does not exempt to regularly visit on the spot... Can not fly by e-mail or by phone.
7 Be flexible and creative. "If the dual degree does not work, you may try the Exchange semester, or collaboration in the field of research, notes Christopher Cripps." You should also know accept some imbalances: in an exchange agreement, it may happen that a partner year struggling to find students to send. "Is not a reason to cut the bridges".
8 Not to neglect the financial aspect. International, if certain actions are not very expensive, others can quickly increase the invoice. And, above all, it is not always possible to charge the actual cost too high for some countries. It is therefore important to be very strict on the financial aspect, in order to avoid skidding. If possible, try to assess the solvency of the partner.
Another important question: when on foot pay training, to ensure the settlement of tuition fees. The list is long of the schools who have experienced the greatest difficulty to pay... "In our first steps in Asia, we have been falling on bad payers or interlocutors who sought every opportunity to roll us in the flour, remembers Patrick Molle, Director General of EM Lyon." Do not generalize, but better is to be prudent. "Such other"business school"the hexagon has been great to know how many Chinese through charging students the training it provided on-site. "When you come from the foreign executives in France, better require full payment before the start of the program", advises his side Christopher Cripps.
9. Develop a suitable structure. To establish themselves internationally, send officials and academics on the spot, foreign students, work accreditation and rankings, set up a suitable communication, taking support logistical matters. All this calls supported teams and suitable operation.
10Investir in real estate, hospitality and services. "French schools are accustomed to accommodate older students in 20 years, observes Christopher Cripps.". But international frameworks, to increase substantially the level of benefits.
Last point: the international opening transforms in-depth daily life and the operation of the institution. Is it desirable, at regular intervals, "consolidation of the Interior" device for example by bringing together all stakeholders to make the point with them and inform them of the progress of projects. History to associate all of the institution in the process.