The CEFDG, CDEFM and Hcéres begin a new partnership to boost the excellence, performance and profile of French business schools.

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With the creation of the Conference of Directors of French Business Schools (CDEFM) last April, a new collaboration process has been established between the three organisations through the work of their respective presidents. Their shared ambition is to support business schools in their growth and drive for excellence, both in France and abroad, by streamlining the various evaluation procedures to which they are currently subject.

For the Evaluation Commission for Qualifications issued by Business Schools (CEFDG), whose primary mission under the French Ministry for Higher Education, Research and Innovation is to evaluate business and management programmes, this collaboration will provide additional insight at a time when its activity is seeing strong growth. Granting approval and/or a grade is more essential than ever as evidence of quality, especially internationally, where such certification has become a powerful means of recognition.

The CDEFM is a new player in this environment, and for them this initiative corresponds perfectly to its purpose, which is to promote and represent of the private Grandes Ecoles in management by working with the bodies already in place. Paradoxically, these business schools are often criticised for being "private" despite their recognition abroad for their excellence and international model.

Finally, for Hcéres as an independent agency in charge of evaluating higher education and research that will house the CEFDG in its premises from September 2021, this cooperation is an opportunity for the special case of these business schools. It is part of a pragmatic approach freely adopted by all under the framework law for research, which stipulates that its role is to coordinate the various evaluation bodies of institutions, research, and academic programmes.

The first objective of this approach is to streamline the evaluation procedures which are often complex and cumbersome for the schools, and which may benefit from other contributions and shared approaches under this new strategy. In operational terms, this partnership will take the form of regular meetings with all players to share the practices of each body.

For Mathilde Gollety, CEFDG President: "We could say that the planets have aligned: it's the right time to imagine together—each body maintaining its own independence—how to collaborate in the spirit of professionalism, neutrality and goodwill that we already share, with the business schools at the heart of our approach." 

For Alice Guilhon, CDEFM President and Executive Director of SKEMA Business School: "This joint approach will allow us to share the challenges of our schools while having a comprehensive overview of each of them through the prism of excellence in its widest sense." 

For Thierry Coulhon, Hcéres President: "Hcéres has focused its project on the need to simplify evaluations and take better account of the time constraints of the evaluated entities, and this collaboration will be a major driver for business schools."

About the CEFDG

The CEFDG, the Evaluation Commission for Qualifications issued by Business Schools, is supervised by both the Ministry for Higher Education and Research and the Ministry for the Economy and Finances. It is tasked with evaluating the quality of the business and management study programmes offered by private higher education institutions and those of the chambers of commerce, with a view to building the European higher education area. It also examines the evolution of the higher education programmes in management offered at these institutions in accordance with the existing global higher education system.

About the CDEFM

Founded in April 2021, the Conference of Directors of French Business Schools (CDEFM) is tasked with acting as their spokesperson in relations with the French government, the European Union, student and employer organisations, national and international certification organisations and other competent international bodies in teaching and research. The CDEFM is also responsible for representing the shared interests of institutions and schools that award management qualifications recognised by the Ministry for Higher Education, Research and Innovation.

About Hcéres 

The French High Council for Evaluation of Research and Higher Education (Hcéres) is an independent administrative body responsible for evaluating higher education and research entities, and was created by the 2013 Law on Higher Education and Research. The High Council is in charge of evaluating French higher education and research entities, academic programmes and research teams. It also conducts evaluations abroad. It will become an independent public authority on 1 January 2022.

Press Contacts

  • CEFDG - Justine Ferté | justine.ferte@enseignementsup.gouv.fr
  • CDEFM - Françoise Grot | francoise.grot@cdefm.fr
  • Hcéres - Caroline Borel | caroline.borel@hceres.fr