Evaluation of engineering schools

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A collaboration between Hcéres and the CTI to simplify their procedures in the interests of the institutions evaluated.

On 23 September the two French ENQA members - Hcéres and the CTI - signed a cooperation agreement reasserting the shared principles that the two partners intend to follow to implement a lasting collaboration, in the interests of the institutions evaluated.

As the evaluations conducted by Hcéres and the CTI are synchronised with the contract groups and therefore take place at 5-year intervals, the aim of the coordination between the 2 bodies is to reduce the burden of the preparatory work on the institutions evaluated, by ensuring an effective fit between the evaluations and simplifying their procedures. 

Evaluation of engineering schools by Hcéres

French engineering schools usually have one of two main legal statuses:

  • Public engineering schools, which are under government authority, dependent on various ministries and organised separately from the universities; 
    o    schools said to be "external" to the universities, which are evaluated by Hcéres as establishments in their own right, 
    o    65 so-called "internal" schools, which are not evaluated by Hcéres as they are part of the universities 
  • 54 private engineering schools, which are evaluated by the Hcéres as part of the renewal of the EESPIG labelling system (EESPIG = private public interest higher education establishment)

Hcéres takes into consideration the links between the training offer, research and governance, in relation to the local, national and international environment. The evaluation is conducted by a committee of experts, which takes care to produce a relevant, impartial, evidence-based evaluation.
The final output of the external evaluation is a report that analyses and assesses ex post the implementation of the institution’s strategies in response to its missions, and its trajectory. It analyses the institution’s strengths and weaknesses and concludes with recommendations marking the culmination of the evaluation. The purpose of this report is to serve as guidance and an aid to decision-making for the institution. It is made public and helps to inform the stakeholders and the scientific community.

Evaluation of engineering courses by CTI

The CTI is an independent body, charged by law since 1934 with evaluating all engineering training courses, with improving the quality of such courses and promoting the engineering profession in France and abroad.
The CTI conducts evaluations of French engineering schools for accreditation purposes: it decides whether to authorise these institutions to award engineering qualifications, accrediting each degree separately. The overall process consists of several steps beginning with the writing an SER (self-evaluation report), followed by an on-site audit carried out by a principal rapporteur, another member of the CTI and a number of experts, including one student expert and an international expert. This team draws up a report after the audit under the responsibility of the principal rapporteur. This report is submitted to the plenary assembly made up of the 32 CTI members. After a presentation by the principal rapporteur, who then takes questions, a decision and a series of recommendations are voted upon; this decision serves as the accreditation for private engineering schools and as a published opinion for public institutions (with the Ministry granting the accreditation based on the opinion).

Alternative image text

A word from Anne-Marie Jolly
Presidential advisor of the Commission des titres d'ingénieur (CTI)
Read the testimonial

Hcéres-CTI collaboration

The first coordinated assignment, in 2017, concerned the ENSMA (École Nationale Supérieure de Mécanique et d’Aérotechnique, Poitiers – Futuroscope, the National School of Mechanical Engineering and Aerotechnics), and the experiment continued in 2018 with 2 more volunteer schools, the ESPCI (École Supérieure de Physique et de Chimie Industrielles, School of Industrial Physics and Chemistry) and Chimie ParisTech.
The different parties involved - Directors of the institutions evaluated, the Hcéres evaluation committee, CTI audit teams – have stressed the advantages of this joint initiative, which, as well as saving time, has enabled them to draw up a multi-faceted portrait of each institution.
Concerning the 2018-2019 group ("Group E"), 8 engineering schools have volunteered to be evaluated.
The procedure is dubbed "Coordinated Evaluation" and hinges on: 

  • The production of a single Self-Evaluation Report (SER) accompanied by a general policy and strategic orientation statement for the coming period. The plan established to serve as a guide to the drafting of the single SER follows the organisation of the Hcéres standard whilst also including some of the CTI's main criteria by matching with the fields in the CTI evaluation standard;
  • The setting up of a Visiting Committee made up of experts from Hcéres and CTI;
  • A preliminary meeting between the President of the Hcéres committee and the CTI principal rapporteur;
  • The planning of an inspection visit to the school's site, organised so as to enable a maximum number of joint interviews to be organised with the institution's stakeholders;
  • The drafting of 2 independent reports. 

The certified CTI data are used by the Hcéres experts to simplify the evaluation of each institution as part of a quality assurance system






  • Annual Hcéres-CTI conference

    • 2018: Workshop/Debate: The place and visibility of Engineering Schools and their network in site policies and clusters – including the particular case of "internal" university schools
    • 2019: topic: "Individualising pathways"
  • Milestones

    • 2016-2017: First implementation of the joint process with the CTI (single self-evaluation file and joint visit) for one institution
    • 2017-2018: Experiment continued, with 2 more institutions
    • 2018-2019: Process extended, with 8 institutions concerned
    • 2019-2020: Process to be rolled out to all the "Vague A" period institutions if the evaluation schedules allow it.
  • 201*
    engineering schools accredited by the CTI to award engineering degrees
  • 141 973*
    student engineers were registered on three-year engineering courses in 2017-2018, 27.2% of whom were women and 14. % foreign students.
  • 36 725*
    engineers qualified in 2016 of whom 28.5% were women
*Source: CDEFI