Intermediate higher vocational courses

The diffusion and transfer of technology that goes together with the export of capital goods and infrastructure, such as the location of companies in emerging and developing countries, bring the same requirements for qualification as in industrialized countries.

Intermediate skill sets are a major asset emphasized by both business leaders and policymakers.

Faced with a growing demand for higher education from families, governments are seeking to enhance the prestige of higher vocational courses in order to attract a significant proportion of students and relieve the pressure on universities.

At the same time, governments are using the opportunity of the arrival of foreign companies to create or modernize vocational training centres, situating them within the framework of a general policy, especially for certification.

A number of major French groups have opened training centres to support their overseas locations: Peugeot-Citroën, Schneider Electric, Eurocopter, Airbus, Dassault Systèmes, Areva, Thales, Chaffoteaux et Maury, Casino, Sodexo, etc. These are designed primarily to meet the companies’ local need for skills. But they also offer other French companies the chance of entering the local teaching services and material markets. This public-private cooperation has a multiplier effect in terms of know-how exports.

The growing awareness of the value of quality higher vocational education is leading to a high demand for development cooperation. This concerns both the institutional aspects and the governance of educational establishments, the design of baselines and certification, and, in some cases, the design and construction of educational establishments.

Two major french groups invest in vocational education abroad

PSA Peugeot-Citroën and the French education system in vocational education abroad.

The company cannot always find the skills it needs in the countries where it locates. It develops training centres together with the French Ministry of Education and local education systems to train basic and higher technicians: a trades campus in Slovakia, a training centre in Mexico.

Teachers chosen by the Ministry of Education (Professeurs sans frontières) also give technical courses abroad. Under the “college-company” partnership concept, the terms of reference are specified by the company.

Total Professeurs Associés (TPA) and vocational education abroad

TPA was set up in 2001 to foster relations between the oil industry and universities and engineering schools. The non-profit association, whose members are current and retired employees of the Total group,
offer week-long courses on various oil industry topics (drilling, refining, human resources, etc.) to be included in the curriculum of local training establishments. TPA operates in some fifty countries: Institut supérieur de technologie d’Afrique centrale, Cameroon, Institut supérieur de technologie, Madagascar (ecological packaging techniques), Institute of Technology of Cambodia (geology, steel construction, reinforced concrete).

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Updated on: July 2011