SENEGAL: BEM Dakar opens its doors

Business school BEM Dakar has opened its doors to its first intake of 60 students, offering bachelors and masters courses and continuing education. The school, set up as a partner of the French grande école Bordeaux Ecole de Management (BEM), is headed by Pape Madické Diop.

Professor Diop is a graduate of ESSEC business school and the Universities of Bordeaux and Poitiers, and has long experience in Senegal and abroad as a teacher, consultant and practitioner in the fields of human resources and organisation. He is former director of development at the business school ESC Dakar.

In this, its first year, BEM Dakar's student roll consists of 30 first-year undergraduates, 15 third-year students and 15 masters students. Most are Senegalese, but altogether they represent 14 nationalities.

The new establishment offers school-leavers who have passed the baccalauréat exam a general three-year bachelor's course in business and management, with the opportunity for selected students to study for a semester in Bordeaux. A semester is devoted to studying African economic issues.

At the end of three years, students may choose between entering professional employment, or continuing their studies in Dakar or abroad for a specialised masters degree.

The two-year masters in management consists of a one-year core syllabus, followed by a year in Bordeaux specialising in international purchasing, supply chain management, risk management or international affairs. Students from BEM in France will also be able to study in Dakar.

Continuing education courses for companies and employees offer a variety of certificates and diplomas according to individual needs.

In keeping with its ambition for an 'international dimension', BEM Dakar's academic staff is split equally between European and African teachers, and many foreign specialist contributors will visit the school. All students will have the opportunity to benefit from BEM's international network of 95 university partnerships.

Degrees granted by the school will initially be certified by the Senegalese state, but Professor Diop said that "once the launch period is over, we shall apply for French recognition".

Fees at BEM Dakar range from 2.4 million FCFA (EUR3,650 or $4,835) annually for the first three years, and 2.9 million FCFA for the fourth year.