French connections boost HE for leaders and employment
Meanwhile the director of the new Conakry-based EFGM – the first France-Guinea institution specialising in professionally oriented degrees – explains the motivation behind its founding and its French influence.
CAFRAD and HEC
CAFRAD is a 37-member organisation based in Tangier, Morocco, which is open to all African countries.
The aim of the agreement with HEC, due to take effect from the new academic year, is to promote the training of leaders and officials in African administrations, national schools of administration, state organisations and public enterprises, with exchanges of information, experience, expertise and transfer of skills in their fields of activity, reported ADIAC, the Agence d’Information d’Afrique Centrale.
ADIAC said the agreement responded to needs in Africa, which is undergoing great change and must urgently expand and strengthen capacities and growth in public-private cooperation.
According to CAFRAD Director General, Stéphane Monney Mouandjo, the organisation “must open up to managerial experience and to education through the link between public and private, and associate more closely with institutions which are driving forces in these areas”.
CAFRAD had re-established a strategy of international collaboration, reported ADIAC. As well as the HEC agreement it had recently signed accords with ENAP, the National School of Public Administration of Quebec, and on ‘e-governance’ with South Korea. A partnership with India on digitisation is due to be established by the end of the year.
The École Franco-Guinéenne des Métiers, or EFGM, opened last month. It offers seven programmes – in computer science and e-business; law; business and management; tourism and hotel trade; medical and social; civil engineering and mines; and sports and sports studies.
In an interview with Alpha Oumar Diallo for Aminata.com, the school’s Director Michaël Meneboode explained why EFGM was created, his ambitions and the school’s programmes – and its aim to guarantee high quality French education in Guinea.
EFGM’s seven programmes lead to licence (three-year bachelor degree equivalent) and masters level degrees, dominated by a strong vocational element.
“We consider that the education must be professionally oriented, that’s to say including an internship. It’s important that every year students must have a period of work experience from the first to the fifth year, whether it’s licence or masters.” The placements last between three and six months.
An idea imported from France was vocational block release, said Meneboode, where students followed their courses three days a week and spent three days in the workplace, in addition to the long-term internship.
An international approach
Motivation to create the school came from “student demand and enthusiasm”, said Meneboode. Visa problems made it difficult for students to go to Europe and the United States, “so there was student demand for a new market of information, a professional market that the traditional university did not have”.
There was demand “to bring to Guinea the best elements of French education with professional skills, and Guinean education and teaching”, he told Aminata.com.
Guinean lecturers would teach general subjects such as Guinean accountancy, law, history and geography, said Meneboode. But technical studies such as computer science, business management, finance and the hotel and tourist trade, would be taught by French lecturers.
Asked if the teaching programmes were ‘French’, he described them “rather as international”.
There would be an African inter-region programme of ECOWAS, the Economic Community of West African States, and a Guinea programme. “What will come from France is the part concerning international relations, European culture, because we must also have information about Europe.”
EFGM offered a number of special features, said Meneboode, notably the French teachers, and the number of students in each class – a maximum of 25. “That’s important for us, because the students can study in good conditions.” The maximum number of students at the school would be limited to 300.
All the rooms were air-conditioned and provided with up-to-date equipment. Most important, said Meneboode, was that the school was totally equipped with Wifi, and the libraries fully digitised.
EFGM had entered an agreement with the state and had dual authorisation – professional and academic – from the relevant ministries, such as the ministries of technical education and of higher education.
The first students, those who had completed their three-year licence, would graduate at the end of 2017, and will find employment. “That’s the difference we want to bring, that young people who finish their studies will be supported in finding a job,” said Meneboode.
Get what you pay for
The cost of an EFGM education ranged from €2,000 (US$2,260) for the first two years, to €3,500 for the final masters year.
“It’s certainly a high cost for a family, but many go abroad which is much more expensive,” said Meneboode. “Our charge is reasonable, it’s less expensive than Senegal or Morocco.
“Honestly, we fixed an appropriate charge in the knowledge that many of the French teachers will attend every week, the school’s directors are French, we offer a field of competence, and we shall provide internships for students whom we can follow and support.
“I also think the education is an investment families will make for their children.”
* This article is drawn from local media. University World News cannot vouch for the accuracy of the original reports.