French engineering school to offer joint degrees

The Casablanca campus of École d’Ingénieurs en Génie des Systèmes Industriels (EIGSI) has become the first French engineering school accredited to award joint French-Moroccan engineering degrees to its students.

EIGSI, based in La Rochelle, set up in Casablanca in 2006. In July 2017 the Commission des Titres d’Ingénieur (CTI), the official French evaluation body for engineering courses and schools, awarded the Moroccan school accreditation for the double diploma, reported the French newspaper Le Figaro.

“We are the first French engineering school to deliver its degree abroad,” Sylvain Orsat, director general of EIGSI, told Le Figaro.

Under CTI rules the governance and the management of studies are common to both campuses, the programme is identical, and criteria for obtaining the qualifications are the same, reported Le Figaro.

Every year 220 students graduate from EIGSI, of whom 50 are from the Moroccan campus. Plans are to increase Casablanca graduates to 100, and the school has just moved to new, more spacious premises which can accommodate up to 500 students.

Anis Aziz, 18, whose entire schooling was in France, decided last year to study at EIGSI Casablanca. “My father is from Casablanca, he knew the school had a campus here. I came to visit after taking the Avenir competitive exam [for engineering studies] in France. The premises are new, just next to the university centre,” he told Le Figaro. “That tilted the balance, even if I was already ready to take the plunge.”

After graduation he plans to get work experience abroad before returning to Morocco to find a senior job. For now, he is appreciating his first year: “We are a small number, very united. Students in the more advanced classes advise us there is mutual support, which wouldn’t be expected in bigger schools,” he told Le Figaro.

One big change for the Moroccan students is that they are no longer obliged to spend three study semesters in France to qualify for their diploma.

Youssef Ben El Mostafa, director of EIGSI Casablanca, told Le Figaro: “It’s an important change. Before, the Moroccan students had to spend their two final years at La Rochelle, and afterwards 80% of them stayed to work in France. Now, the demand for well-trained young people to respond to the industrial boom in Morocco continues to increase, particularly in the automobile, aeronautical and building sector.”

It also wants to attract students from Sub-Saharan Africa. There are currently 16,000 studying in Morocco, and a third of EIGSI Casablanca students are from there. The aim is to increase this to half the student roll in two years.

Vanessa Kanyere Kamavu, 19, from the Democratic Republic of Congo, is in her second year. After attending the French lycée in Kinshasa, she looked for a school where she could study building and public works.

“I wanted to obtain an internationally-recognised engineering degree,” she told Le Figaro. “I went to a student forum in 2016 where I learned that EIGSI delivered the French diploma. I took the admission tests and was accepted.” She wants to work abroad for five years then set up her own construction company in Congo, which she says needs rebuilding.

Living and study costs are lower in Casablanca than in France – €4,600 (US$5,390) against €6,980. “Starting out, an engineer in Morocco earns between €900 and €1,000 net a month, but can double their salary in five or six years, if they are proficient,” said Ben El Mostafa. – Compiled by Jane Marshall

This article is drawn from local media. University World News cannot vouch for the accuracy of the original reports.