Eric Vernier (ISCID-CO): “It is our role to meet the needs of large companies in our region”

You had been teaching at ISCID-CO since 2018 before taking over as director in 2021. Why this choice?

I’m lucky to have always had one foot in academia and the other in the private sector during my career. And ISCID-CO corresponds to this vision: a local school, rooted in its territory, affiliated with the University of the Littoral Côte d’Opale (ULCO), and which trains the future executives and senior executives of tomorrow.

Then, I come from the Hauts-de-France region and I am attached to it. It is a region facing the world, with the ports of Dunkirk and Boulogne, Belgium and the United Kingdom very close. So I like the specificity of the school. This is also our slogan: “A school in the world”. Both internationally oriented but also rooted in “his” world : its region, its environment, its young people, its era…

What are the specificities of the school?

First thing, we are a multilingual school. One of the few outside the big cities. Two thirds of our students come from abroad. And we really want to preserve this specificity of public and territory.

We are open to all languages. From next school year, we integrate sign language for example.

And the school remains anchored on its territory with a third of students from the coast and 5 to 10% of students who come from other regions.

How does multilingualism translate into education?

We offer three living languages: English, German, Spanish, but also Arabic, Chinese, Dutch… And we are open to all languages. From next school year, we integrate sign language for example.

In addition, we have built a strong network of partners with more than 150 establishments abroad (business schools, universities) and we are always looking to develop ourselves (with high schools in particular). We also have foreign professors – African, European and border countries in particular – who work on our campuses.

What training is offered at ISCID-CO?

Before detailing them, it should be noted that all our diplomas are recognized by the State. The school is affiliated with the University of Littoral Côte d’Opale. We offer three-year bachelor’s degrees, backed by ULCO licenses, but also MBAs.

The first two years are devoted to the fundamentals of management and commerce. In third year, students specialize in one of three streams : international business and management; digital marketing and communications; and, new for the start of the 2022 academic year, the bachelor’s degree in corporate finance, banking relations and accounting (which will be offered on our Saint-Omer campus).

What about MBAs?

Like our bachelors, all our MBAs are backed by ULCO masters in co-diploma. At the end of the two years of study, the graduates come out with a validated master’s level (bac +5).

ISCID-CO has between 100 and 150 partnerships with local companies. From VSEs-SMEs to large groups.

There is at this level six possible routes : international business and management (in continuation of the bachelor’s degree); international communication and public relations; management of international purchases; digital marketing and e-business; international human resources management and, finally, the specificity of our territory, the MBA port and multimodal management, digitalization and cybersecurity.

With Boulogne-sur-Mer nearby, it makes sense…

Yes and Dunkirk too… It was clearly a request from the territory. It is our role to stick to the needs of large companies in our regionand the maritime sector is crucial on the coast (Boulogne-sur-Mer is the leading fishing port in France, editor’s note).

Recently, we have strengthened our partnership with the port of Dunkirk, with regard to work-study in particular. With 30,000 employees, it is a key player.

But we obviously have other partner companies in other sectors. ISCID-CO has between 100 and 150 partnerships with local companies. From VSEs-SMEs to large groups such as ARC France, the industrial Cathelain, EDF etc.

And on the community side?

We work closely with the regional branch of MEDEF, the Coastal Chamber of Commerce and Industry as well as the Communities of Municipalities: CAPSO (Saint-Omer) and CUD (Dunkirk).

The Region also participates in the financing of university research projects. On the other hand, we have about ten agreements with high schools in the region, to carry out joint actions: immersion days, visits to premises, student interventions with high school students, simulations of job interviews, etc.

You are also preparing an important real estate project, what is it?

The next campus in Boulogne-sur-Mer! It will allow us to open new degrees in tourismwith a sustainable and united orientation (a sector in full development on the coast).

And we will go from 550 students – 450 in Dunkirk and 100 in Saint-Omer – to 800 in total. We are growing but always remaining on a human scale.

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