Regarding the sufficiency of the required resources to achieveGroupe ISCAE Mission, Ms Nada BIAZ the General Director assertsthat : “We cannot be a desperate manager”.
Actually, thegrouprefuels its activity, publically unreleased, with 40% based on its own resources. The Ministry in charge grants the rest. Nada Biaz is moving intoherthird year of heading the institution. One of theremarkable achievements that makes her particularly proud is the “AMBA”accreditation, obtained in January 2018 and which allows ISCAE tovehicle their commitment to excellence among world class Business Schools. Ultimately, the goal is to gain the “triple crown” of : AMBA, AACSBand EQUIS. In September, the school will enrich its programsby a bachelor’s degree. The attractiveness of this program isjust extraordinary: the school has received 12,000 applications for only forty places available. For now, this is a “pilot” class; this experience is expected toexpand further in the upcoming years.
L’Economiste: You are overwhelmed by the demand for the Bachelorprogramthat will be openedin September.It seems that there would be confusion with the “Grande Ecole” programme.
Nada Biaz: Let’s clarify the situation. L’ISCAEhas not fully transformed its programs to a post-baccalaureate curriculum.The conditions of enrolment to the program have not changed: Grande Ecole program is open to preparatory classes students, candidates from economic,and management background of other Business Schools who meet the screening criteria. To this category, we should add thoseholding bachelors in Economics. A decree that will be published soon, willallow graduates of Universities to access the entry competition, in the second year of the “Grande Ecole”. Research-oriented Masters Graduatescan apply for a doctorate or the Chartered Accounting Cycle.
We attach specificregards to the diversity value, not only sociallyrelated or gender-based, but consideringalso age and profile. Our school shall be able to welcome young people from different Universities and Business schools. In addition, the Executive Education (Master’s and Executive MBA) brings together – several generations and professional backgrounds: doctors, engineers, etc. This mixing is an enrichment for our Institute.
L’Economiste: Why do you refuse to join the common national entry exam instead of having your own? Your position is perceived as arrogance.
This is not arrogance. We have our own requirements and prerequisites to assess the students. Things have always worked that way. Do not see in my remarks any judgment or position. If one day our advisory board decides to move to another mode of selection at the entrance, everyone will comply. This is not to be excluded in the future. Moreover, young people coming from other disciplines than preparatory ones, who want to access ISCAE cannot undergo a standard test. They need a specific entry exam. In any event, the oral test will be directly supervised byISCAE.
L’Economiste: Should there be a little selectivity to access universities in general rather than allowing Darwinism to take hold?(a general question not in relation with ISCAE as a highly selective Business School)
In fact, this question is no longer a taboo. It is now addressed in the specialized committee at the Higher Council of Education. In another way, you raise the issue of pre-requisites and ex ante initial guidance. We are discussing it with my colleagues in the Council. Personally, I think that the principle of a preparatory year can be a lever to help young people to bridge the gap between upper secondary and higher education. Many countries have adopted it successfully.
L’Economiste:Despite a strong increase of women graduates, their participation rate (post-graduation) plummets from year to year. What does this paradox refer to?
The paradox between the rate of women as graduates and their evolvement after graduation isa global trend, I think.
According to the cultures, this can be explained by cultural or even biological constraints. At some point, perhaps, some women may prioritize what they believe to be their principal mission. It’sa personal choice.
At Groupe ISCAE, we try to inculcate to our students that it is possible to reconcile professional ambitions and family life constraints. However, in this balance, there is also the role and support of “men”: husbands, brothers, fathers, sons, etc. Why taking care of parents in their old age is a women’s job? Would a husband accept that his wife has staggered working hours? In any case, it is up to the woman also to establish her own autonomy. If she does not find an understanding, she can bear the consequences of a personal choice. There is noone best way,not onesingle model of happiness in life.
L’Economiste: Do you face the Islamist phenomenon on your campuses?
I do not know what you mean by “Islamist”. I do not have to judge each other’s beliefs and convictions. I respect them all. So far, I have never had to deal with troubles or situations related to the activism of what you call Islamists. In this respect, I must admit that we are really “privileged”.