Accreditation of French engineering school to offer the title of qualified engineer on its campus located abroad.


Recently, the CTI worked on the definition of a reference framework for the accreditation of a French engineering school awarding its diploma on a campus located abroad.  At the end of its discussions with the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, end of June 2017, the CTI published a reference framework.
The possibility for French engineering school to issue their diplomas on a campus abroad was mentioned during the CDEFI annual conference within the international workshop, on 1 and 2 June 2017. This framework was highly expected by engineering schools.

Recognized abroad as a model of quality training, the engineering diploma is expanding with increasing success, especially in fast-growing countries like China. Furthermore, the report of France Strategy entitled "French higher education beyond borders: the urgency of a strategy", published in September 2016, indicates that French engineering schools were investing heavily in the deployment of their training abroad. They are present abroad thanks to 20 physical institutions, 4 delocalized diplomas, and welcome 6,687 students abroad.

In its framework document, the CTI states, "this request for accreditation must necessarily be supported by competent authorities of the host country". The French supervisory department will investigate the "legal" admissibility of the request, while the CTI will examine the "technical" admissibility of the file.

The CTI draws the attention of French engineering schools to the fact that "this accreditation requires the greatest conformity between the training environment between France and the campus located abroad". All request declared eligible and allowable will be subject to an evaluation on the site abroad. This visit may be carried out outside the periodic evaluation of the French school.

Principles and modalities for implementing the terms of reference framework for an accreditation process abroad include:

  • The partner State is fully aware of the specificities of accreditation in relation to those “of admission by the State”  (in particular: the training concerned may correspond to all or part of the training in three or five years provided in France and the diploma bears the name of the French institution without mentioning the training campus abroad, the diploma is signed by the head of the French institution and the competent French authority, conditions for the recruitment and graduation will be the same on all sites ...).
  • This approach by the competent authorities to the French authorities could be subjected to a general agreement (or, as the case may be, in the form of an "arrangement") between the competent authorities of the country concerned and the competent French authorities. This agreement would specify its approval of the reference framework for the CTI's intervention - in particular regarding the evaluations that it will carry out on site [...]. Any request will have to require assessment on a case-by-case basis: where no agreement is reached, the request must contain the explicit consent for the training implementation of the framework reference of the competent authorities of the host country [...] »

This new framework will be reviewed three years after its launch with relevant ministries.

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