The EDHEC Business School was set up in 1906, in the city of Lille in northern France, by industrialists, and not by the government or a chamber of commerce. The historical campus is in Lille, and other campuses are in Paris, Nice, London and Singapore. The school has about 8,000 students from over 100 countries. Last year, EDHEC was ranked the best in the world for its Master in Finance. The new dean, Emmanuel Métais, says that the school’s research focus and the way it has gone international makes it unique. In an interview with FE’s Vikram Chaudhary, he adds that research in finance contributes 15% of EDHEC’s revenues. Excerpts:
How big is EDHEC Business School?
The budget of the school is €150 million. We had €11 million worth of pedagogical investments in 2017-18, and €9 million for bursaries and interest-free loans. We have 167 professors. We are a full-range school and deliver all the programmes ranging from bachelors to masters and from executive education to PhD. We are quite international, too—one-third of the student body is non-French and we deliver most of our programmes in English language.
What’s the difference between the five campuses?
Lille and Nice are academic campuses, with a lot of students—the primary aim here is to deliver educational programmes. Paris, London and Singapore campuses are more focused on executive education, research, and developing corporate and alumni relations. These three campuses help make the EDHEC brand ‘shine’ across the world.
What makes EDHEC different from other business schools?
Two things, we believe, make us different. One, the way we do research. Research, for a lot of business schools, is a capital-intensive activity—hire good professors, pay them a lot of money, provide them with assistants, bear their travel expenses for conferences across the world, and so on. But at EDHEC, we decided research should be a source of revenue. We are very strong in the fields of business law and finance. We set up a research centre in finance about 20 years ago. We opened a campus in London (the global centre of finance) and in Singapore (we got funding from Singapore government to start a research centre there). Five years ago, we incubated a start-up called Scientific Beta, which, among other things, sells to banks and investors the results of our research.
So, even though our core business is to educate students, managers and executives, we sell indices produced by EDHEC professors and researchers. Today, research in finance contributes to 15% of our revenues. Two, the way we have gone international is unique. We have brought the world to EDHEC. Our programmes are taught in English. When we go abroad, our focus is to establish the reputation of the school, and not grow via huge campuses. Our other focus is developing joint programmes with the world’s best schools—we have more than 230 partnerships for exchange and double degree agreements.
Have you incubated a lot of businesses?
More than 150 start-ups have been incubated since 2010 by EDHEC Young Entrepreneurs (EYE)—an incubator that involves a vast network of partners. Our target for 2020 is 200 businesses. In addition, we have over 150 partners companies and hold over 90 recruitment events per year.