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SKEMA’s “SKY25” strategic plan takes its first steps forward

05 February 2021

SKEMA invited journalists to a press conference on 28 January 2021 to take stock of SKEMA’s strategic plan “SKY25” which deploys its first advances in AI, hybridization, and new programmes.

​Hosted on Teams Live Event by Damien Roux, SKEMA’s Marketing and Communications director, this interaction with the media enabled Alice Guilhon (Dean), Patrice Houdayer (Director of Programmes, International and Student Life) and Philippe Monin (Director of Faculty and Research) to take stock of the year 2020 for SKEMA, recall our progress and achievements, and showcase the strong ambitions of our strategic plan. 

Asma Hanafi, an M1 student in the Master in Management (PGE) programme who chose the “AI for managers” track, testified to the added value of this training, her student background, and her professional perspectives.
 
The year 2020 created more opportunities for SKEMA than it impacted its business plan, reinforcing the robustness of the “glocal” model of its 7 campuses across the world. Despite the uncertainties, the COVID-19 crisis has enabled SKEMA to overhaul its pedagogy, test and deploy new pedagogical practices (notably through EdTech), and make progress on the issues of transdisciplinarity, CSR and innovation in the programmes.
 
One year after the launch of its strategic plan 2020-2025, SKEMA is pleased to announce several concrete advances:
 
1- Redesign of pedagogy and new teaching practices
 
Since the start of the 2020 school year, SKEMA has implemented a complete overhaul of its pedagogy in order to support the new teaching practices. Classrooms have also been refurbished with screens, cameras, and sound systems, representing an investment of 1.5 million euros.
 
SKEMA has made a structuring choice centered on the student experience around the Microsoft ecosystem, of which SKEMA is a partner since 2015, coupled with EdTech solutions, a strategy generating profound transformations.
 
As announced 18 months earlier, the Grand Paris Campus opened its doors on January 4, 2021 and became the school’s flagship campus spread across 30,000 m2, of which more than 15,000 m2 is dedicated to hybrid teaching.
 
2- A place for interdisciplinarity and hybridisation
 
To become a “comprehensive” institution and respond to the new challenges of technicality, environment and transdisciplinarity, SKEMA plans to open three new schools in artificial intelligence, law, and design by 2025: SKEMA AI School for Business in Raleigh (USA), SKEMA Law School for Business in Belo Horizonte (Brazil), and SKEMA Design School for Business in France. The first year of the SKY25 plan laid the foundations for the following plans.
 
With SKEMA AI Institute, AI is being rolled out across all programmes and campuses.
 
A forerunner in 2019 with the opening of an AI research centre in Montreal, SKEMA is gaining momentum with the creation of the SKEMA AI Institute, a global system that brings together some twenty professors and experts around AI and deploys the school’s AI strategy – from research to concrete applications in all the school’s programmes – while drawing on the territories and ecosystems of its various campuses in France and abroad.
 
In this context, the school’s historical cooperation with the UCA (University Côte d’Azur), and more particularly, the Institut 3IA Côte d’Azur, is worth mentioning.
 
It was essential to introduce AI into all of SKEMA’s academic programmes. It even constitutes one of the pillars of SKY25: it’s what we call hybridisation. This hybridisation is one of the levers of our ambition to become an ‘Avant-Garde’ school by proposing the hybridisation of 100% of our programmes: AI at the service of the business world.” says SKEMA Dean Alice Guilhon.

Among the advances in the field of AI, we can note the following:
- Constitution of a SKEMA “AI Faculty”, composed of more than 20 professors and researchers divided into 4 interdisciplinary fields: AI Fundamentals; IA, Economics & Finance; IA, Marketing & Management; IA, Operations, Supply Chain & Information Systems.
- Integration of an “AI” specialisation within the post-bac programme.
- Launch of a new Specialised Master® programme for “AI project managers” in autumn 2021, currently in the process of being approved by the “Conférence des Grandes Ecoles” organisation.

The added value of such an AI training programme lies, above all, in its technical nature. Being a business school student and applying for an internship while having skills in machine learning and programming make us attractive profiles with an edge. I felt this advantage during the interviews for my internship search because it aroused the curiosity of several recruiters. Today, AI is an integral part of all sectors of activities. It contributes to research, innovation, and decision-making, whether it be for marketing, human resources, finance, etc. Data management and analysis are issues that all companies face. It is therefore essential for the manager of tomorrow to know how to master such central subjects.” explains Asma Hanafi, a student in the Grande Ecole programme (Master 1) who has chosen the “IA for managers” programme.

To date, more than 70% of SKEMA’s programmes include the AI dimension in their teaching. With the SKEMA AI Institute and its new programmes, the school prefigures what will eventually become a specific entity under the name “SKEMA AI School for Business”.
 
For more details on these initiatives, take a look at the SKEMA AI for Business brochure.
 
First stone of the future law school in Brazil
 
Since the summer of 2020, SKEMA Brazil has obtained a law school licence from the country’s Ministry of Higher Education, enabling the school to deliver law programmes: the first of its kind, a “Nanodegree Law & AI” leading to a certifying diploma. The programme is now accessible online to an audience of Brazilian managers. It has already welcomed a first class of about thirty participants. The first stone of the upcoming “SKEMA Law School for Business”, this programme will be followed by the launch of a postgraduate programme in law and AI in February 2021.
 
First programme in design
 
A new programme, MSc Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Design, in partnership with The Sustainable Design School (The SDS – Alpes Maritimes), was launched in the 2020 academic year to train future talents capable of innovating and inventing new sustainable models, by combining the disciplines of management, innovation and design. This is a prefigure to the creation of SKEMA Design School for Business.
 
New programme in Los Angeles with UCLA
 
From the start of the 2021 academic year, students of the two-year MSc and Master in Management (PGE) programme will have the opportunity to complete their final year at UCLA in Los Angeles, within the new joint programme “Digital Marketing and Management of Entertainment” to develop their skills in the film industry. Students will receive a certificate from UCLA Extension and will benefit from all UCLA services (career and placement services, OPT, etc.).
 
3- Concrete answers to social and CSR issues
 
By making impact one of SKY25’s strategic orientations, SKEMA wishes to demonstrate the contribution of its global model to the challenges facing society. This strategic orientation is expressed in particular through the valorisation of research and the development of influence and commitment.
 
The following new initiatives will give concrete expression to this commitment from the start of the 2021 academic year:
- The creation of an integrated sustainable innovation and CSR course in three years within the Master in Management (PGE) programme. In L3, M1 and M2, students have the opportunity to build a complete “social and business transformers” programme.
- The launch of the MSc Sustainable Finance and Fintech programme at the start of the 2021 academic year with the backing of 8 partners, including BPI France, ORSE, SFAF, and the United Nations.
- The deployment of the SKEMA Social Ventures Lab to foster social entrepreneurship through a unique value proposition and resources linked to applied research, teaching and practice of social entrepreneurship, and the organisation of the first “SKEMA Social Ventures Summit” for social entrepreneurship stakeholders in March 2021.
- Within the SKEMA faculty and staff, the launch of the “Green Team” – transversal working groups whose objective is to implement initiatives and projects within the framework of SKEMA’s CSR policy. The initial work will be on mobility, sustainable food and the preservation of the natural environments of the campuses.

For more details on these initiatives, take a look at SKEMA’s CSR brochure. 
 
Our students are currently experiencing unprecedented situations that foreshadow the new pedagogical models we were working on before the crisis. We have created a hybrid teaching model based on the new forms of learning and innovation that are being mobilised today to manage the crisis. The crisis has been an accelerator of innovation for SKEMA. At a time when partner institutions are sometimes reluctant to open their doors to foreign students, having our own campuses on other continents to be able to receive students locally is an additional asset. This is in addition to the possibility for each student to start his or her course online while waiting to be able to travel. In spite of the crisis, SKEMA is continuing and accelerating its qualitative progression on an innovative and avant-garde model” says SKEMA Dean Alice Guilhon.
 
 
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