Admissibles Ecole de Commerce

150 years of history and innovation

A journey through more than 150 years of history, guided by Jules Siegfried, founder of EM Normandie...

New Paris campus in a spectacular, sustainable and connected building

Since 17 January 2022, nearly 600 EM Normandie students have taken possession of our brand new campus, designed by the famous architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte.

Campus de Paris-Clichy

Located at the gateway to Paris, at the entrance to Clichy-La-Garenne (92), the 14,000 m² of this 8-storey building has been designed around the teaching excellence and student experience so dear to our eyes: a magnificent contemporary and warm setting, functional, modular and connected, rich in terraces and green interior gardens, equipped with Edtechs, teaching, co-working, catering and sports facilities, ... conducive to the development and proximity of the supervisory teams and companies. When I think about it, the time of our famous DEN - meaning Department of Nocturnal Studies - is long gone...

Discover the Paris-Clichy campus

A brand new campus in Le Havre

Goodbye Rue de Richelieu, hello Quai Frissard! Just a few hundred metres away from the old site, the new Le Havre campus was a real leap into the future with its fully digital classrooms, Learning Centre and Social Room. It is described as the symbol of the School’s digital transformation.

Campus du Havre

And what better way to drive this change than to share this new location, at the heart of the Le Havre Normandy campus, with the Cité Numérique (Digital City), third space and innovation platform for the digital transition of the Le Havre ecosystem?

The Seine Estuaire Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Le Havre Seine Métropole (formerly the CODAH) and the Normandy Region once again showed their support by funding this fantastic project involving bold architecture. The fact that EM Normandie can depend on these key regional stakeholders is a real source of strength for the School.

Discover Le Havre campus

2022 | The portfolio of programmes is growing

Diversifying our programmes is of course a key concern. With three new MSc® in Sustainable Business Strategy, Digital Marketing and Sales and Digital Strategy and Innovation, we now have around twenty MS® and MSc® - all of which have their counterparts in the final year of the Programme Grande Ecole. We are also setting up a new two-year MSc course for holders of a Bac+3 and opening our Bachelor in Business Administration - the famous BBA! - a post-baccalaureate programme, aimed at Bac+4 students and awarding the degree of Licence.

La gamme des Programmes s'élargit
2022 | Bachelor International Management gets the degree of Licence

Since 2020, the Licence degree is no longer reserved for universities. A new situation which - as you can imagine - will not have escaped us! The teams are working hard on this new file and our Bachelor International Management has been awarded the precious sesame...

Le Bachelor Management International obtient le grade de Licence
2022 | Obtaining the Speak & Act label

After Happy at School, EM Normandie has been awarded the Best School Experience 2022 label by Speak & Act. A real tour de force, since it has even climbed directly into the Top 5 business schools offering the best student experience!
Between you and me, I'm not surprised: the School has been able to grow by always making the development of its young talents its priority. And it does so well, since this barometer is based exclusively on their opinions...

Speak and Act

Creation of the International Advisory Board

In order to support our internationalisation strategy and increase the attractiveness of EM Normandie and its influence in the world, we create the International Advisory Board. Composed of personalities from the academic world, professionals and graduates who are experts in international development, this new consortium attests to our ambition to take a new step. Wouldn't the internationally-oriented school become a fully-fledged international school? Moreover, I have heard of the imminent opening of a new campus in the United Arab Emirates...

International Advisory Board
2021 | The Partners' Club is born

With more than 5,000 companies involved in the life of the School, structuring the partnership offer by creating a true Partners' Club seems obvious to us. Better still, it provides us with an ideal opportunity to thank each of them for their commitment to us, for their decisive role in the development of our institution. Lessons and practical examples have always been at the heart of our learning process, and this change of direction increases the prospects for collaboration, from the promotion of our employer brand to the recruitment of young talent and applied research.

Club des partenaires
2021 | Qualiopi certified
Certification Qualiopi

Our school has achieved a new collective success by obtaining the brand new QUALIOPI professional certification. This certification guarantees the excellence of our teaching and pedagogical engineering to our learners in work-study, continuing education or VAE. It is also a prerequisite for public funding of training courses.

Creating an integrated CFA

No sooner said than done! As soon as the apprenticeship reform was announced, the staff mobilised to provide the School with its own Apprentice Training Centre. It has to be said that this model has a lot going for it: unlimited places, direct support for trainees, autonomy, simplification of administrative procedures and lower costs for companies... And when you know that, in addition to being a very good way of becoming professional, the apprenticeship scheme is an excellent way of opening up to society thanks to the exemption from school fees and the fact that you receive a salary, how can you not give in to its sirens?

CFA intégré à l'EM Normandie

Elian Pilvin becomes Dean of EM Normandie

Henri Merle, Michel Poté, Jean-Léonce Dupont, Christiane Tincelin, Jean-Guy Bernard... the successive directors of our beautiful institution - whether of ESC Le Havre, Sup Europe CESEC or EM Normandie - have always carried its colours high and proved their willingness to work for equal opportunities, to offer excellent training, open to the world and anchored in the reality of the field. And Elian Pilvin, the new face of the General Direction, is in line with this. 

In fact, this face is not so new... quite the contrary. He is even one of the active members of our great community. Graduated from ESC Le Havre in 1996, President of the Alumni Network and then Director of Operations and Development, his heartfelt ties with the school have continued to strengthen over time. His appointment by the Board of Directors appears as a natural continuation. An entrepreneur at heart with an excellent academic background, this new technology enthusiast has ambitious projects to help our students succeed...

Elian Pilvin devient Directeur Général de l'EM Normandie

Happy at School

As we all know, business school selection criteria are multiplying and becoming increasingly demanding, from course programmes to accreditations, certification labels, rankings, international and economic perspective and campuses. In addition to offering essential guarantees to our students, we also strive to ensure that they enjoy their time at EM Normandie.

Our focus on wellbeing was evident when we were awarded the brand new Happy at School and Bienvenue en France certification labels, with a maximum three-star rating for the latter. We’re proud that our students are satisfied, and delighted with praise of our integration initiatives, the quality of our campuses, the variety of student life, the relevance of our learning and the way in which we foster community confidence in the future. We take care to nurture our students and help them grow by offering Welcome Weeks and peer-to-peer sponsorship schemes, and ensuring that they play a central part in the running of the School.

Label Happy at School
2020 | The emergence of Flex Rooms

A new term appears in the digital vocabulary of EM Normandie: Flex Rooms. The Business School had already been planning them for a while but the Covid-19 pandemic, whose full brunt is felt worldwide, accelerates their introduction. The pandemic’s effect on the higher education community is explosive!

Flex Room
2019 | AACSB and EQUIS renewed

The stakes are high, as we know. We must obtain, in 2019, the renewal of our two international accreditations, AACSB and EQUIS. Our roadmaps are clear. We know our strengths and, above all, we have worked on our areas of improvement to convince our auditors of the excellence of our model. All the excitement of the previous audits resurfaced and, with it, the unshakeable desire to defend the colours of our beautiful School... This energy was amply rewarded when the verdict fell: the prestigious AACSB and EQUIS accreditations were renewed for a period of 5 and 3 years respectively.

Accréditations AACSB et EQUIS
2019 | Launch of LH Valley
LH Valley

The launch of LH Valley in 2019 marks a new stage in the history of entrepreneurship at EM Normandie. Our leitmotiv is clear: by grouping together under a white label our system and those deployed by Normandie Université and Les Entrep', we want to strengthen the support offer and maximise the chances of success for idea carriers.

EM Normandie acquires its first Social Room

The Hackuarium opens on the Le Havre campus, in 2018. It is our Business School’s first Social Room and is designed to accompany the rise in the School’s profile on social media. 17,000 Facebook fans, 8,500 Twitter followers, 20,000 followers on LinkedIn and campaigns on Snapchat, YouTube and Instagram: the School is clearly committed to making this a success!

Social Room


As well as investing its strength into gaining recognition on English soil – thus enabling students to travel to its Oxford campus post-Brexit, EM Normandie decided to set up another branch across the Channel. The hunger for opening in new territories and our years of experience were probably the reason for it. And lo and behold, the Dublin campus, a 350 m 2 site within the British Study Centre, was born.

Campus de Dublin

Dublin, The place to be, home of the GAFAs! Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, LinkedIn and Twitter are just some of the big names in business with offices in this cosmopolitan city. It is an ideal location for students keen to forge links with the Tech Giants. In its opening year, 80 second-year and fourth-year PGE students joined the Dublin site. By the start of the 2018 academic year, this figure had doubled. Furthermore, from 2021, once a year, for one semester, the campus would become an incubator for future leaders of the environmental and digital transition as part of the last year of the Strategy and Consulting Track. The Digital Sales specialisation was developed: onwards and upwards!

Discover Dublin campus

The Caen campus grows

2016 was a far cry from 9 rue Claude Bloch of 1987. The campus underwent a major transformation. It was extended several times, and went from 1,800 m 2 to over 10,000 m 2 in the space of 20 years. The latest expansion, based on a modern feel and aesthetics, has been a major draw for students.

Agrandissement du campus de Caen

Measuring more than 2,000 m² spread over 4 levels, the extension work included a completely redesigned reception hall with natural skylight and modular classrooms. EM Normandie infrastructure complies with Business School standards, and the School fully intends to continue to grow. However, none of the above would have been possible without the invaluable support of Caen Normandy Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Normandy region, Calvados county and the Caen La Mer urban community, who have all been eager to support the development of this "flagship of Norman higher education", “this wonderful higher education tool” for those who want to learn the true meaning of the word “management” and the universal nature of the verb “to undertake”, as Hervé Morin, the Chair of the Normandy region and Jean-Léonce Dupont, President of the Calvados county, put it, during the official opening ceremony.

Discover Caen campus

2017 | The Network becomes Alumni EM Normandie

The year is 2017. The alumni association is renamed Alumni EM Normandie. It has a new logo, creates its own website and launches its biannual magazine. It now has tens of thousands of members in over 100 countries around the world. And to unite students and graduates, the association is full of ideas. Every year, it organises around a hundred events in France and abroad: galas, Open Talks, Business Drinks, and professional workshops. Many people envy us this dynamic, active and supportive circle!

Alumni EM Normandie

EQUIS, check!

After EPAS and AACSB, EQUIS was the next logical step in our journey. We saw that EQUIS could give us a considerable competitive edge, both in France and abroad, enabling us to grow and serve the needs of our students, business partners and linked institutions.

Our staff once again rose to the challenge. They implemented a continuous improvement approach to meet the many standards, question working methods and identify areas for improvement. Our constant quest for excellence was already embedded into our culture.

We were primed and ready for the heavy scrutiny that the accreditation process brings. Our pitch was polished, we knew how to argue our case and, most importantly, we believed that EM Normandie had the potential to be one of the best business schools in the world. The process was intensive but once again, we gave it our all. And our efforts paid off, as EM Normandie was officially awarded EQUIS accreditation for three years, making it one of the elite 1% of global business schools to hold both EQUIS and AACSB.

We have created a strong basis and a positive future for future generations of students. EM Normandie is now one of the best business schools in the world. It has what it takes to attract students and professors globally, expand its international research and sign new partnership agreements with the most prestigious universities. And of course, we don't intend to stop there...

Accréditation EQUIS
2016 | EM Normandie is awarded the EESPIG label
Enseignement Supérieur Privé d'Intérêt Général

In 2016, EM Normandie is one of the 13 latest institutions to be awarded the Private Higher Education Establishment of Public Interest (EESPIG) label by the French Ministry for National and Higher Education and Research (MENESR).

This new award, combined with the School’s status as a non-profit organisation under the French Law of 1901 and an active member of UGEI, bears witness to the School’s objective of making an impartial contribution to the public services of training, teaching innovation, social openness, international development, research and supporting entrepreneurship. The award will encourage staff to redouble their efforts in this regard.


Who was it that said success breeds success? In any case, one thing is certain: at EM Normandie, this saying rings true. After Paris, the School established roots in Oxford. Paris had been conquered; the next target was England! The School had set its sights higher and further afield! The Grande École with an international perspective was to become a fully-fledged international Grande École.

Campus d'Oxford

EM Normandie set up its next base within the grounds of the City of Oxford College, in the heart of the city. Courses were taught in English, using Anglo-Saxon teaching methods, with reduced intakes. A very special study environment, it was the ideal setup for Master in Management (Programme Grande École) (M1) students wishing to study abroad in fourth-year without leaving their School in spirit.

The students were not the only ones to be won over. Teachers and administrative staff from French campuses packed their bags and headed over to the new site alongside local colleagues. They were like one big extended EM Normandie family moving to foreign territory yet fiercely proud of its esprit de corps.

Over the next few years, EM Normandie opened its doors to students in the second and then third-year of the post-baccalaureate Programme Grande École (years U2 and U3), launched a final year (M2) specialisation in Banking, Finance and FinTech, before welcoming all PGE students, from first-year to the end of the course.

In 2017, the School presented its new strategic plan in Oxford, with the media watching. One newspaper article was entitled "EM NORMANDIE, QUEEN OF OXFORD"! This really was the cherry on the cake.

Discover Oxford campus


The School may be symbolic of a reunified Normandy, but it also reflects the region’s history of conquest in its strive to invade new territories. First in the firing line was Paris. A tactical decision! Had I been around at the time, I would have done the same thing myself. Descending on the capital was vital if we were to strengthen our position alongside other Business Schools, reinforce our links with major French and international companies and increase our appeal to applicants.

Campus de Paris

Paris, 16th arrondissement, rue du Ranelagh. A strategic address, easy to access whether you come from Gare St Lazare or Gare de Lyon… Why Gare de Lyon? Oh yes, I forgot to mention, we share this site with the Grenoble Ecole de Management.

Spread over two levels, the facilities include High-Tech classrooms, a showroom dedicated to innovative teaching technology and recreational areas where students can sit and chat, meet for lunch, etc. What’s more, our neighbour is the Alain Ducasse cookery school!

The first students to attend this campus were those on a work-study programme as part of the Master in Management (Programme Grande École) and international students on “Summer School” programmes. However, the target group soon widened. Many post-baccalaureate applicants were drawn to the campus. 60% were from the Paris region. Each year, the numbers increased, and we now have the entire site to accommodate our growing School.

All systems go for AACSB

2014 was the year in which we renewed our EPAS accreditation, but also brought many new challenges. We have always applied the same philosophy of setting our sights on the future. Clearly, we also apply this outlook to our accreditations. Thus, the AACSB accreditation became one of the main focus areas of our 2013-2017 ‘Value and Performance’ strategic plan.

This indisputable guarantee of excellence represented a major step towards boosting our appeal, increasing our recruitment of international students and professors and forging partnerships with the most prestigious international universities.

In the preceding years, the School’s management bodies, employees, students, graduates and partners had given their all to meet AACSB's rigorous accreditation standards.
A great deal of work went into our mission, strategy, teaching staff, programmes, student support and improvement and innovation measures, with nothing left to chance. Our loyal staff put everything into their verbal presentation.

Finally, the big day arrived and we received the eagerly awaited call. EM Normandie had been awarded the maximum five-year AACSB accreditation! We were so proud of our amazing School for joining the ranks of only 5% of business schools worldwide with AACSB accreditation (and one of only 22 in France). What a celebration!

The official auditors’ letter cited a number of EM Normandie’s attributes including its strong international dimension, its close links with Norman companies and its positive impact on its region (already highlighted by the BSIS). Also mentioned were the expansion of its research programmes, teaching innovation through SmartEcole®, its approachability and student support as well as its tireless work to revitalize its alumni association rebranded as the EM Normandie Network.

Accréditation AACSB

InsIDE is born

You know about the chicken and egg scenario, don’t you? The famous question as to which came first? If we applied this debate to EM Normandie Business School to explain how entrepreneurship came about within the School, the chronology would be much more straightforward. It’s quite simple: entrepreneurship has been in our bones since forever, and, for just as long, we have worked hard to pass it on to our students. You can therefore imagine how proud we were when, in 2009, a group of pupils set up ACCES, an association to provide coaching to business start-ups, which influenced the national “Cordées de l’Entrepreneuriat” programme, several years later.

Obviously, this momentum sparked new ambition; we help to organise a number of startup weekends- where budding entrepreneurs have 54 hours to set up a business- and, in particular, envisage a new scheme. We think it through, we refine it, and finally, in 2014, we present it: the Institute for Innovation and Development of Entrepreneurship, InsIDE for those in the know.

The programme seeks to encourage entrepreneurship, train people from all backgrounds and support students from the idea phase right through to creating their business. The concept is an instant success. It becomes increasingly popular among learners, to the point where the student incubator ends up playing a huge role in the EM Normandie Experience. We teach them how to pitch their projects, put them on support programmes and help them to set up a business. We even go as far as identifying Business Angels to maximise the chances of bringing their ideas to life! And the scheme’s success does not end there; professionals are also full of praise for the expertise of InsIDE, which introduces more and more short and tailored training courses to meet all of their needs. What’s more, this key fixture, now firmly established in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, works with many regional stakeholders to help a growing number of budding entrepreneurs to take the plunge, to follow their dreams.

Création de l'InsIDE, incubateur étudiant
2013 | The Observatory Pedagogy and Professions of Tomorrow

As part of the "Values and Performance" strategic plan for 2013-2017, we are creating the Observatory Pedagogy and Professions of Tomorrow. We see it as an analysis and forecasting unit in charge of deciphering changes and new job trends. It is becoming an essential source for arbitrating the evolution of our training courses.

Observatoire de la pédagogie et des métiers de demain

SmartEcole® comes onto the scene

EM Normandie launches a revolutionary new tool in the Grandes Écoles community: SmartEcole®. This bold statement confirms its intention to overturn conventional educational models and ride the wave of new technologies and the habits of digital natives. This is not just about being fashionable, however: the School seeks to “make traineeships fun again”...a real early 21st century challenge!

2013 | EM Normandie joins the ranks of BSIS pilot institutions
Business School Impact System

In 2013, the BSIS (Business School Impact System) was launched. Developed by the FNEGE (French National Foundation for Business Management Teaching), this tool measures the impact of institutions on the regions in which they are located. We were one of the first Grandes Ecoles to sign up. And the conclusions speak for themselves: EM Normandie Business School is an asset to Normandy. Better still, it boosts Normandy’s economy and helps to ensure that young talented people settle in the region.

2012 | EM Normandie becomes an active member of UGEI
Union des Grandes Écoles Indépendantes

A new milestone is achieved in 2012: EM Normandie becomes an active member of the Union of Independent Grandes Écoles. This association, founded in 1993, aims to “bring together the main engineering and business schools united by their desire for independence”.

2011 | Launch of the Cordées de l'entrepreneuriat

I remember the desire to dare that drove these seven students from EM Normandie when they created ACCES, a business creation coaching association, in 2009. With their skills in project management and entrepreneurship, they decided to support project leaders from sensitive urban areas in the city of Le Havre. Hailed by Yazid SABEG, then Commissioner for Diversity and Equal Opportunities, this original initiative led to the creation of the Cordées de l'Entrepreneuriat in 2011, on a national scale. I can only be proud of this great initiative, which is in line with the DNA of our School!

Cordées de l'entrepreneuriat

EM Normandie obtains EPAS accreditation

Competition between the French Grandes Ecoles was on the rise. EM Normandie Business School needed to stand out from the crowd by gaining evidence of its high standards. It was clear that we needed international accreditation.
EPAS was the first hurdle to overcome. We were aware that this would involve scrutiny of our programmes, staffing ratios, research activities, academic partnerships, business links and graduate employment. Our teams began their long and painstaking work to ensure that we met the requirements. Their verbal presentation was a loyal showcase of EM Normandie’s high standards of excellence together with its courageous and innovative approach. Finally the auditors issued their verdict: EM Normandie Business School had been awarded a three-year EPAS accreditation for its Master's in Management (Programme Grande Ecole). We celebrated completing the first stage of what promised to be a long journey.

Accréditation EPAS
2011 | The Master’s in Management (Programme Grande École) course available entirely by e-learning

One thing is certain: EM Normandie has daring and innovation in its blood...not to mention the power to surprise. In 2011, it launches its lifelong learning Master’s in Management available entirely by e-learning: the first of its kind in Europe! It even gives a free iPad to all the trainees in the first class of the programme. I grew up using pens and inkwells, and here I am catapulted into a new world of seemingly endless possibilities.

Programme Grande École 100% en e-learning
2008 | Launch of the Bachelor International Management

Life in business schools is not a smooth ride and students' expectations are increasingly high. We therefore need to diversify our programmes. During the steering committees, we set up new niche specialisations, in line with the needs of recruiters and the specificities of our territories; we create new MS and MSc; we launch our Bachelor of International Business, which will become the Bachelor International Management. As its name indicates, this three-year post-baccalaureate course, approved by the State, is designed with an international background and at least one compulsory expatriation.

Lancement du Bachelor Management International

Le Réseau EM Normandie prend vie

Ah, quelle belle initiative que d’avoir créé, en 1875, la société amicale des anciens élèves de l’ESC Le Havre ! Pas même les deux guerres mondiales n’auront eu raison de cette bulle salvatrice tant l’attachement des diplômés à leur École est indéfectible. 
Mais la fusion opérée en 2004 entre l’ESC Le Havre et Sup Europe CESEC et l’essor qui s’ensuit nous poussent à voir plus loin. Le Réseau EM Normandie voit le jour en 2008 avec le recrutement d’une personne dédiée à temps plein. Son challenge est de taille : il lui faut fédérer une communauté dont de nombreux diplômés sont expatriés dans le monde entier et dont les plus jeunes se sont formés sur des campus différents, à Caen, au Havre et même à Deauville. Le tour de génie est sans doute d’avoir choisi de cimenter ce réseau à la source en l’ouvrant aux étudiants dès leur première année d’études. Le premier conseil d’administration est élu et rapidement les ambitions se dessinent : animer la communauté des étudiants, les accompagner tout au long de leur carrière et soutenir la stratégie de l’EM Normandie. 

Création du Réseau EM Normandie
2007 | EM Normandie becomes a non-profit organisation under the French Law of 1901

EM Normandie officially changes status and becomes a non-profit organisation under the French Law of 1901, constituted under private law. It becomes self-governing, with a Board of Directors and a Strategic Guidance Council.

EM Normandie’s Master in Management is launched!

Following the merger of ESC Le Havre and SUP Europe CESEC to form the EM Normandie Business School, the next clear step was to merge the initial training programmes of both institutions. EM Normandie’s Master in Management (Programme Grande Ecole) was born!

This new five-year post-Baccalaureate state-recognised Master's degree was a step ahead of the competition. There were three entrance levels: post-Bac, post-preparatory classes and two, three or four years post-Bac. This represented a new step forward in the history of the School, which began to welcome students of all levels while continuing to use different selection methods and maintaining its high standards.

I still remember the French Ministry of National Education’s positive reaction to this educational project, which was based on a new and demanding teaching plan. Our institution set itself the mission of providing students with the knowledge, know-how and interpersonal skills that they need in order to access top international careers, over a two-, three- or five- year period. Our aim was to offer students a wealth of experiences with multiple specialisms, a range of foreign languages, foreign placement opportunities and professional development projects throughout their course. We gain great satisfaction from helping each student with their personalised training plan based on both academic requirements and their own preferences. We also provide tools to help each student with their personal and professional development. Multiple specialisms have always been offered alongside our core management programme, to ensure that our students have the best possible job prospects. The aim is to prepare them for the future jobs market and a successful professional career.

Programme Grande École
2005 | The Métis Laboratory is born

In 2005, we began to organise our various research projects around the Métis Laboratory. This initiative embodied our willingness to develop academic and applied research which not only underpins the excellence of our teaching, but also provides professionals with a scientific perspective on developments in the business world.

Métis Lab

The Métis Laboratory is designed to be a space for knowledge and discussion. It is a consortium where new knowledge is created in a complex and constantly changing environment. The Lab focuses on research in four main areas:

For a School which teaches business management and trains the managers of tomorrow, what could be more fitting than an applied research programme on the topic of Organisation, Projects and Entrepreneurship? By developing our scientific knowledge in this field, our intention was to prepare future managers and entrepreneurs even better for the organisational changes and challenges which their companies will face. Maritime and Port Logistics is also, unsurprisingly, a key focus area given our long-standing location next to the Le Havre port, a European crossroads of maritime transport. Another key area, Regional Appeal and Development, is based on analyses of international investment trends, the principles of regional marketing and policies to increase appeal, and the role urban areas play within regions. The work carried out under this area is also used to enhance our MS Development, Innovation and Regional Marketing, created in 1991, which in 2017 became the Regional Development Strategy. Last but not least, the Lab studies Transnational Management. It is important to note that multicultural management is one of the key teaching elements on our programme, and is the lifeblood of the School. Our work focuses on ethics and customs, the management of organisations and the training and development of managers. However, nothing is set in stone! Even when the research areas were created, instinct told me that our research topics would need to keep evolving in order to meet the needs of different market stakeholders.

The ESC Normandie Group becomes the École de Management de Normandie (EM Normandie Business School)

2004 marks yet another turning point in the history of our institution. The Le Havre and Caen entities were merged to form the École de Management de Normandie. The merging of the two schools into one was a pivotal moment following 20 years of collaboration between the two cities of Le Havre and Caen. The EM Normandie adventure was one step ahead of Normandy’s reunification in 2016.

The teams on this project worked tirelessly with the Caen and Le Havre Chambers of Commerce and Industry to achieve a progressive move towards cooperation. They had to rewrite the script on a number of occasions to create this shared learning programme for the region.

I still remember the first partnership between the two cities in 1982, which gave rise to the ESC Normandie Group. Since then, we have continued to pool our resources, methods and teaching know-how so that we can offer our students a more enhanced learning experience. With its own legal status and Jean-Guy Bernard appointed as its Head, the École de Management de Normandie was able to open up a range of opportunities. At the same time, the ESC Le Havre (5-year post-Baccalaureate) qualification received Master’s recognition, testament to the hard work we had put in to creating a programme of excellence.

Le groupe ESC Normandie devient l'École de Management de Normandie
1998 | HEC Entrepreneurs pedagogy

Remember when ESC Le Havre was created and I explained the famous object lesson approach to you? We believe that learning on-the-job helps our young talent to develop an analytical mind and provides them with the tools to become fully-fledged managers and strong business leaders.

HEC entrepreneurs

Year after year, practice continues to infuse the daily curriculum until, in 1998, in a stroke of genius, we establish a partnership with the HEC Group in relation to HEC Entrepreneurs pedagogy. Setting our students to work as part of a team on real management issues provides them with the perfect opportunity to tackle the business world, learn teamworking skills and build their network.
The partnership comes to a natural end after the turn of the century, but we are keen to continue sending our students on business placements, to “matchmake learners and companies”; we are rather good at this and invest an incredible amount of energy into it!

1988 | Conférence des Grandes Ecoles here we come!
Conférence des Grandes Écoles

1988 marks a major triumph! ESC Normandie becomes a member of the highly prestigious Conférence des Grandes Écoles. Such recognition was crucial to gain momentum in an increasingly competitive sector. We are well aware that our ways of working are set to change significantly. Recruitment of permanent professors, developping all the more ambitious courses, a stronger focus on research... We have to cover all bases!


Offering the Le Havre students the opportunity to follow a final year specialisation with an international focus in Caen is only a first step in the synergy strategies of the Chambers of Commerce of Caen and Le Havre. They now see further and together create SUP EUROPE CESEC.

Located at 9 rue Claude Bloch in Caen, the campus is under the direction of Jean-Léonce Dupont, under the governance of ESC Le Havre. A brand-new program is offered there, in three and then four years, offering many business experiences and decidedly international-oriented, with programs in several languages and long expatriations (one year minimum) within a network of partner universities that are developing all over the world (Great Britain, Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, Spain, Mexico, United States, Australia, etc.) ... But it has another particularity: it addresses to post-Baccalaureate students. What an audacious challenge to open up places to this new audience! What a unique model in the ESCAE network which exclusively recruits preparatory class students.

We are convinced that the active methods around group work and full student participation, which has always been part of our DNA, effectively prepare the business leaders and senior executives of tomorrow. We therefore increasingly incorporate these methods into our day-to-day learning practices, in Caen as in Le Havre: case studies, business games and simulation exercises, business situations programmed on a computer, round tables, roleplays and surveys ...

SUP Europe CESEC sort de terre

Welcome to ESC Normandie

In 1982, the Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Caen and Le Havre opened a new chapter in the story of our wonderful School by founding the ESC Normandie Group. It brought together ESC Le Havre, a new international programme taught in Caen, and the Le Havre Institute for Teaching and Port Research (IPER). Its Managing Director was Michel Poté, a legend in the School’s history.

ESC Normandie
1977 | Creation of IPER

With the support of the Le Havre (Seine Estuary) Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Le Havre Great Maritime Port (HAROPA - Port of Le Havre) and the Ecole des Ponts et Chaussées Engineering School, we founded the Institute for Teaching and Port Research - IPER for those in the know. Our ambition was to train professionals in the maritime, port and logistics sectors from all over the world.

Création de l'IPER

Le Havre is located at the crossroads of the world economy, the perfect location for IPER! This ambitious project pooled the expert knowledge of the entire Le Havre port community. Before long, it had gained solid support from exceptional partners such as HAROPA (Port of Le Havre) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

To fulfil our aim of transferring our knowledge, we began to develop tailor-made programmes for professionals in the maritime and port sector. This provided a great opportunity to share experiences, pool knowledge, and to help professionals to develop their practices and showcase their successes!  At the time, we did not dare to imagine that IPER would eventually support thousands of experts,  nor that they would come from all corners of the earth (Algeria, Argentina, Cameroon, Colombia, Ivory Coast, the Philippines and Togo) for our port operations and management higher education training.  We hadn’t dared imagine that women would travel from all over the world to attend our exclusively female excellence training, launched in 2008, to fulfil the UN’s Millennium Development Goal no. 3: “Promote gender equality and empower women”. Women now play a key role in the maritime and port industry, and we have continued to pursue this goal, with our 2019 World Maritime Day adopting the theme of “Empowering Women in the Maritime Community”.

The great ESCAE era

1947 brings positive news on two fronts: ESC Le Havre joined the new network of Higher Education Schools of Trade and Business Administration (ESCAE) set up at the government’s initiative, and our programme was endorsed by the French Ministry of National Education. These two accolades were testament to the educational excellence of our training, and boosted our credibility in relation to other engineering schools and universities.

We were now in the post-Second World War period. We had complied with ESCAE requirements. Our course was now three years with a final examination and a qualification shared by the entire network: the diploma of higher business education (DECS). We narrowed down our objective to training future business leaders and senior executives. We finally gained “Grande École” status like the engineering schools, which gave us a boost.

Campus de l'ESCAE au Havre
1937 | What does the entrance examination for ESC Le Havre look like?

The examination covered French composition, geography, applied arithmetic and algebra. Candidates had to master both language and figures, and of course have a critical mind. Try putting yourself in the shoes of a candidate (see below):

Applied arithmetic

The staff of a trading firm are paid as follows:

  • a) Each employee, whether present or on leave, receives 250 francs per fortnight.
  • b) A bonus is calculated on the total amount of sales for the fortnight and distributed equally among all employees present.

All employees were present the first fortnight of July, and the bonus rate was 1.25%.
For the second fortnight, four employees were on leave and the rate was raised to 1.875%.
The total turnover each fortnight was proportional to the number of employees present.
The total compensation the company paid its employees remained the same in both cases, i.e. 18,600 francs.


  • 1) The number of employees employed by the firm.
  • 2) The turnover for each fortnight.
  • 3) The salary of one employee present in each fortnight.

French composition

Explain and discuss this text by Montesquieu: “The natural effect of trade is to bring about peace because all unions are founded on natural requirements. However, two nations which trade with one another become mutually dependent”.

Concours d'entrée en école de commerce en 1937
1920 | Women join our ranks

When I founded ESC Le Havre in 1871 with my brother Jacques, we had a clear objective. It goes without saying that we wanted to train brilliant traders, who are responsible citizens and committed to overcoming life’s challenges. But for us, a key aspect of our plans was to include people from different backgrounds, women as well as men. I married Julie, a committed feminist and Chair of the National Council of French Women (Conseil National des Femmes Françaises), and her battles became mine. I campaigned alongside her for votes for women. In 1917, I helped to set up a women's rights group in Parliament. And of course, I also worked hard to make ESC Le Havre a place in which everyone could realise their potential.

Féminisation des effectifs

Our work finally came to fruition in 1920, when three female candidates signed up to take the competitive entrance exam. Their numbers were small, but they were there, daring to be different. And they set the scene for a revolution in the world of higher education. Then came the Roaring Twenties. Women demanded equal access to education. The Second World War followed by the May 68 uprising in France accelerated the women’s liberation movement. Female student numbers increased at breakneck speed, leaping up by 110% between 1973 and 1978.

Step by step, the School welcomed more women and we were gradually moving towards full parity. I am proud to note that over the decades, our successive teams have continued the campaign for women’s rights, in a world where gender equality is still not always a reality. Some of our academics have taken on gender equality as a research topic, and we have appointed a Gender Equality Officer. In 2018, the School even launched a robust system to combat sexual and gender-based violence, which covers the entire EM Normandie community. The School’s Wellbeing and Inclusion department oversees the system, which focuses on raising awareness, protecting victims and punishing perpetrators. We have also adopted further equality measures include signing dedicated conventions and charters and partnering with regional initiatives.
Our student associations are also committed to equality. All association chairs sign our “10 EM student pledges against harassment and discrimination”. There are also a number of new projects in the pipeline with gender equality as their main priority. Our students and graduates association - EM Normandie Alumni - has launched initiatives to support the journey towards equality.

There have been a number of success stories, both in France and abroad, of female EM Normandie graduates taking on careers which were previous dominated by men. Women from EM Normandie have realised their dreams in a range of areas including setting up their own businesses, managing teams, and even becoming DJs or airline pilots!

1902 | Accepting students from diverse backgrounds

We set up a competitive entrance exam: We only had 33 candidates for the 45 places available in the first year. While we would have preferred to have a full house, our focus at the time was to attract students from a diverse range of backgrounds. This is a cause close to our hearts and a battle that we will never stop fighting, as we believe that diversity brings wealth. Equal opportunities should be a fundamental right. We were already living up to this ideal by welcoming students from all social classes, from all over France and from around the world.

Début de la diversité

The School gains State recognition

1890 marks a major milestone for ESC Le Havre: its recognition by the State!
I remember the unique mixture of excitement and stress that we felt in the moments leading up to the decision.
Recognition was a mark of the educational excellence of our training, and strengthened our credibility in relation to other engineering schools and universities. What is more, we were now able to receive State funding to help us run our wonderful institution. However, recognition also meant that we needed to comply with a number of rules. We changed our status from a private institution to a semi-private institution, with a link to the Le Havre Chamber of Commerce and Industry. It was the start of a new era...

Première reconnaissance par l’État
1875 | Birth of the ESC Le Havre alumni association

Their names are Félix, Gaston, Ernest, Emile... They are in active life, evolving in different branches of commerce and industry but remain deeply attached to the School. And to give a little more substance to this unbreakable bond, they created, in 1875, the friendly society of former students of the ESC Le Havre, a valuable source of information, a place of trust and mutual support.

Amicale des anciens élèves

Once upon a time, we were ESC Le Havre...

ESC Le Havre was one of the first Business Schools to be born in France. How proud we were! I created the School with my brother, Jacques. We could see that the cotton trade clearly occupied a central role in society. Therefore, our aim was to train cotton merchants and traders.

ESC Le Havre opened its doors at 21 rue Ancelot with Director Hyppolyte Vannier at the helm. Vannier was a former trader, former professor of trade in Paris and author of a number of accounting books. There were 26 students in our first annual intake: 15 from Le Havre and 11 from other French regions and even from Algeria. We rather proudly launched our first two-year study programme. Students studied law, accountancy and trade geography. They learned how global trade operates, import and export methods and different communications methods, with of course a focus on maritime transport. Le Havre provided the perfect location in which to study this programme. With its docks and warehouses on the doorstep, students could see for themselves how a port works, with goods flowing in and out from all over the world. There was also a focus on foreign language learning, with four hours of English and three hours of Spanish each week. And of course, practical work was already a major feature of our courses.

The programme proved to be a resounding success. The following year, 43 students joined ESC Le Havre. We were already offering tailored programmes at this stage, and students could either choose to do a preparatory year or join the programme in years 1 or 2. A mix of nationalities was also a must, and we had students from Spain, Poland, the United States and of course Alsace.

Jules Siegfried fondateur de l'ESC Le Havre