The 2011/01/04 at 13:17
Over 8,500 trainees, 609,122 hours of lessons in sectors ranging from health to law, management, international relations, and chemistry, eight million euros in turnover in 2009: the Continuing Education Service at the University of Strasbourg holds an enviable spot among teaching establishments.
This is a situation due to over twenty years of experience in continuing education, but also thanks to its innovative approach to businesses. A majority of courses are devoted to the professional world, and 90% of training programmes lead to the awarding of diplomas. “We are steeped in continuing education culture,” explains Marc Poncin, Director of the Continuing Education Service. “And we wish to develop it.” Companies can consult the comprehensive catalogue of offers available on the university’s web site and choose from short programmes (3 to 5 days) or longer ones.
Whether the context is picking up studies, validating professional and personal knowledge, or developing a speciality, a dedicated team is ready to take into account every client’s need. Composed of thirty persons including eight project managers in contact with faculties and businesses, the Continuing Education Service identifies the most appropriate diplomas and training programmes, helps to obtain financing and above all, supports each trainee throughout the process. “One of our specificities is to offer tailor-made programmes,” insists Marc Poncin. Classes take place within the university or in companies, depending on the latter’s technical means.
A quality network
The other advantage of the University of Strasbourg’s continuing education offer resides in its geographical coverage. Its strategic position, at the heart of the European capital, confers it with considerable influence. It thus has close contact with border countries such as Belgium and Germany. In addition, the university has the means to offer training anywhere in France. “We have an excellent network and high-quality training under supervision,” states Marc Poncin. “Our modules are all under the responsibility of a lecturer-researcher.”
Recognised for its expertise in health education, 40% of the university’s continuing education offers are in this domain. But the Continuing Education Service has no intention of letting things stop here. “Since 2009, the French law on lifelong training and orientation has opened up more opportunities for the organisation of vocational training and its financing,” indicates Marc Poncin. “We must adapt to this new situation and not hesitate to reinvent new continuing education models.” In this way, the university intends to develop its less advanced sectors and to launch new innovative programmes.
Rethinking vocational teaching
Modular vocational training offers corresponding perfectly to the needs of businesses: this is the aim of the Strasbourg Continuing Education Service. “We are going to rethink the engineering of our diploma-earning programmes,” announces Marc Poncin. “We need to have the means to manage professional paths.” To get there, a specialised follow-up tool is to be developed.
Another of the university’s projects is to develop long-distance training to offer greater flexibility. This mixed learning mode, known as “blended learning”, conjugates e-learning and classroom teaching. “The new laws provide for training outside working time, enabling an employee to be paid in terms of overtime (at 50% more the usual hourly rate),” comments the Director of the Service. “This mix allows bringing a solution to this new demand. Not to forget that long-distance teaching is an excellent way to increase our prestige.” Innovations in credit-transferable diplomas, combined with long-distance training, will allow the university to optimally serve the lifelong education sector.