The 2010/09/02 at 14:31
Alexandre T. Analis
Holding university qualifications in psychology and languages, and an MBA from the École des Hautes Études Commerciales de Montréal, Donald Bherer joined the CEGEP of Sept-Îles in 2002 as a human resources manager. He took over the institution’s general management in 2005.
Commerce International: Can you briefly define the role of a CEGEP ?
Donald Bherer: “This is an independent establishment active in the domains of
initial training, continuing education and applied research. In initial training, the CEGEP offers technical training program-mes equivalent to two years’ study after the school leaving certificate, as well as programmes that are integrated in the pursuit of university studies. The research mission is mainly expressed in technological transfer centres focusing on areas of excellence on a national level. There are a total of 48 CEGEPs in Quebec spread out over the whole territory. They are largely financed by the Ministry of Education.”
What are the main distinguishing features of the CEGEP of Sept-Îles?
D.B.: “This CEGEP was set up in 1971. It is a small-sized establishment, innovative, very much in sync with the needs of its environment and situated in a very dynamic region on an economic level. Our sectors of expertise are industrial maintenance, industrial electronics, mineral processing, rail transport as well as, on another note, the development of indigenous communities.”
Why has the CEGEP of Sept-Îles specialised in these domains?
D.B.: “It’s very simple: the region’s industrial activity is centred on the mining of iron ore, the production of hydroelectricity and the primary transformation of aluminium. Very large companies have been present here for a number of years: ArcelorMittal, Rio Tinto, Cliffs Ressources, Hydro-Québec, Aluminerie Alouette… These businesses have major expansion projects and on top of this, significant new players have appeared: Consolidated Thomson (Wuhei Iron and Steel), New Millenium (Tata)… Investments announced by these companies for coming years come to over 10 billion Canadian dollars (or 7.8 billion euros, editorial note). Our region is somewhat like the ‘new frontier’ of Quebec. The development of our sectors of expertise correspond closely with the needs of these businesses and stem from the close links we maintain with them. As for indigenous communities, we have a thirty-year historic partnership with them.”
What types of diplomas do you deliver?
D.B.: “In initial training, State diplomas, college study diplomas (DEC), and in continuing education, State-accredited establishment diplomas, declarations of college studies (AEC). In this latter case, studies vary in their duration. In training, an emphasis is placed on skills acquisition. Training is applied in character and always takes into account industry needs. Internships in work environments play a major role.”
What other types of partnerships exist at the CEGEP of Sept-Îles?
D.B.: “The majority of our students are Quebecois, but we welcome more and more foreign students, notably thanks to our partnership agreements with French IUTs (institutes of technology) from Limoges, Lyon and more recently, Nice. Other students originate from Eastern Europe or Africa, and we are offering more and more tuition-free scholarships and scholarships for excellence to facilitate their coming. We also have a significant contingent of students from the Reunion Island and New Caledonia.”
Numerous CEGEPs in Quebec also have a research function. Is this the case of the CEGEP of Sept-Îles?
D.B.: “Yes, we have a research centre specialising in industrial maintenance. This centre offers aid-consultancy services to businesses, research and technological watch services.”
More informations on www.cegep-sept-iles.qc.ca.