To state the patently obvious, digital is changing everything. In the context of this sea change affecting all facets of society, EDHEC itself is undergoing a digital rebirth that started some years ago. More than simply mirroring the new world reality, our business school’s digital transformation is anticipating in order to lead with new digital ways to get things done. Having the vision is all well and good. Strategy and action make it happen. One year into his deanship, Emmanuel Métais is encouraged by the progress already achieved and underway. The EDHEC approach to digitalization is in line with its reputation for original thinking and for beating a new path. As Emmanuel Métais explains

“Technology has always had a role in education. The time is ripe to use technology as a springboard, to create a unique augmented learning experience.”

A simplistic assessment fears the dehumanization of learning. Using digital progress as a tool is the key distinction here. To make the pedagogic relationship even more human. To eliminate time-wasting repetition, physical obstacles such as distance, and pointless frustrations. A smoother, richer, more productive flow of information, ideas, and discussion becomes possible.


Contrary to popular belief, digitalization of educational practices does not have to be about the massification of knowledge only. At EDHEC, the ambition is the polar opposite, permitting an even greater degree of personalization and humanizing the relationship. “Our concept of digitalization for education,” insists Emmanuel Métais, “builds on the idea that you don’t just learn with your brain, but also with your heart, body and soul.” He argues that the digital experience adds a dimension to the physical one without replacing, for example, lively exchanges with professors and students, or indeed campus life. “I like the analogy of going from classical theater to video game, while preserving the best of both worlds.

What will never change at EDHEC is all that defines EDHEC: its DNA, as a useful and positive force, recognized for excellence in research and thought leadership. Digitalization must serve this raison d’être.


“We are not interested in technology for technology’s sake. The tool is there to free us from the mundane. To unleash better performance, closer collaboration, and greater usefulness to society.”


Many around the world would love to study with EDHEC but are prevented by the tyranny of distance, the constraints of their jobs, or disability. New markets come in all shapes and sizes. Think of the potential in French-speaking Africa, or people everywhere without the means to study with us onsite, but with the drive to excel in their chosen studies. To reach those people, EDHEC’s digital business is entering an exciting new phase with the introduction of a focused Online Business Unit. In addition to on-site courses, EDHEC is determined to build its virtual campus, extending to the furthest reaches of the web, wherever people are motivated to learn. We’ve already built up a body of experience with our Management Development Programme Online and our online BBA geared to top-level competitors. A new development is our partnership with Coursera. On this highlyvisible learning platform, we will produce EDHECbranded Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).

Entrepreneurs, wherever they may be, will be able to benefit from EDHEC support that is both worldclass and personalized. Digital is the great enabler. As well as installing a second backbone, Online Business represents a significant source of revenue that will reinforce EDHEC’s future success.


At the end of the day, EDHEC is an SME albeit with the challenges of a multinational. Serving up 100,000 course hours every year requires a lot of behind-the-scenes processing, travel, and expenses. The boring stuff. Whatever we can do to simplify and streamline that side of the business can only benefit the organization. Less urgent than transforming the educational experience, it is nonetheless work in progress, with change being implemented as needed.

Whether to convert the learning experience or to transform the school in other meaningful ways, EDHEC remains true to form. We practice what we preach.

This article was first published on Otherwise magazine (#7 issue). If you enjoyed reading it, subscribe here and receive the next issue for free!