FRENCH-SENEGALESE CAMPUS: inaugural year for the IMT/SUPDECO Dakar Bachelor’s program in Senegal

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The Bachelor’s program in “Innovation, Management and Digital Technologies” welcomed its first group of students on Monday 21 October, 2019, in Dakar. This Bachelor’s degree offered in partnership with the Groupe Sup de Co Dakar is part of the Franco-Senegalese Campus, an initiative launched by presidents Emmanuel Macron and Macky Sall to support the joint development of innovative training programs in Senegal by French and Senegalese institutions.

16 students in the inaugural class

The inaugural class of the IMT-Sup de Co Dakar Bachelor’s degree in “Innovation, Management and Digital Technologies,” comprising 16 African students (8 men and 8 women) started their school year in Dakar on 21 October.

Bachelor DAKAR rentrée

The students had the opportunity to discover the program and innovative teaching methods implemented with faculty from the IMT and Sup de Co Dakar schools. Guests in attendance included Joaquim NASSAR, Head of the International Cooperation Programs Department within the French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, and Antoine LE GRAND, Attaché for Scientific and University Cooperation at the French Embassy in Senegal.

A part of the first week for students and teaching teams was dedicated to discussions with players in Dakar’s digital technology and innovation ecosystem: Yux Design, PAPS, Sonatel, Teranga Tech.

In addition, faculty members from IMT (IMT Atlantique, IMT Lille Douai, Institut Mines-Télécom Business School), partner schools (ENIB, Télécom St-Etienne) and Sup de Co came together for a seminar to discuss project-based learning.

This first week closed with a visit from the French Ambassador to Senegal and the Senegalese Minister for Higher Education, Research and Innovation, who toured the innovative EduLab facilities which students will have the opportunity to use.

A Bachelor’s degree dedicated to digital technology

Senegal is one of the most active countries in Western African in the field of digital technology. This Bachelor’s degree has been launched in order to train future talents who can contribute to the continent’s growth, from an operational perspective.

This three-year Bachelor’s degree in “Innovation, Management and Digital Technologies” is a post-secondary school vocational course designed to provide on-the-job training to prepare the qualified middle-managers that Africa needs to support the digital transformation of its economy. The students will be operational at the end of the course and those who wish to do so may apply for Master’s programs at business or engineering schools.

The program is based on a skills-centered approach focusing on two aspects:

  • Scientific and technical
  • Managerial

At the same time, a year-long project to be completed every year will help structure students’ studies.

The technical and scientific modules are taught primarily by instructors from IMT schools in the form of one- to two-week project-based workshops.

Courses take place at the Sup de Co Dakar campus and project-based learning activities are held at the IMT EduLab, a new space for discussion and for experimenting with innovative teaching methods.

Senegal, a gateway to Africa

By 2030, Africa will be home to the world’s biggest pool of students with 20 million out of the 60 million students worldwide.

In early 2018, IMT organized its first training course in Senegal: a team from IMT Atlantique offered a hybrid course at Ecole Supérieure Polytechnique (ESP) in Dakar intended to teach managers of Fablabs in Senegal and other Western African countries how to independently run the IMT MOOC, “Digital Manufacturing” at their Fablab.

In 2019, a community of African learners, including students from ESP, took part in the “Networks and Telecommunication” program led by several IMT schools.

Building on these initial successes on the African continent, the creation of this Bachelor’s program, for which IMT-BS has contributed its expertise in higher education, represents a new step towards implementing IMT’s strategy in Africa – a strategy that aims to create a five-year graduate school to train executives who can support the digital transformation of the African economy.

Since careful thought must be given to the governance, business, and educational models required to conceive, design and develop “the school of the future” in Africa, IMT considers this Bachelor as a pilot model for its future school. Among other things, this approach will help ensure that the training provided is in line with labor market demands.