Open Eye: Business school makes the French connection

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The Independent Online
The Open University Business School (OUBS) has signed an agreement with the Chambre de Commerce et d'Industrie de Paris (CCIP) to translate and adapt its highly successful Capable Manager course for French speaking markets.

Already one of Europe's largest business schools, the OUBS sees this agreement as an opportunity to expand into an important new market and to forge strong links with France's leading business organisation.

The CCIP is a public institution that represents some 40% of all major French firms and is responsible for three prestigious business schools in the Paris area. It is also a central part of a network of chambers of commerce throughout France that will give OUBS courses access to a variety of French-based multinationals and corporate clients.

"We are keen to acquire knowledge about distance teaching and how it can help to provide management development for junior managers throughout France," says Hubert Bonal, project director for CCIP and former Dean of the Dijon Business School.

"With this agreement we hope that the adaptation of OUBS courses into French will enable us to deliver the general management programme currently offered in English to more than 4,000 students each year."

The first students are expected to enrol early in 2000. Although OUBS already has students studying courses throughout Europe, Africa and Asia in English and in translation as far afield as Russia and Argentina, this agreement is the first to be reached with a major EU business institution.

The agreement will also see OUBS and CCIP collaborate in using the Internet - and other new information and communication technologies - to support management development across Europe.

The first course to be translated is The Capable Manager. This leads to the Professional Certificate in Management in Britain and will also lead to a similar qualification from the CCIP in France. Another important advantage of the agreement is that both CCIP and OUBS courses will seek recognition as European NVQs.

"This is an important development for us," says Dr Colin Gray, Director of External Affairs for the OUBS. "It gives us an entry into the French speaking world as well as a prestigious and respected partner, and it will be important to our future success in Europe that we gain EU NVQ recognition for our courses."

In addition to the Capable Manager, the OUBS offers a range of management development courses at certificate, diploma and MBA level by supported distance learning which enables students to continue in work while studying at a location and time of their own choice.

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