IÉSEG and RUBIKA strengthen their collaboration by signing a global partnership, integrating teaching, research and entrepreneurship

Following the recent announcement of the launch of a Bachelor’s degree in Management & Tech Design in September 2024, IÉSEG and RUBIKA have stepped up their collaboration by signing a global partnership agreement.

This partnership will enable them to carry out joint teaching and research activities, support the entrepreneurial projects of students and graduates from both institutions and share best practices to improve the student experience.

Two institutions sharing a common vision and values

Thanks to the excellence of their programs and the quality of their teaching, IÉSEG and RUBIKA are renowned, both in France and internationally, for their expertise in the fields of management and administration on the one hand, and video games, animation and design on the other hand.

Both members of the FESIC (the French Federation of Higher Education Institutions of Public Interest), they are strongly attached to their non-profit status under the French law of 1901. They share a common vision of student support and of their educational mission. Promoting interdisciplinarity and international and intercultural openness, both Schools play an integral role in the social, societal, economic and environmental transformation of companies and society.

Since 2020, cooperation between the two Schools has steadily increased. In view of the very positive feedback from students and faculty of both institutions, the Management Boards of IÉSEG and RUBIKA decided to sign a global partnership, which includes 4 areas of cooperation: entrepreneurship, research and knowledge creation, student life as well as pedagogy and programs.

Entrepreneurship: fostering the blending of high value-added skills

Whether at IÉSEG or at RUBIKA, students develop their entrepreneurial spirit in a practical way: imagining, experimenting, testing and learning. Whether in the classroom, on company projects, or in their community or personal lives, students reinforce their creativity, their sense of responsibility, their critical thinking and their open-mindedness, all skills that will be essential in carrying out their entrepreneurial projects and in contributing to the evolution of society through their impact projects. Today, entrepreneurship calls for multiple, interdisciplinary skills combining management, creativity, code and design.

At the heart of both Schools’ strategies, entrepreneurship is one of the major axis of this global partnership, which has a dual objective:
– firstly, to bring together students and graduates from IÉSEG and RUBIKA, so that they have all the skills (technological and managerial) to optimize their chances of success;
– secondly, to encourage the joint creation of companies by students or graduates from both institutions, so as to benefit from high value-added skills at every stage of the company’s creation and deployment.

Drawing on the expertise of the IÉSEG Incubator, which was created in 2015 and supports more than 50 incubatees every year, IÉSEG and RUBIKA will launch the first “3 Days to Launch a Business” workshops for their students and graduates in 2023, enabling them to test the coherence, quality and viability of their project with business creation experts.

Then, by the end of 2023, the first Call for Candidates will be launched to recruit the first class of project leaders, combining students and graduates from both Schools. In 2024, the IÉSEG Incubator will host the first projects or companies co-created by students or graduates from both Schools, on its premises in Lille or Paris – La Défense.

These co-incubatees will benefit from the same support offered by the IÉSEG Incubator today: coaching delivered by a dedicated mentor, a specialist in the sector who will give project leaders the benefit of his or her experience; brainstorming and mutual support workshops; networking events; advice from business and sector experts; support in finding financing…

Research: drawing on everyone’s expertise

Accelerating technological development and the emergence of artificial intelligence (open-AI) tools such as Chat GPT and Midjourney are revolutionizing teaching and learning methods, and overturning the way things are done. In order to offer their students the most innovative and engaging teaching methods, IÉSEG and RUBIKA have decided to combine their human and material resources to strengthen their research activities in this field.

Research collaborations will thus be developed, and the research results and teaching materials that will be produced (case studies, e-learning modules, etc.) will be integrated by both Schools into the most appropriate programs. Three research themes have already been identified: gamification, creative team work and ideation.

As of September 2023, Catherine GABELICA (specializing in the learning processes of teams and individuals), Joao VIEIRA DA CUNHA (Director of Research, specializing in Leadership) and Loïc PLÉ (Director of Pedagogy, an expert in business model and strategy) will start a research project on the learning processes of creative teams: how they coordinate, how they resolve conflicts, how they learn… The results of this research project are intended to be used by the two institutions’ corporate partners, for whom the management of creative teams (in R&D centers, for example) represents a major performance challenge.

In addition, IÉSEG and RUBIKA plan to work together to develop a gamification research center. In this way, the two schools will be able to capitalize as much on RUBIKA’s gaming and development skills as on the expertise of IÉSEG’s professors, to position themselves as reference players in the use of gamification in teaching and in the student experience.

Student life: sharing best practices across both Schools

Both IÉSEG and RUBIKA have developed numerous projects and tools to enhance the learning experience and quality of life on campus.

As part of this global partnership, the two Schools have decided to share their best practices. For example, starting in 2023, IÉSEG will provide RUBIKA with its online training module (SPOC) entitled “Sexist and Sexual Violence: understanding to prevent”, which won the “Quality of life, accessibility and diversity” prize at the Responsible Campus Trophies in 2021. Mandatory for all first-year students on the Grande École Program and on the Bachelor in International Business, this training will now also be used to raise awareness among RUBIKA students. For its part, RUBIKA will share with IÉSEG the adaptations made for its students with disabilities and the individual support measures put in place to optimize student involvement and sucess.

Pedagogy & Programs: meeting companies’ needs for hybrid profiles

Convinced of the importance of training operational hybrid profiles, mastering both management and technological skills, which companies are particularly looking for, it was through the prism of pedagogy that, back in 2020, IÉSEG and RUBIKA had initiated their cooperation.

Launched in 2020, the “STEAM” project (4th-year students from each institution work together to imagine, code and market video games, the most successful of which are distributed on the Steam platform, the leader in online video game distribution) will be renewed and extended for the next academic year. This cross-disciplinary initiative between a School of Gaming and a School of Management was a first in France, and the enthusiasm of the students for the experience and the quality of the work have demonstrated the value of this project.

Then, in 2022, RUBIKA and IÉSEG offered their respective students the chance to take part in the partner institution’s elective classes at Master’s level. Some twenty RUBIKA students took a selection of electives offered by IÉSEG, such as ‘Digital Leadership and Innovation’ or ‘The Economics of Artificial Intelligence’, and some twenty IÉSEG students took electives offered by RUBIKA, such as ‘Ethics Design’ or ‘Machine Learning’. These cross-curricular electives will be continued from 2023 onwards; the offer will be enhanced and the system simplified to open it up to a larger number of students from each School.

Finally, the Bachelor in Management and Tech Design, co-designed, co-taught and co-supported by the two institutions, will be launched as announced in September 2024, with recruitment of the first class due to begin in the coming weeks.

This strategic partnership between IÉSEG and RUBIKA makes perfect sense after several years of collaboration on pedagogical projects. We share the same values and the same vision of our missions to serve young people and higher education. Today, we wish to strengthen and accelerate this collaboration through the officialization of this ambitious partnership.

Caroline ROUSSEL, Dean of IÉSEG, & Stéphane ANDRÉ, Dean of RUBIKA
IÉSEG's 60th Anniversary Badge