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Letter to Alumni from Loick Roche

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Dear graduate, 

The year 2020 is coming to a close. Many are thinking: finally! As the first signs of real hope for a way out of the crisis begin to appear, I wanted to reach out to you.

First of all, and most importantly, I would like to check in to see how things are going. How are you doing? Your nearest and dearest? Your loved ones? Personally? Professionally ?

Secondly, I'd like to share with you several news updates from Grenoble Ecole de Management, your school.

An agile school coping with the crisis 

Three priorities have guided our actions since the beginning of the crisis. First and foremost, the health and safety of students. Second, the health and safety of employees. Finally, the health and safety of GEM.

After anticipating in early March - even before the government's decisions - the suspension of face-to-face classes, then the closing of the establishment, we decided, just like McGill and Cambridge, to start the school year 100% remotely, particularly thanks to the implementation of a virtual campus developed in partnership with Laval Virtual. Why did we decide to do this? Because obviously, a back-to-school session in person would have meant taking too great a risk: that of contributing to the resurgence of the epidemic.

As you know, the problem the health crisis poses for students in higher education is not the issue of face-to-face classes. The masks, the compliance with physical distancing, it is not difficult. The students, as a whole, respect these rules. No, the problem is when students get together, often at parties. It is there, in particular - because students do not have a monopoly on gatherings and should not be singled out - that the virus circulates.

Among the institutions that have opted for face-to-face meetings - and we did not want to be one of them - there are a number of them who, in spite of themselves, have participated in the resurgence of the epidemic. An epidemic that, and it must be said, we know results in hospitalizations, rehabilitations, and deaths. 

GEM's choice was a responsible one, because it is the only one capable of countering, at best, with the voluntary implementation of telework, the risk of contributing to a resurgence of the epidemic. 

A school that invests heavily in the school of the future 

Today, we are preparing the first half of 2021. Some teaching will be conducted in rooms called Hyflex, which will allow people in attendance and at a distance to follow courses and interact together, in all possible configurations, with all the existing tools and software. As of January 1, 2021, the school will have 32 Hyflex rooms on its three campuses in France, which will represent, along with other developments related to new forms of teaching, an investment of 1.2 million euros over 2020 and 2021, and a potential of more than 10,000 spots (1,400 face-to-face and 9,000 simultaneous connections).

This unique system marks a technological and pedagogical breakthrough that is perhaps the most important in the last 100 years. A disruption that prefigures what will be, in part, education in the "post-Covid world".

"We designed and industrialized this system at the request of the Pedagogy Department in conjunction with GEM's Learning Design Unit (LeD), based on experiments conducted by the school's Innovation Department at GEM Labs - GEM's R&D laboratory" (Jean-Philippe Rennard, Professor at GEM and head of this project).

 "This solution should enable all audiences, both on-site and remotely, to be part of the same environment and have the same experience. We can thus guarantee the personalized support of all the students. Beyond that, we are testing a group attention span tracking system that will allow teachers to better manage the students." (Armelle Godener, Director of Pedagogy at GEM).

A committed school that solidifies its excellence 

If rankings have never been an objective in themselves, they remain an important marker and contribute to the reality we must embrace.

Among the most recent rankings:

  • 2020 Shanghai Ranking, Business Administration segment: GEM among the top 4-5 in France; 25-34 in Europe; and 101-150 in the world.
  • 2020 Ranking of French Business Schools where students are the happiest (Le Figaro): GEM in the top 4
  • 2020 Ranking of Business Schools worldwide where the positive impact on society and our planet is the most important (Davos/Positive Impact Rating): GEM in the top 30
  • 2020 Rankings of most ecological Business Schools in France (Le Figaro): GEM is 2nd after HEC
  • 2021 Rankings of Business School in France (Le Figaro): GEM in 7th

More importantly, because over the next 5 years we want to become one of the most influential schools in Europe, we have defined 5 causes to which we are committed: 

  • The ethics and integrity of students and staff members
  • Access to education for all 
  • Gender equality
  • Economic peace
  • The fight against global warming

To you and your loved ones, I wish you all the best for the end of the year. 

I remain at your disposal, and look forward to seeing you in 2021 when I will be presenting our new strategic plan for 2021-2025.

Loïck Roche
General Director

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