The IAE France network

Gaston Berger, head of the Higher Education department at the Ministry of Education, created the first IAE in 1955. Establishments of a new kind inspired by the American model, the IAEs offer management pathways associated to the universities.


The origin of IAEs dates back to the 1950s. At the time, in France, there was no management pathway within the university. However, in the United States, the economic growth was fueled by batches of engineers and managers from the best Business Schools associated to universities. As it was under reconstruction, France lacked painfully of executives at the beginning of the 30-year post-war boom. In 1955, Gaston Berger, Head of the Higher Education department at the Ministry of National Education, created the Business Administration Institutes (IAE). Then, he wanted to renew higher education and to design the project of a university open to the business world inspired by the American model.

The first IAEs were institutes for the preparation of only one degree, the CAAE (Aptitude Certificate for Business Administration-which has become the MBA Master's degree) which was focused in an innovative way on the "dual skill". The purpose of this degree was to give a management skill to engineers and graduate students mostly in Law, Literature and Sciences. As a flagship degree of the IAEs, designed for the training course to be completed in one year in evening class, it was a French mini MBA: the teaching methods were based on case studies, which was an innovative approach at the time.


The IAEs have "grown up in the 70's with on the one hand, the gradual recognition of management sciences within the universities (State-Registered Diplomas, Agrégation Competitive Exams, Masters of Advanced Studies and doctoral programmes, the entry of management at the CNRS) and on the other hand the innovative development within the university sphere of partnerships with the economic fabric and the business world (with the professionalisation of degrees, the continuing education and advices given to companies). Reference degrees in management will be created during this period such as the MSG (Master's in Management Sciences), the MSTCF (Master's in sciences and accounting and financial techniques) and the DESS.

In 2005, the LMD reform brings about major changes in the landscape of higher education. In this new scheme, the IAEs figure prominently to attract the best candidates and to become an élite pathway, as the transformation of MSGs and DESSs in master's degree has done nothing but reinforce their similarity which was already great with private or consular schools.

Today, the Network includes 32 IAEs, with their unique stories within their own university and regional context.

Key dates

1955 : Creation of the first 5 IAEs: Aix-en-Provence, Bordeaux, Dijon, Rennes and Toulouse
1956 : IAE Caen, Grenoble, Lille, Montpellier, Paris and Poitiers
1957 : Creation of the National Association of IAEs (IAE FRANCE) and IAE Lyon, Nancy and Strasbourg
1958 : IAE Nantes
1963 : IAE Pau-Bayonne and  La Réunion
1966-67 : IAE Clermont-Ferrand and  Nice
1974 : IAE Amiens
1985 : IAE Orléans
1988 : IAE Metz
1990-91 : IAE Corte, Perpignan, Rouen and  Savoie Mont-Blanc
1996 : IAE Tours and  Valenciennes
2001 : IAE Brest
2007 : IAE Gustave Eiffel and  Limoges
2013 : IAE La Rochelle

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