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The university system is speeding up the digitisation of its courses


On the initiative of 19 universities, the Digital FCU project (Continuing Education at University) aims to create a catalogue of 10,000 training courses for instructors and teachers. Here are some explanations from the experts at AURIS Finance, a consultancy specialising in mergers and acquisitions.

The Digital FCU project brings together a consortium of 19 universities led by France Université Numérique (FUN). Two other partners are involved in the project: ANSTIA (Association Nationale des Services TICE et Audiovisuels) and the educative games collective Ikigaï Games for citizen. Launched in September 2022, the project aims to jointly develop a training catalogue of 10,000 hours in total, made up of micro-certification modules of between 10 and 30 hours. These modules can be combined to form a portfolio that can be used to obtain national diplomas.

“Instructing instructors”

Specifically, five job families will be targeted: teaching and training, educational engineering, VAE, entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship, and healthcare instructors. The aim is to train more than 10,000 people over five years and develop several thousand hours of modules to train temporary staff, teachers, teacher-researchers, educational advisers and engineers, apprenticeship masters, company tutors and project mentors. The modules will be distributed via a single platform, which will allow the modules produced by the different universities to be pooled. The first modules should be available by the end of the 2024 academic year.

A marketplace

This platform, conceived as a real marketplace for online university professional training, will enable teachers to diversify their resources and broaden their programmes. The business model is intended to benefit both the schools and the teachers involved: they will all be able to offer the courses developed by the consortium members as part of their continuing education offerings, generating resources for the educational institutions that create the training modules and royalties for the teachers.

Students want digital tools

The digitisation of teaching resources is a major challenge for French universities. All have embarked on major projects to modernise their tools, with varying degrees of success, as demonstrated by the widespread use of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) in business schools. These developments are largely driven by students, who are now all ‘digital natives’. When they enter higher education, they expect all the resources they need to be available online and downloadable from the device of their choice. According to a study published by Zogby Analytics for Laureate International Universities, 66% of them would like to have access to digital libraries and online courses.

The role of EdTechs

Many universities are now turning to EdTechs, innovative companies specialised in education, to speed up the digitisation of their resources. In France, the sector generated an estimated turnover of €1.3 billion in 2022. However, the market is still driven by a number of giants: the twenty largest players in the sector alone have a turnover of almost €1 billion, among them 360Learning, HelloWork, Klaxoon and OpenClassrooms. To increase their market share, these EdTechs are making acquisitions. In 2019, HelloWork acquired the educational guidance platform Diplomeo, while in January 2022, the French EdTech AppScho became the property of the Canadian group Ready Education.

Our experts at your side

Higher education will need to work with private companies to meet the criteria for digitising resources while maintaining optimal levels of security. EdTechs will likely continue to grow while looking to acquire related technology. At AURIS Finance, our experts are specialised by sector.  Our technology and professional training specialists will support you throughout your M&A transaction. Whether you’re looking for a buyer or a new target, we are at your side.

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