IAE was founded in 1956 by then State Director of Higher Education Gaston Berger and Professor Robert Goetz. The 1950s were the start of the boom years – known in French as the Trente glorieuses – but in France management was not yet a university discipline. Meanwhile, American business schools attached to universities were churning out top managers to fire their economy. The objective of IAE was therefore to offer academic management education in support of professional know-how, and to bring the university closer to the business world.

Its sole founding course, the Certificate of Aptitude in Business Administration, was designed to provide management expertise as an additional skill to graduates of other fields. The variety of students’ profiles – engineers, lawyers, arts and science graduates – has always been a distinctive feature and strength of IAE.

Expansion of International Activity

Over the last few decades, economic globalization has changed the career prospects of IAE students, which have gone from basically national to entirely global. Consequently, in the early 1990s IAE de Paris began developing its international activities with faculty exchanges which, as in many academic institutions, often lead to contacts with foreign partners that generate collaboration in both research and teaching.

Since the early 2000s, IAE de Paris has sought to make it possible for its large proportion of currently employed executive education students to benefit from an international experience. The winning formula has proven to be short international seminars of between two days and two weeks duration, generally organized in collaboration with a foreign partner university. IAE de Paris also welcomes foreign groups, usually from partner universities, for similar seminars in Paris.

Another key initiative of IAE de Paris was the development of offshore degree programs, begun fifteen years ago. Various executive programs are now offered in partnership with foreign higher education institutions. The International Paris MBA programs were developed jointly with the University of Paris-Dauphine and a foreign partner, with content related to the Master d’Administration des Entreprise taught at IAE de Paris.

In 2005, the institutional reform of higher education streamlined the hierarchy of French degrees (LMD or Bachelor-Master-Doctorate) and put them on a par with the rest of Europe and with many other countries worldwide. By ensuring that the level of the degrees offered at IAE de Paris became transparent to both foreign students and foreign recruiters, this opened the way for international expansion.