Learning in Normandy: how are the programs distributed within the area?

Normandy is characterized by a rich and varied training offer, but polarized around the three cities of Caen, Le Havre and Rouen. However, the region is working hard to network the territory, in particular through a reinforced presence of university sites and connected campuses.

Normandy is a contrasting region composed of rural territories, a little less supplied with higher formations, and a western part with ample access to the sea where most of the few 110,000 students enrolled in higher education in 2020-2021according to the SIES.

For a network of the Norman territory

This way, three cities are particularly successful : Caen, Rouen and Le Havre, even as the institutions work together to strengthen their presence throughout the territory. So, if you intend to take a course there, you will have the opportunity to study in several other medium-sized cities, such as Cherbourg-en-Cotentin, Elbeuf, Saint-Lô, Évreux, Dieppe, Lisieux, Flers, Alençon or Despedido.

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“Despite a large concentration in large cities, no territory is forgotten. This is the result of a regional desire to offer bachelor’s degrees a wide choice of training close to home and encourage them to continue their studies”, says Xavier Pannecoucke, regional delegate for higher education, research and innovation for the academic region of Normandy.

Three major university sites and four IUTs in Normandy

Grouped around three main poles of multidisciplinary education: Caen, home to the oldest university in France, Rouen and its neighbor, Le Havre, the Norman university scene is also punctuated by a plurality of branches and campuses.

The universities of Rouen and Caen attract every 30,000 students spread across five different themed campuses : law, medicine, humanities and social sciences (SHS), higher technical sections (STS) and science and techniques. The University of Le Havre lists 10,000 on a single website. More recently, the latter, although generalist, gained notoriety by focusing on niche formation around logistics and international law.

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Together, however, they offer a wide range of teaching and training, from post-baccalaureate to bac+8, with more than 250 master’s mentions. With branches in Alençon, Cherbourg-en-Cotentin, Lisieux, Saint-Lô and Vire, the faculty of Caen has its entrances throughout the former Lower Normandy (Calvados, Orne and Manche).

Rouen, on the other hand, a large campus in Évreux, where all generalist training are represented. Not to mention those who moved to Le Havre, whose university has yet to develop a branch. Thus, if medical studies are provided only in Rouen and Caen, the University of Le Havre, together with that of Rouen, hosts training for access to health studies.

The region also has four IUTs: in Caen (Grand Ouest), Évreux, Rouen and Le Havre. All are generalists and have from a very wide catalog of MAS. Only two specialties are missing: administrative and commercial management of organizations and materials science and engineering.

Eight connected campuses merge Normandy

Furthermore, this offer is complemented by eight connected campuses in Caen, Cherbourg-en-Cotentin, Flers, Saint-Lô, Vire, Évreux and Dieppe. These campuses allow Norman high school graduates who live far from major cities to start or resume higher education close to home.

A wide range of training courses are offered remotely., as well as support in the form of tutoring by the partner university. “We also try to bring students to the parent university and deploy ambassadors so that young people enrolled on these connected campuses have a sense of community with students on city campuses,” adds Xavier Pannecoucke.

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The campuses of Caen, Cherbourg-en-Cotentin, Flers, Saint-Lô and Vire are supported from the University of Caen, moreover, Norman originality, located in a penitentiary center in Caen. Those in Évreux and Dieppe depend, in turn, on the University of Rouen.

Engineering schools: dozens of specialties

On the Grandes Écoles side, 11 Grandes Ecoles of engineering took up residence or a branch moved to Normandy. For some of the recent establishments, their campuses are mainly located in one of the three main Norman conurbations. Regional capital demands it, Rouen wins the award with five schools – including a branch – to its credit:

  • Insa Rouen, the largest with 2,000 students in more than ten specialties;
  • Esigelec, which trains engineers in the areas of intelligent and connected systems;
  • the UniLaSalle polytechnic institute, one of its three campuses is located in Rouen and offers engineering training in agronomy and agro-industry
  • ESITech (School of Engineers in Innovative Technologies).

The city is also home to a CESI branch, as is Caen. The latter counts three engineering schools : Esix, internal to the university, Ensicaen, which distills in its two locations (Caen and Flers) engineering training in electronics, computing, mechanics, materials chemistry and industrial engineering, and ESITC, specialized in the construction sector.

Finally, three other engineering schools stand out geographically : Polyvia Formation in Alençon, which in partnership with IMT Nord Europe offers training in plastics and composites engineering, Isel in Le Havre, focused on logistics studies, and Esix in Cherbourg-en-Cotentin.

Note that Cnam has berths at ten locations in Normandy.

Business schools, specialist schools, political science: excellence in the city

They are few in number, but they are among the best rated in business school rankings. Three management schools share the cake in Normandy: EM Normandie, which annually gathers 5,000 students at its units in Le Havre and Caen, and the business school Neoma, which chose the northern suburbs of Rouen to install one of its three units ( the others are in Paris and Reims). The Bachelor EGC network, in turn, opted for the seaside and it is in Saint-Lô that it offers, through one of its 22 schools, three bac+3 level diplomas.

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Would you like to get involved in political science while in Normandy? This is possible thanks to the presence of a moved the IEP branch from Rennes to Caenbut also from Sciences po Paris in Le Havrehighly sought after by international students.

Creative, you will also need be a city dweller if you want to pursue an artistic course. To do this, head to Rouen, where ENSA Normandie trains future architects and houses one of two ESADHaR sites along with Le Havre. Finally, head to Cherbourg-en-Cotentin or Caen if it’s ESAM, the result of the fusion of the fine arts schools of these two cities, which interests you.

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