From education to employment

As part of the new “INSEP Excellence Campus”, ESSEC launches a new multidisciplinary Bachelor’s degree for elite athletes, in partnership with Central

The Multidisciplinary Bachelor’s for Elite Athletes (HEPTA, Bachelor des Hautes Etudes Pluridisciplinaires pour Top Athlètes), the fruit of a partnership between ESSEC, CentraleSupélec and Sciences Po, will welcome its first students in September 2024, as part of the new INSEP Excellence Campus.

This prestigious program was announced by the President of France, Emmanuel Macron during his speech on the Olympics and Paralympics at the National Institute of Sport, Expertise, and Performance (Institut national du Sport, de l’Expertise et de la Performance, or INSEP). It provides elite athletes with the unique opportunity to balance high performance sport and higher education.

The launch of this Bachelor’s degree is perfectly aligned with the work two French ministries have been conducting for several months, led by Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, Minister of Sports and Olympic and Paralympic games, and Sylvie Retailleau, Minister of Higher Education and Research, to allow elite athletes to reconcile academic and sporting excellence.

The HEPTA program offers a unique curriculum, bringing together the professors and pedagogical expertise of three renowned French higher education institutions: ESSEC Business School, CentraleSupélec and Sciences Po. The program also draws on INSEP’s unparalleled savoir-faire when it comes to supporting and preparing elite athletes.

An unprecedented multidisciplinary program

This program is aimed at elite athletes who have a French baccalaureate or a foreign secondary school diploma recognized by the French Ministry of National Education and who would like to continue their sport, all the while gaining the skills and training to prepare for their future – at their own pace. Students can apply according to the applications calendar, available on the website.

Students will learn how to handle the key technological, societal, environmental and economic issues facing organizations, thanks to the academic excellence of each institution in management, engineering, and social sciences.

The program can be completed in three, four, five or six years, depending on the rhythm selected by each student athlete. It will be validated by the Ministry of Higher Education and Research and will grant the degree of “Licence” (Bachelor’s degree level in France). Thanks to the multidisciplinary nature of the program, graduates will be able to pursue Master’s degrees to specialize further or join the workforce in various types of organizations as project managers or heads of mission, able to manage societal and digital challenges.

Distance learning, in-person learning, and pedagogical support

To best suit the needs of elite athletes, students will be able to organize their classes to be up to 80% online and up to 35% in person. To optimize student success, asynchronous online classes will be accompanied by four levels of pedagogical support: webinars with professors, pedagogical forums with dedicated educational coaches, individual sessions with tutors, and cohort follow-up by the community manager.

Vincenzo Vinzi, Dean and President of ESSEC Business School:

“This unique program is a major step forward for talented and passionate young athletes. True to our pioneering spirit and history of excellence, ESSEC is happy to join forces with leading partners to offer elite athletes the chance to “reconcile the irreconcilable” and achieve both athletic and academic success, thanks to this multidisciplinary program designed to suit their needs”.

Romain Soubeyran, President of CentraleSupélec:

“The programs offered by CentraleSupélec aim to encourage rationality and science and to share key engineering skills. They are for any talented individual, regardless of their background and their profile. That’s why we are delighted and proud to participate in the HEPTA Bachelor’s, which will allow young athletes to better prepare for their professional future”.

Jeanne Lazarus, Dean of the Sciences Po University College:

“Sciences Po’s commitment to create the HEPTA Bachelor’s degree alongside our prestigious academic partners aligns with our existing programs for elite athletes, including the Certificate for Elite Athletes and the University College. It also highlights our willingness to innovate in how we reconcile demanding sports practice with a top academic program. As a result of this Bachelor’s program, students will learn how to understand the time in which they’re living and have an impact on the world”.

Fabien Canu, Director of INSEP:

“INSEP’s focus on elite sport performance does not overshadow the importance of school and university training as part of personal development and a successful career transition. The creation of this academic pathway, the HEPTA Bachelor’s degree, brings together three prestigious French institutions (ESSEC, Sciences Po and CentraleSupélec) and is an incredible opportunity for French athletes”.

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