Gaston Berger, director of Higher Education for the French Ministry of Education has created the first IAEs in 1955. New university-backed establishments inspired by US business schools, IAEs offer management courses.


The origin of IAE dates back to the 1950s

At the time, degrees in management were not available in French universities. In the United States, by contrast, economic growth was powered by batches of engineers and managers from the best business schools attached to universities. In the midst of reconstruction, France had a lack of managers when the Thirty Glorious began.

In 1955, Gaston Berger, Head of the Higher Education department at the Ministry of National Education, created the Business Administration Institutes (IAE).

He aimed to renew higher education and design the project of a university open to the business world, as inspired by the American model.

In the beginning, IAE were schools with a single diploma, “CAAE” - Certificate in Business Administration with a pioneering position on the "dual skills".

This degree was designed to provide management skills to engineers and graduate students of the faculties of Law, Letters and Sciences.

Highly recognised degree, conceived in such a way that it could be attended within one year, during evening classes, it was considered as a “MBA à la française”. The teaching was based on the case method, which was an innovative approach at the time.


IAEs “grew up” in the 70’s thanks, on the one hand to the gradual recognition of management sciences in universities (State Diplomas, Aggregation Contest, DEA et doctoral programmes and CNRS management) and on the other hand to the innovative development in university of partnerships with businesses and the economic tissue as well as the corporate world (professionalisation of diplomas, continuing education, corporate consulting).
The creation of reference degrees in management has happened during this era with the MSG (master’s degree in management) MSTCF (master’s degree in accounting) and DESS.
In 2005, the LMD French reform modified the framework of higher education. Within this new system, IAEs are in a good position to attract the best candidates and become elite sectors since the transformation of MSG and DESS in Masters, has only reinforced the already great resemblance with private schools or Consular.
Nowadays, the Network consists of 35 IAEs, with unique histories in their university and regional context.


1955 : Creation of the 5 first 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 IAE (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