Our past

Audiencia’s story starts on the 20th of June 1900, when Emile Loubet, the 7th President of the French Third Republic, founded the Nantes school of business and industry by decree. The school, which became Audencia, has kept pace with the changing times while nurturing its unique pioneering spirit and its determined outlook towards the future.

  • 1900
  • 1902
  • 1912
  • 1917
  • 1925
  • 1942
  • 1943
  • 1947
  • 1964
  • 1968
  • 1970
  • 1971
  • 1972
  • 1974
  • 1975
  • 1977
  • 1980
  • 1982
  • 1985
  • 1987
  • 1989
  • 1994
  • 1998
  • 2000
  • 2004
  • 2005
  • 2006
  • 2007
  • 2009
  • 2010
  • 2012
  • 2013
  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2019
  • 2020

The Nantes Business school is established

The establishment of Nantes Business School came from the local government’s desire to provide a mix of theoretical and practical education for students choosing agricultural, industrial or business careers. On the 5th of November 1900, the very first class of 21 students enrol in the school.

The school is officially named ‘The National School of Business and Industry’

The admission requirements are relaxed so that students only need to have a baccalaureate or equivalent of a high school diploma to be admitted. External students are now also accepted, and the minimum age is reduced from sixteen to fifteen years old.

The Alumni society is founded

The society is officially presented to the administration board in 1915 by its president Félix Vincent. In the coming years, the Alumni Society becomes an important part of student life and joins the school board, responsible for improving the quality of the school.

Six Serbian students join the school at the start of the year

After the collapse of the Serbian border, the Franco-Serbian committee gives six young Serbian officers the opportunity to study in France. Six officers enrol in the first year and 15 on to the foundation course. The school is now open to Europe.

The school celebrates its first 25 years in the boardroom

On the 21st of November 1925, the school celebrates its 25th birthday under the leadership of the local government, the Chamber of Commerce as well as the Alumni Society. Selected guests are invited to attend a special dinner, where they celebrate the school’s anniversary together.

During WWII the school is not spared from the bombings

On two different occasions, the Allies reign bombs across the city. On the 7th May 1942, the first bombings hit the workshops and shipyards of Brittany. The bombings also leave their mark on rue du Calvaire as well as on some of the ancient buildings on quai de la Fosse.

The school moves to rue Léon Say

Nantes is in a state of crisis. Subsequently, the decision is made for local students from the school to be moved to the primary school on rue Léon Say. However, the new school year in 1944 starts again on rue Voltaire.

Enrolment exams become obligatory for all schools

New school enrolment requirements are put in place after a complete restructure of the study program. All applicants need to pass new enrolment criteria which includes national entrance exams, selection boards, and any corrections and national juries.

The school becomes a Business and corporate administration school (ESCAE)

A national reform merges the different faculties of the school together and restricts the number of departments. Nantes choses finance and accounting as well as distribution and foreign trade as its two main curriculums. The school now reports to the DGS, or the governmental body for higher education.

A joint association is created and the school management is overhauled

Nantes City Hall, the regional Loire-Atlantique government and the Chamber of Commerce join forces and become an intercommunal association. The management of the school is handed over to the Chamber of Commerce and City Hall agrees to cover the school’s running costs.

The school moves to the university campus on route de la Jonelière

The number of students enrolling is on the rise. The school subsequently moves to a new location consisting of 7,000 m² floor space on two hectares of land. The Education Minister declares the new campus officially open on the 9th January 1970.

The first ever IT equipment is installed at the school

The school installs a terminal which connects to a Control Data 6 600 calculator as well as punch machines for its students. It is also the year the school celebrates its first international exchange. A whole school year is transferred, in two waves, to the Polytechnic of Central London.

The library is officially opened

The president of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry is passionate about championing and nurturing business minds in Nantes. Subsequently, new resources are made available and the library is officially opened two years before an extra floor is built.

The school receives its first ever mini-computer

The Alpha LSE, equipped with 12 terminals, is a high-performing computer of the time. Students work with programs that simplified tasks, including folders and BASIC programming language. In 1979, the computer’s punch cards are replaced with screens.

The school’s campus continues to evolve

An additional floor is added to the school’s site. The school curriculum is tailored to reflect the changing world of business. Consequently, marketing and psychology are added to the curriculum. Physical Education also becomes an obligatory part of school life.

The school signs its first international academic agreement with Oregon State University

The partnership gives students the opportunity to study at several North American Universities as part of a three month international semester. Their exam results while abroad also count towards their final grades. From 1979, the best students from Nantes are accepted on to a one year MBA program.

The school expands its training programs

The school creates an executive education and launches its first ever international MBA program which is taught in English to 40 American students. The MBA also includes a training course focusing on the economic and financial management of the European market.

Economy and Business administration research institute (CREA) is founded

ESC Nantes is the first graduate school to create a research institute, created to strengthen the link between higher education and business. The institute focuses on various sectors including innovation, services and agro-food marketing.

A record 99 students graduate from the school

The school reaches new heights with a record breaking 99 students graduating in 1985. The ESC Nantes Group also becomes a co-founding member of the Chapitre des Écoles de Management de la Conferences des Grandes Écoles (CGE).

The school’s campus is successfully extended

The school is evolving and needs more available resources, the existing campus is extended by a further 2,500 m². Alain Chevalier, CEO of Moët-Hennessy and the President of the French Foundation of Management Education (FNEGE) officially unveils the new part of the campus on the 17th November 1987.

The institute of international relations (IRI) is founded

The institute is founded to develop teacher/student exchange programs. The school is also the first business school to introduce inter-disciplinary courses into the curriculum to ensure the students continue to improve their general knowledge.

The school’s campus grows from 10,000 to 20,000 m2

As the school continues to grow, it is once again about to reach maximum capacity. The school subsequently launches a huge extension project which includes building a 1,140 m² multi-media library, multi-purpose IT spaces, a cafeteria, 4 amphitheatres, classrooms and a 1,500 m² gymnasium.

The ESCNA Group (The Nantes Atlantique Business Graduate School) receives EQUIS accreditation

Granted by the EFMD (European Foundation for Management Development), the EQUIS accreditation is awarded for quality teaching as well as maintaining high academic and professional standards. This is also the year in which a new and completely automated auditorium with a capacity of 352 seats is opened.

The school is renamed Audencia

To mark the new millennium, the school adopts a completely new identity: Audencia. The new name is a mix between the latin Audientia, meaning the ability to listen, and Audacia the audacious. Since Audencia was created, 6 562 graduates have passed through its doors.

Audencia Nantes is the first business school in France to sign the Global Compact

The Global Compact is launched by the United Nations and seeks to promote responsible corporate citizenship. The initiative includes a charter with ten universal principles concerning human rights, as well as labor and environmental standards. These principles must be followed and respected by all participating companies.

Audencia Nantes is authorised to issue its Master grade diplomas

The French commission (CEFDG), which evaluates training courses and management diplomas, becomes the responsible authority for issuing Masters to our graduates. The commission gives its seal of approval for Audencia’s 5 year study programs, certifying the high standard of the training courses.

Audencia Nantes receives the AACSB accreditation

Synonymous with the highest standards of excellence, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business awards the international AACSB accreditation to business schools who provide quality and world leading business training.

Audencia Nantes signs diversity charter

The diversity charter is launched in 2004 in a report published by the Montaigne institute and encourages organisations to promote equal employment opportunities. The charter consists of 6 articles, with new wording implemented in 2018.

Audencia Nantes receives AMBA accreditation

AMBA, or the Association for Masters of Business Administration, is a British organization responsible for officially accrediting international MBA, MBM and DBA programs. AMBA accredited programs are a recognised marker for high quality business and management courses across the world.

Audencia Nantes announces merger with École Atlantique de Commerce and SciencesCom

Audencia Nantes boosts the school’s profile by integrating two renowned schools into its growing campus. SciencesCom is a communications and media school founded in 1984 and École Atlantique de Commerce, created in 1981, is a school that delivers a post-baccalaureate or high school diploma training programs.

Audencia Nantes helps to define the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME)

The UN secretary general Ban K-Moon launches the initiative which helps integrate corporate social responsibility and sustainable development into business and management training programs.

The Audencia Foundation is created

The foundation is placed under the responsibility of Fondation de France and was created to support the school’s many ambitions, ranging from financial grants to creating research chairs.

Audencia Nantes signs a strategic partnership with WWF France

WWF France supports the school in two ways, by helping it to integrate sustainable development into the courses and improving its environment policy throughout the campus. The agreement was renewed in 2013 and in 2016.

Accreditation and ranking for Audencia SciencesCom and Audencia Bachelor programs

Audencia combines the strengths of SciencesCom (Communications School) and L’Ecole Atlantique de Commerce (post-baccalaureate school) programs which are accredited and ranked as one of the best in their respective fields of expertise.

Audencia's Grande Ecole course is AMBA accredited

The British accreditation organisation gives Audencia’s Grande Ecole program AMBA accreditation, a recognised stamp for high quality training courses. This world renowned distinction is awarded at the same time as Audencia’s international presence is growing and student applications are rising.

Audencia receives the LUCIE label

The school is the first research institution in France to be awarded the hallmark. The Lucie label is given to Audencia for its recognized work in the sustainable development and CSR fields. Audencia renews the accreditation for another 3 years between 2016 and 2019.

Audencia Nantes opens a new campus in Paris

The school creates a 700 m² campus located in the Montparnasse area in Paris. Audencia’s Paris campus focuses on several training courses for executives, managers and directors. The new campus has two initial training courses as well as Alumni society's room.

Audencia Nantes partners with École Centrale de Nantes and l’ensa Nantes

Audencia Nantes, l'École Centrale de Nantes and the national Architecture School of Nantes (ensa Nantes) join forces to form a strategic alliance. This fusion of multiple expertise helps to open new doors for innovative research.

The Cooperative Center of Studies launches at the Beijing Institute for Technology campus

Audencia Nantes builds on its business activities in China by opening a study centre in the heart of the Beijing Technology University. The centre is opened for French students but also provides a base for several projects created through the close working relationship between the two partners.

Audencia Nantes is the only French graduate school to become a member of the 30 selected PRME Champions

Audencia Nantes becomes part of a select circle of PRME Champions. The United Nations initiative brings together schools who are highly committed to CSR initiatives. Audencia Nantes sets itself apart by being the only French Graduate school to be selected in 2014.

Audencia Nantes launches its first MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses)

The school implements its first MOOC, which is available online for free and is in English. The online course covers corporate social responsibility and corporate values. At the end of the course, students receive a certificate of completion.

Audencia Nantes produces a Franco-Chinese training course in Chengdu

A course, which teaches common training methods and links the Western Business School of China in Chengdu with Audencia Nantes, is created. The expertise of Audencia professors is one of the reasons why students enrol in the course.

Audencia signs a LGBT charter for the first time

Audencia Nantes partners with L’Autre Cercle association which was founded in 1998. Subsequently, the business school signs a charter to be more inclusive towards our LGBT students and to proactively combat discrimination.

The school renews its EQUIS, AACSB and AMBA accreditations

Audencia Nantes is once again granted EQUIS, AACSB and AMBA accreditations, which lasts 5 years. The start of the year also starts on the same date as our partner schools for the first time.

Shenzhen Audencia Business School (SABS) becomes part of Shenzhen’s urban framework

Audencia Business School and the University of Shenzhen combine forces and start a joint venture to create a school. The SABS school is part of Audencia’s international development strategy and puts its multi-skilled training course expertise into practice.

Audencia Nantes is the first research institute to receive the Planet’RSE rating

Audencia Business School helps create Planet’RSE, a platform which evaluates a company’s CSR performance. Our school was the first research institution to receive the rating.

Audencia Nantes is the first business school to receive the DD & RS hallmark

The hallmark recognises graduate and research institutions for their work in the sustainable development and corporate responsibility fields. The hallmark is created with the support of various stakeholders.

The school officially becomes Audencia Business School

On the 1st of January, the school changes its name and becomes Audencia Business School. All courses are brought under the new name and the school’s official brand colours are streamlined across all campuses and creates a strong platform for Audencia’s global ambitions.

Audencia’s Executive MBA course is launched in Algeria and China

On the 27th of April, Audencia launches its Executive MBA courses in Algiers at the first Algerian Business School, l’École Supérieure Algérienne des Affaires (ESAA). On the 14th of July of that year the same course is also launched in Shenzhen at the Audencia Business School (SABS).

MEDIACAMPUS, Audencia SciencesCom’s new campus is unveiled

The new campus is in the heart of the neighbourhood and is 6,000 m² in size, comprising of 5 floors. MEDIACAMPUS is created to be a business hub for locals from Audencia ScienceCOM school and media station Télénantes as well as businesses and professional associations.

The school starts reconstruction work on historic site renamed the Atlantic Campus

Audencia Business School invests 25 million euros to successfully build a 5,000 m² new campus, scheduled to be completed in 5 years’ time. The construction will be split into two stages; the first will be the renovation stage and maintaining school safety standards, the second will be an extension phase.

The school becomes an EESC school of commerce

Audencia receives a new academic status on the 1st January 2018 to pave the way forward for the school’s continued development.  The school receives the French academic status Établissement d’Enseignement Supérieur Consulaire and becomes a school of commerce with more autonomy and potential opportunities for financial research.

Audencia adopts a new slogan – Never stop daring

In consultation with our students, teachers and administrators the new slogan is chosen, strengthening the essence of the global Audencia identity: Audacity.

Audencia Business School opens a new campus in the French Vendée region

The new school is christened Audencia Campus Vendee and becomes the fifth French campus for the business school in 2020. The school is created in partnership with CCI Vendée, which moves into the new premises and helps regional businesses with tailored recruitment solutions.

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