Without a teacher, open 24 hours… In Le Havre you can register for Xavier Niel’s School 42

The first students of École 42 will come to the digital city in Le Havre (Seine-Maritime) in May. (©DR)

The first 150 students of school 42installed at the Digital city of Le Havre (Seine-MaritI’m) will do their job back in May 2023. They end up being 450. Alexandra Bricout, 42, was named executive director last June after spending more than 20 years in digital training. They will be only five employees and it is not for nothing that the innovative concept of this completely free school is based on an innovative education system without teachers. Maintenance.

46 campuses in the world, Le Havre is the 7th in France

News: School 42 will be the seventh in France? Can you remind us of history?

Alexandra Bricout: École 42 was founded in 2013 by Xavier Niel (founder of Free) who then started from the observation that if we do nothing, there will never be enough developers. 42 was born in Paris and the goal is to create everywhere, since then there are 46 campuses in the world and Le Havre is the seventh in France. Every time it’s organized the same way, there’s a territory contract signed with 42, it’s like a franchise system. We all use the same tools, but we remain independent.

The school is free for students. How is it funded?

AB: The urban community has applied for 42 to settle in Le Havre. The needs in the territory were quickly identified. Édouard Philippe wanted “a school for companies and with companies. “The vocation from the beginning was that we get to 50% private financing: we are not open yet and we are already there. This means waiting on the territory is important. The agglomeration has invested heavily, especially with 1 million euros of work to be completed in October in the digital city where we will be settling, computer equipment and pays 100,000 euros in subsidy for the launch. The budget is 950,000 euros per year. But we have partners other than private ones, such as the CCI Seine Estuaire.

Who can register and how?

AB: If you are 18 years old with or without a baccalaureate, you can submit an application and if you are younger than 18, you need the baccalaureate. We have an average age of 25 and completely different profiles: people leaving school, job seekers, others in retraining…
To try your luck, simply go to the website 42lehavre.fr, click apply and pass the selection games: two hours of logic and memory games. To get to the end you don’t need a PhD in chemistry, it’s for everyone from the moment you have logic and memory skills that are very important to be developers. You immediately know whether you have crossed the threshold.

Three pools for swimming in a new world!

Once we’ve won, are we taken?

AB: No, first there is the information day, November 19. And then you enter what is called the pool! Before the big start there are three sessions. The swimming pool is an intense period of admission that lasts 26 days non-stop, the students are immersed in the conditions of students. They will have to submit IT development projects and they will be immersed in the methodology of 42. It is a way of knowing if this school is really made for them.
And it’s also a way for us to know if they have the level and especially the behavior to move on.

“In today’s digital world, we have to play it collectively”

Because it is necessary to have “a behavior” to be admitted?

AB: During this pool there are individual exams but also collective projects that have to be completed. Someone who is technically super good but does not communicate with others will not be selected at all. The image of the inward-looking developer with greasy hair and the ACDC t-shirt is over. In addition to individual projects, students also assess each other on mutual aid.

Is it because students help each other that teachers are not needed?

AB: The first thing we say at School 42 is if you don’t know, ask your neighbor on the right, if he doesn’t know, ask on the left, and if you don’t know, get together and think. Since there is no teacher descending the information, we will not succeed unless you are a genius if we do not help each other.

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A school, a place to live

The new EM Normandie site, in Le Havre, is located quai Frissard, between ISEL and SciencesPo.
School 42 joins the digital city in Le Havre, located quai Frissard, between ISEL and SciencesPo. (©Archive 76news)

The school is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, which is also innovative.

AB: Yes, even if they can’t sleep in the school, everything is planned so that they feel good there. In Le Havre, there will be two clusters, large rooms with 160 computers, as well as a cantina, a living room with a fully equipped kitchen and a corner with a sofa, TVs, game consoles. The whole concept has been thought out in function of student life. Everything is secured with an access badge, there is always a guard present.

And how long does the course last?

AB: The training lasts an average of three years because the basic principle is that I progress at my own pace. We first have a common core which, depending on your level, will last between a year and 18 months, we learn the basic languages ​​of development. Then we go on an internship for four to six months. Then we do the second cycle or start the alternation. 42 awards diplomas at engineering level. The second stage is specialization: security, system, graphics, web… And we will offer specialties according to the needs of the area.

100% professional integration, an annual salary of 40,000 euros

Are the students sure of a job when they leave school?

AB: Yes, we are 100% professionally integrated, 15 to 20% of the students create their start-up. A third of the students did not want to return! The average annual salary of former students with us is 40,000 euros. Frankly, the shortage is so great that sometimes we have to tell companies to let students finish their education because they tend to hire them as soon as they finish their first cycle.

Practical information :
Click here for more information about school 42 and to register.

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