Caen ESPE (Higher School for Teaching and Education)


Sylvia Forte:
Magali Jeannin-Corbin:

The University of Caen Basse-Normandie
Founded in 1432 the University of Caen Basse-Normandie-Unicaen- is one of the oldest French universities. Its exemplary architecture reflects post-war reconstruction techniques. The main campus has even been listed as Historical Monument. The unique buildings are landmarks of the city of Caen and are situated at the heart of the city near William the Conqueror’s castle.

Thanks to its pluridisciplinarity, to the international recognition of its research poles, to the variety and quality of its scientific and academic programmes, Unicaen is a major stakeholder for Basse-Normandie higher education and research developments. Unicaen therefore contributes to the influence of the region in Europe and worldwide. Unicaen prepares 24,000 students to graduate within the LMD European framework supported by  43 research units.  8,000 diplomas can be prepared in 4 main fields ( Arts, Law,  Humantities and Science). Unicaen has established the «MLI » (MLI-House for Languages and International affairs), a special place to promote intercultual exchanges. In addition to the Faculty of foreign languages, the MLI hosts the «Carré international», a service dedicated to international cooperation, assistance to students, researchers and trainees on mobility and  language training for non-specialists, including French for non-native speakers. Unicaen welcomes each year 10% of foreign students and has more than 300 cooperation agreements in 52 countries.

Caen ESPE (Higher School for Teaching and Education)
Within this framework, Caen ESPE (Higher School for Teaching and Education) was created like all French ESPEs in 2013 as an evolution of the former IUFMs and following the creation of a Master’s degree demand initiated in 2010 and complementary to the competitive exam necessary to become a school teacher in France.

Caen ESPE is a higher education institute fully affiliated to the University of Caen Lower-Normandy. It delivers a two-year MEEF Master’s degree in 4 specializations:

– primary school teaching,
– secondary school teaching (including school librarians and vocational school teaching),
– education advisors (pastoral care)
– in year 2 only training engineering and supervising with 4 options :

  • trainer training,
  • cultural interpretation,
  • special-need education,
  • and educational tourism.

Caen ESPE’s objective is to build and deliver highly professionalizing training programmes for teachers and professionals in education  with its 3 strategic priorities:
– a rich and complex embedded work/study programme,
– internationalization,
– a federative research activity. The research interest of Caen ESPE falls into 3 main overlapping areas:

  • Didactics,
  • Professionalization,
  • Memory, culture, path.

Each of these themes has its own workshop programme which introduces students to the range of tools ans concepts necessary in educational research and provide them with the knowledge and abilities to undertake their own research.

In January 2015 there were 1,179 students enrolled. The quality system used is a national accreditation which is valid until 2017.

Its missions now include the initial and in-service training of teachers from pre-primary education to Ph-D students. Its main partners are :

  • the local offices of education (Caen regional educational authorities and Caen Education Inspectorate),
  • schools (pre-primary, primary, lower and upper secondary)
  • local and international partners.

Caen ESPE has  has a long tradition of international collaboration either with Erasmus partners or with other international partners like Russia. Regarding its international policy it has 3 main objectives:

  • to promote staff and student mobilities,
  • to develop common training modules,
  • to share research questions.