Comprehending Corporate Universities

Corporate Universities, what are they?

The Corporate University is a concept which shakes our perception of education, university, business and its connection to the world.

Why do companies create their own universities? There are various reasons. Is it because the "finished product" of schools suit employers? Is it because school professors and business leaders do not have the same vision of business and/or education? Is it because individuals and the market do not have the same time measure and the need of skills has consequently evolved? Is it because we are really in an era of democratization of knowledge? Knowledge is created everywhere, including in business, and companies must spread this knowledge to their stakeholders.

We must be careful not to accuse that all educational systems are unworthy. They are merely the mirror of our societies. Many nation-states – not only the poor or emerging ones– are heavily indebted, too bureaucratic, and no longer capable of assuming all their educational responsibilities. They lack resources, competent faculty members, facilities, international openness, etc.

The most important reasons in my view are that large companies find themselves confronted with new needs for skills (technological, environmental, cultural, managerial, communication...) that the educational systems are incapable of providing, for many reasons. They are too focused on the past, and not enough on the future of the business. Not all of them have research and development centres like American Universities do.

Looking at the realities of the corporate universities, two major elements stand out for which they are uniquely able to be effective: corporate identity and strategy. They achieve things that can't be otherwise delivered by any other structure, (internal or external) including business schools for example, which are deemed reputable for being the privileged suppliers of CUs. Corporate Universities have a unique added value which is education in the core business of their organisation, regardless of whether the educational system is otherwise good or bad.

In conclusion, let us retain this very important tenet: A Corporate University is not a training center or should not be one. In a nutshell, it is a lever:

  • To embody the soul and the identity of the company
  • To face complexity and uncertainty
  • To implement business strategies

Corporate Universities are not Training Centres

We must remove the ambiguity. Corporate universities are not training centres. The fact that corporate universities coexist with training centres in companies proves this point.

Read article >

Corporate university is the generic name given to educational structures based in private and public, commercial and non-commercial organisations, to help implement—through education—the organisation's strategies in human, economic, financial, technological, social and environmental terms.



Comprehending Corporate Universities: a 20-minute film

Annick Renaud-Coulon presents her business case for the next generation of corporate universities, the outcome of more than 15 years of works and global research in this field. The film is illustrated with exceptional images and videos provided by the following organisations from five continents:

  • Allianz Indonesia Corporate University (Indonesia)
  • Beeline University (Russia)
  • Defense Acquisition University (USA)
  • Edcon Academy (South Africa)
  • Groupama University (France)
  • Infosys Technologies Ltd. (India)
  • Mahindra Satyam (India)
  • McDonalds Hamburger University (USA)
  • NAB Academy (Australia)
  • Gas Natural Corporate University (Spain)
  • Tenaris University (Argentina)
  • Vallourec (France)
  • Valer – Vale Education (Brazil)
  • Veolia Environnment Campus (France)
  • Embassies of Republic of Namibia and United Republic of Tanzania


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Press Room

  • 10 August 2018
    E-learn.magazine (USA) published an in depth interview with Annick Renaud-Coulon. She shares her views on how Corporate Universities can successfully fulfill their role in the digital age. There’s a huge future ahead for corporate education.   More >

  • In the June/July issue of Elearning! magazine, Annick Renaud-Coulon cites her expert opinion on the challenges affecting globalized Corporate Universities and on the impact of nationalist trends that cannot undermine them.   More >

  • Great article in CLO Magazine about the Future of Corporate Universities in the Digital Disruption Age, by Annick Renaud-Coulon.  More >

Impacting Events

  • Uni Brad (Brazil), GlobalCCU Best overall Corporate University 2017 Gold Award winner, celebrated their outstanding achievement with the CEO of Banco Bradesco.

  • Igor Fernando Ferreira, McDonald’s – Arcos Dorados (Latin America) Best Corporate University - Leader of the Year 2017.

  • 2015 GlobalCCU Awards ceremony in Paris, France gathered Ambassadors, diplomats and journalists from across the globe to honour the award winning Corporate Universities.

  • UniBB (Brazil) GlobalCCU Best overall Corporate University 2017 Gold Award winner.
    Below UniBB had a stand at Conarh (Human Resources National Congress), the largest human resources event in Latin America and second in the world. Visitors learnt about the success of UniBB in the stand here in photo.

  • GlobalCCU Awards Ceremony 2013
    13 March 2013 at Microsoft France Headquarters in Paris, France MORE >

  • DAU, Defense Acquisition University, the best overall Corporate University Gold Winner 2013, organized a ceremony in front of the entire university for presenting the GlobalCCU Award.The trophy has been displayed in the Pentagon to all the senior leadership.

  • 2013 GlobalCCU Awards ceremony held at the Microsoft HQ in Paris, highlighted winners from outstanding Corporate Universities from five continents.

    GlobalCCU Forum at Campus Veolia and
    at the Sorbonne
    MORE >

Sharing knowledge

Hugo Pena Brandão, Executive Manager of Banco do Brasil Corporate University (UniBB) welcomed Annick Renaud-Coulon in Brasilia on 17 and 18 March 2016 for filming video lessons for the UniBB Portal.