Corporate University, a concept to decipher

In the Corporate University (CU) sector, created in a totally empirical way in the USA, there was no widely accepted definition of what a Corporate University was. Many definitions for a long time encapsulated the phenomenon in the field of Human Resources (HR), and particularly in that of training. The observation of practices on a global scale over a long period, since the 1990s, made it possible to highlight the very close links developed in a very pragmatic way by the Corporate Universities with the business and with the stakeholders of their organisation.

In accordance with this observation, the definition of a Corporate University has been established. Beyond the definition, it was also the piloting process that needed to be defined and made sustainable.

Corporate Universities, unlike training centres, are powerful political, strategic and operational levers, both internally and externally of the organisation.

The Corporate University name encompasses educational structures already named Corporate University, Academy, Institute, Campus and other names for Learning and Development structures or Centres for Excellence.

Corporate University is the generic name given to educational structures based in private and public, commercial and non-commercial Organisations to :

  • challenge and implement —through Learning & Development / Corporate education solutions — the Business strategies in human, economic, financial, technological, communication, social, environmental, ecological, digitization terms
  • embody the identity, culture and brand of the Organisation in all its stakeholders

It is a space for applied education and applied strategies, where priority is given to teams, so that they can understand their company’s characteristics, challenges, issues and take new paths that leave the beaten track and become true political instruments.

It’s a space for learning, thinking, sharing, creating, doing, mobilizing the collective intelligence; a structure of communication, debate and mediation; a space of applied education and applied strategies for serving the development the performance of People, Business, Society and the Planet.

Annick Renaud-Coulon