Without a teacher, open 24 hours a day… In Le Havre, you can enroll in Xavier Niel’s School 42

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

The first 150 students of school 42installed at the Digital City of Le Havre (Seine-Maritim) will do their return in May 2023. They will eventually be 450. Alexandra Bricout, 42, was named director last June after already spending more than 20 years in digital training. They will be only five employees and for good reason, the innovative concept of this totally free school is based on an innovative educational system with zero 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 the history?

Alexandra Bricout: École 42 was created 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 is born in Paris and the objective is to create everywhere, there are 46 campuses since in the world and Le Havre is the seventh in France. Each 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 on the territory were quickly identified. Édouard Philippe wanted “a school for businesses and with businesses. “The vocation from the start was that we arrive at 50% private financing: we have not yet opened and we are already there. This means that waiting on the territory is important. The agglomeration has invested enormously, in particular with 1 million euros of work which will be completed in October in the digital city where we will be settling, computer equipment and it pays a subsidy of 100,000 euros 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 the baccalaureate, you can apply and if you are under 18, then you need the baccalaureate. We have an average age of 25 and totally different profiles: people dropping out of college, job seekers, others in retraining…
To try your luck, it’s super simple you go to the 42lehavre.fr website, you click on apply and you then pass the selection games: two hours of logic and memory games. To get to the end, you don’t need a doctorate in chemistry, it’s for everyone from the moment you actually have logic and memory, skills that are very important to be developers. You know immediately if you have crossed the threshold.

Three swimming pools to swim in a new world!

Once we’ve won, are we taken?

AB: No, first there is the information day, November 19th. And then you enter what is called the swimming pool! There will be three sessions before the big start. The swimming pool is an intense period of admission which lasts 26 days non-stop, the students are immersed in the conditions of students. They will have IT development projects to submit and they are immersed in the 42 methodology. 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 above all the behavior to go further.

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

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

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

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

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 the one on the left and if you don’t know get together and think. Since there is no teacher who descends the information, unless you are a genius if we do not help each other we will not succeed.

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A school, a place to live

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

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

AB: Yes, even if they cannot 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 made available but also a cantina, a living space with a fully equipped kitchen and a corner with a sofa, TVs, game consoles. The whole concept is thought out in function of student life. Everything is secured with an access badge, a guard is present all the time.

And how long does the course last?

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

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

When leaving school, are the students sure to get a job?

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

Practical information :
To find out more about Ecole 42, and to apply, click here.

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Without a teacher, open 24 hours a day… In Le Havre, you can enroll in Xavier Niel’s School 42