Open Source School Nantes

The company Smile and the School of Computer Science are now launching a network of schools dedicated to free software. From next September, Nantes, capital of Pays de la Loire, will host one of the first Open Source Schools in France.

Free software is booming, and 85% of companies were already using open source in 2009. Each year, the sector provides 4000 jobs and grows by more than 10%, but it is continuously struggling to recruit.

Smile, the European leader in open source integration and information management, has thus partnered with the Private School of Computer Science (Epsi) to create the first schools of higher education and continuing education dedicated to free software. The initiative is supported by the French government as part of future investments with grants of €1.4 million.

One of the first six Open Source Schools (OSS) will be based in Nantes* and open its doors in September. Initially hosted by Epsi, the school will be then established on the island of Nantes, in the Creative Arts District.

Alternating and continuous education

Accessible from an equivalent of BAC+2, the initial OSS course (BAC+5) will last three years and will be free for students because it will alternate with internships throughout the curriculum.

The school also offers a range of more than 200 courses for professionals: Inter and intra-company programs and seminars, with the possibility of designing customised training.

The OSS will also accompany job seekers through an Employment Operational Readiness system, with 400 hours training complete with a guarantee of an employment contract or training. A system oriented towards a lifelong learning approach, a central strand of Loire Region policy.

A new brick in the regional ecosystem

The Loire Region’s very high-quality digital ecosystem is mainly based on innovative startups, web or free software player networks, digital forums, high-level research projects or specialised training programmes.

The Open Source School completes this offer and also strengthens the region’s commitment to the open source approach. It was already one of the first regional bodies in France to commit to open data.

* The Open Source School will also be based in Bordeaux, Montpellier, Lyon, Lille and Paris.

Further information: www.opensourceschool.fr

Nantes: a school dedicated to free software and open source