Our history

The History of Antoine-Frédéric OZANAM

Antoine-Frédéric OZANAM was born in Milan on 23rd April 1813, died in Marseille September 8, 1853. He was according to Lacordaire, one of the most influential figures of the Catholicism in the nineteenth century. After his Secondary grades done in Lyon, he went to Paris for his university education. The defense of truth and social engagement constitute two poles of his brief but generous existence. In 1833, Frederic OZANAM founded with some friends, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, which is a charitable organization led by volunteers. Also professor of foreign literature at the Sorbonne, he was beatified by Pope Jean-Paul II August 22, 1997.

1839 : Institute of Saint Gabriel Brothers

As most teaching a congregation, the main goal of the Institute of Saint Gabriel is to provide education and Christian value. The Institute also provides support for poor, blind and deaf-mutes persons.

The Gabriel brothers were called to Lille in 1839. After a period of a few years, a residential school for young people was attached to the institute of the deaf and dumb. Initially the premises were modest and were transformed and expanded in order to accommodate the maximum individual. Due to its size, the residential school was at the time one of the largest place in the city of Lille.

From residential school to Frédéric OZANAM high school

The Gabriel brothers were been chased from their Residential school of Beaucamps. Together they found a solution in order to continue their commitment. They rented and occupied the Saint Gabriel high school; they changed the name by naming the OZANAM high school.

Few significant dates :

1903 : The St. Gabriel boarding school became OZANAM high school
1911 : A technical section is based on the premises of I.C.A.M for candidates who do not intend to study Engineering and moving towards a technician career.
1928 : This section was moved in the premises of Ozanam. Construction and equipment of the first mechanical workshops.
1962 : Opening of the first section of Advanced Technicians « Mechanical Manufacturing » of the Academy of Lille.
1974 : Opening of Technical degree (2 years) in Electronics
1980 : Opening of Technical degree in Mechanical and Industrial Automation.
1982 : Opening of Technical degree in Electronic.
1992 : Opening of Technical degree in Studies and Economics of Construction.
1997 : Beatification of Frederic Ozanam.
2001 : Opening of Technical degree in IT. Industry.
2007 : Opening of Technical degree in Studies and Economics of Construction by apprenticeship.
2008 : First participation to companies “minis enterprises”
2009 : The merger of OZANAM and EPIL high schools.
2011 : Comenius Project between England, Nederland, Germany, Italy and France.
2013 : Ozanam created an anti-fraud method by putting flash codes on his diplomas to prove their authenticity.
2015 : Agreement between OEC group and MANPOWER Company.


In 2009, the merger between OZANAM and EPIL was an important decision. The aim was to review and pool our internal structures in order to change and optimize them in our organization. Therefore, the OEC Group is headed by a General Director, which is surrounded by Site Directors who are as close as possible to the operational teams. This merger was a major cultural shift. One of the challenges was to build and organize a group capable to deal with realism, confidence and professionalism concerning reforms and structural changes in our educational system.

Nowadays, OEC Group comprises three sites :

  • EPIL

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