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"The question of ethics hasn't been sufficiently addressed"

  • Lukas Hochscheidt in Paris ©Sciences PoLukas Hochscheidt in Paris ©Sciences Po

In the run up to the French presidential election, the famous weekly Paris Match invited international students from the Sciences Po Undergraduate College to shed some light on the words that matter to them in politics. Lukas Hochscheidt, 19, a German student in the dual Bachelor's degree programme with Freie Universität Berlin on the Nancy campus, chose the word ‘ethics’.

Why did you choose the word ‘ethics’?

Because I think that the question of ethics hasn’t been sufficiently addressed with regard to all the scandals that have arisen since the beginning of the presidential campaign in France. The candidates concerned try to blame the justice system and the media, analysts often refer to the presumption of innocence, and many voters believe that they are “all corrupt” at the head of state anyway. What’s missing is a substantive debate on what is acceptable or not if you’re running for president. Personally, I believe that a presidential candidate should be doubly irreproachable:legally and morally. Having no criminal record is not enough to meet both criteria.

As a German, what’s your view of the French presidential campaign?

For a German, the presidential campaign is a rather strange experience; the scandals and revelations of the past weeks would have had very different consequences in Germany. For instance, Mr. Fillon would certainly have resigned after his indictment; the same goes for Marine Le Pen who has refused to comply with a police summons. Given their history, Germans are very attached to the moral integrity of their representatives. A candidate for the Chancellery involved in a legal case? It’s completely inconceivable!

Personally, what did you get out of collaborating with a media publication like Paris Match?

It was the first time I’d taken part in this kind of editorial project, and I’m very happy to have done so. Paris Match’s supervision of my drafting helped me to use my ideas to full advantage and write a coherent and interesting article. Even if I’m not planning a career in journalism, the media remains a very important player in public life, which I will certainly have something to do with some day, no matter what field I work in myself. Being involved in this collaboration let me discover journalistic work from another point of view, and I will not forget it.

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"Management skills are crucial for anyone interested in public policymaking"

  • Paul Laurent at Bocconi University in MilanPaul Laurent at Bocconi University in Milan

Paul Laurent is a student enrolled in a dual Master’s degree offered by the Sciences Po School of Public Affairs and Bocconi University. He is currently completing his year at Bocconi University in Milan. Interview.

You’re studying management at Bocconi University this year. Can you tell us about your courses and about the educational approach at Bocconi University more generally?

Basically, the programme at Bocconi is based on two pillars, which are strongly interrelated: managerial tools, and policy analysis and evaluation.
 
The courses at Bocconi, and the educational approach itself, have a very applied, practical focus—studying public accounting, capital budgeting, performance management or public management is uncommon at Sciences Po. Group projects (in partnership with the Municipality of Milan, for example) and case studies are often central to course requirements, while research essays or presentations are less common. Both have advantages and disadvantages, and it’s good to experience both approaches.
 
Bocconi also offers a wide range of courses beyond the scope of a traditional business school. It has renowned economics and social sciences departments, and I have been able to take courses in quantitative methods, policy evaluation, and public and development economics that were a real complement to the classes mentioned above.
 
Finally, we also have to write a thesis, either an applied or research thesis, which is a great opportunity to go in depth into a chosen topic under the supervision of esteemed professors.

You spent the first year of your dual degree studying public policy at Sciences Po. Why did you choose a programme combining public policy and management?

The idea to apply to Bocconi occurred to me after my gap year, during which I did two internships in the French administration. The first, at the French Court of Audits, made me realise I wanted to learn more about public policy evaluation; during the second internship, in a Parisian museum, I realised how important management and financial skills can be for the success of a public entity. Management and analytical skills are crucial for anyone interested in public policymaking.
 
Besides, Bocconi University is renowned for its healthcare management and economics focus (Centre for Research on Health and Social Care Management (CERGAS), Department of Policy Analysis and Policy Management), which is the field in which I would like to work later. I was able to attend healthcare management and policy classes and I am currently writing a research thesis related to hospital management reforms.

What is life like at Bocconi? How different is it from last year at Sciences Po?

Life at Bocconi is very pleasant and academically fulfilling, like at Sciences Po, with many events, conferences, and associations; there seem to be fewer associations than at Sciences Po, with less political involvement, yet this may be due to my perspective as an international student. While the University itself is not aesthetically pleasing, it is close to the centre of Milan and surrounded by cafes, restaurants and all that encapsulates the dolce vita and Italian charm. More generally, Milan is a vibrant and welcoming city, and I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here so far.

What are your plans for the future?

Dual-degree students come from and go into very diverse fields, but I would say that many tend to work in consulting firms, international organisations or NGOs. As for me, given my interest in healthcare management and policy, I’m considering either taking the French civil service entrance examination to become a hospital director, or working in healthcare policy evaluation.

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U Multikrank confirms Sciences Po's strong performance for research & international orientation

  • Sciences Po campus in Paris ©Sciences PoSciences Po campus in Paris ©Sciences Po

U Multirank* has just released its university rankings for 2017. Sciences Po maintains excellent scores for international orientation and research.

Sciences Po earns the maximum score for student mobility and international academic staff

International experience is central to Sciences Po's educational approach. All students at the Undergraduate College spend their third year abroad. Master’s students have the opportunity to further their international experience during their internship semester or by opting for a gap year.

On all seven of our campuses in France, students are immersed in a multicultural community, with half the student body made up of international students of 150 nationalities. The faculty adds to this international mix with its 23 nationalities; almost a third of Sciences Po’s permanent faculty earned their PhDs abroad.

Many international scientific collaborations

U Multirank 2017 emphasises the international dimension of our research and notes that 44 percent of our publications are the product of collaboration with researchers from partner universities. Joint or dual PhD programmes, which are also frequent, contribute to the international nature of doctoral degrees at Sciences Po.

Respected, influential research

The U Multirank results underscore the influence and quality of research conducted at Sciences Po. Our researchers are widely cited in the scientific literature (highest score for the citation rate of their publications). As a further indication of the quality of our research, U Multirank places Sciences Po in the top category of institutions for our academics’ ability to win prestigious grants (European Research Council, National Research Agency, etc.).

U Multirank 2017 also gives Sciences Po with a very good score for post-doc positions. The number of post-doc researchers at Sciences Po is indeed  increasing every year, which reflects  the university’s reputation as a stimulating and dynamic research environment for young academics launching their careers.

*U Multirank was launched in 2014 by the European Commission as a means to compare universities based on a number of different criteria, making it an interesting alternative to the most well-known rankings.

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Students in Reims redefine diplomacy

2017 Reims International Model United Nations
  • Students in the historical committee ©Gaelle FournierStudents in the historical committee ©Gaelle Fournier

Each year the Reims International Model United Nations (RIMUN) welcomes over 300 delegates to the Sciences Po Campus in Reims for a two-day conference simulating debates at the United Nations.

Much more than a simulation

This year delegates joined 16 diverse committees at the Reims International Model United Nations (RIMUN) for some animated debate about the most pressing diplomatic issues of our age. The RIMUN is much more than a simulation; its goal is to stimulate debate around the questions at the core of world diplomacy, whether resolving conflict in the Kivu Islands or reshaping global sex education. What sets the conference apart is the spirit of entrepreneurship, innovation, and energy that drives participants to redefine diplomacy.

A conference featuring the McDonald’s Board of Directors, Oliver Cromwell and King Charles I

At the RIMUN’s first ever business simulation, delegates took on the role of McDonald’s board members in a scenario of falling profits. In a simulation of the English Civil War, delegates travelled back in time to incarnate Oliver Cromwell and King Charles I in a fight for Britain’s future. And in an action-packed secret committee, delegates underwent the ultimate diplomatic experience; an unprepared, anything-goes simulation that could be about absolutely anything.

The aim? Getting delegates to step outside of their comfort zone, often by putting them in uncomfortable shoes. Robert Fedler, a German delegate from Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, represented Italy on the League of Nations committee, where his chosen country was tasked with encroaching upon Abyssinian territory. “Being the German that I am, acting fascist is somewhat controversial,” he explains, “...actually, the most challenging part was sticking to my role.” Fedler asserts that diplomacy is sometimes a tough game. “In my opinion, the most feared guy at a MUN did something right” he says with a smile.

Set in an Art Deco capital

Beyond the battlefield in the committee room, RIMUN immerses delegates in the unique charm, flair, and atmosphere of the Reims campus. A partnership with Interagir - a voluntary organisation providing support for displaced refugees in Reims - gave delegates a chance to experience first-hand the rich extra-curricular culture of campus life. A gala event at the Salon Degermann heralded Reims’ history as an Art Deco capital, while the beauty of the campus’ Jesuit architecture served as both an aesthetic highpoint and a reminder that delegates might just be recreating history.

A highlight of the conference was the visit of the renowned American acapella group The Vanderbilt Melodores, who made RIMUN the first stop on their European tour. With hundreds of delegates seated before them, their voices resonated through the Old Refectory, American pop hits bouncing off frescoes in the location where Condorcet once studied and prayed. Charged with an energy both old and new, the spirit of the Reims Campus - a marriage of European elegance and American ambition - is clear. Diplomacy might be an old game, but there’s plenty of space for new rules, and RIMUN is where they’re being written.

Text by Zak Vescera, a student on the Sciences Po campus in Reims.

RIMUN Team: Cyril Demoures (President), Tamara Šolaja (Vice-President), Anselme Goutte-Broze (Treasurer), Zak Vescera (Secretary), Elza Bouhassira, Clara Marqués, Juliette Briey, Emma Caragozian, Reema Danaf, Valeria Filippova, Tristan Delacour, Alicja Polakiewicz, Roland Martial, Andreea Florea, James Quinn, Robin Leforestier, Pierre Wang, Elisa Eche, Claire Mouchotte, Timothée Guichoux, Zoé Barbé, Valentine Truchot, Allison McFall, Antoni Gruca, Priyanka Deodhar, Katharina Focke, Jeremy Rotman, Aristotle Vossos, Raphaella Heath, Natasha Maters. 

Photo: This year, the historical crisis committee transported delegates back to the days of the English Civil War, pitting them against one another in a battle of wits and wills. Some delegates even dressed up for the occasion.

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Sciences Po awarded quality label for French as a foreign language

  • Students of the French language track at the Summer School ©Sciences PoStudents of the French language track at the Summer School ©Sciences Po

Sciences Po has been awarded the Qualité Français langue étrangère label (Quality Label for French as a Foreign Language), attaining the maximum score of three stars. Sciences Po has been attributed this label for the quality of its teaching of French as a foreign language, the professionalism and commitment of the teachers and staff, and the conditions in which the students are taught.

Find out more about French as a foreign language at Sciences Po

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