Director’s statement

Richard Descoings
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Sciences Po is an outstandingly innovative and proactive teaching and research institution.

Stimulated by the emergence of international competition in the fields of higher education and research as much as in the business world, we decided, collectively, to pick up and capitalise on this new challenge.

For this reason, we began to strengthen Sciences Po's international dimension back in the mid-1990s and can now claim to have achieved genuine international integration.

However, Sciences Po must go even further, since in higher education and research, no player can afford to stand still. "Ordinary innovation" must guide our reflection and our action. We have achieved the process of European harmonisation of our training programmes and are continuing to enrich their content; we are stimulating the editorial and sales policy of our university press (Les Presses de Sciences Po); we are investing heavily in the library and reinforcing the resources of our research centres to enhance their intellectual influence both nationally and internationally.

For Sciences Po has one major ambition: to win recognition as one of the world's top universities. To achieve this goal, we must transcend the – purely French – separation between elite colleges (grandes écoles) and universities and develop an alternative model, as a selective university built on three pillars: excellence in education and research, equality of opportunity in our student intake, and the determination to provide excellent study conditions for students, research conditions for academic staff and working conditions for employees.

As head of the institution, I am genuinely delighted to be able to count on the support of the entire academic and research community -  students, lecturers, professors and researchers - and also our employees. For our ambition is definitely a shared one, and this is its main strength.

Richard Descoings - Director