Since March 2016, Sciences Po has been taking an annual cohort of asylum-seeking or refugee students. Originally a student-led initiative, Welcome Refugees has now become a fully-fledged programme in partnership with the NGO Wintegreat. Sciences Po will be welcoming its third cohort this fall—an opportunity to take stock of the programme's progress with five key figures.
Students from 11 countries who emigrated due to political reasons or war
"Anyone can apply, provided they have legal status as an asylum seeker or refugee in France," explained Myriam Dubois-Monkachi, vice president for academic affairs at Sciences Po. Albania, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Kenya, Pakistan, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Syria... Not all the countries the students come from are at war. Some students are seeking asylum for political reasons.
46 participants so far
46 students have benefited from the Welcome Refugees programme since its launch on 8 March 2016: 19 in 2016 and 27 in 2016-2017. The programme allows them to take language courses (English and French) for one year. They are supervised by the NGO Wintegreat and by Sciences Po students and staff, who help them define their study plans. The students also have access to Sciences Po's educational resources (Moocs, elearning, etc.), clubs, cultural and sporting activities and student life.
27 students received the Wintegreat certificate
For the first time, the 2017 cohort was awarded a certificate attesting to the courses completed at our university. It is jointly signed by Sciences Po and Wintegreat, an NGO specialised in innovative projects to support refugee students, with which Sciences Po has signed an agreement. This certificate is not a diploma or degree but it nonetheless attests to a given language level acquired at a prestigious institution, Sciences Po, which holds the quality label for French as a Foreign Language from the CIEP (Centre international d’études pédagogiques).
1 group project led by students
Welcome Refugees is administered as a group project led by Sciences Po students and organised in partnership with the NGO Wintegreat. Each year, six students volunteer to join the group project; they are in contact with everyone involved in the programme and are responsible for coordination. “This makes the Welcome Refugees project an integral part of Sciences Po's educational offering,” said Ms. Dubois-Monkachi.
130 people involved at Sciences Po
In addition to the students leading the group project, the administrative staff and the faculty involved, Welcome Refugees also has Sciences Po alumni, staff and students acting as "buddies", "coaches" and "mentors". These volunteers help the refugee students define their study plans and goals for their future careers in France. Most students who have been through the programme continue their studies outside Sciences Po to perfect their French and/or training.
Find out more
- Read the interview with Alyette Tritsch, the Sciences Po student who initiated the Welcome Refugees project
- Watch the video with the 2016-2017 cohort of students in the Welcome Refugees programme