Three young doctors from Sciences Po’s Centre d’Etudes Européennes (CEE) have been awarded prestigious prizes for political science.
Virginie Van Ingelgom was awarded the Jean Blondel PhD Prize for the best thesis in Politics by the European Consortium for Political Research. The 1000 euro prize includes an offer of translation into English and publication of the thesis by ECPR Press. Virginie’s thesis, supervised by Sophie Duchesne and André-Paul Frognier, on “Rethinking political legitimacy in the context of the European Union: comparative analysis of research data and collective interviews in Francophone Belgium, France and the United Kingdom” was completed under joint supervision with the Catholic University of Louvain in May 2010. Virgine was also awarded the Prix de these de la Fondation Mattei Dogan en politique comparée by the Association Française de Sciences Politique and the Award for Promising Research on European Research on European Integration by the THESEUS network.
Virginie is a F.R.S-FNRS researcher at the Institut de Sciences Politiques Louvain-Europe. She received a scholarship from the City of Paris’s Research in Paris program to study citizens’ perceptions of European integration, and is currently being hosted by the CEE for a period of six months.
Claire Dupuy was awarded the Prix de thèse de la Fondation Mattei Dogan in the category of public policy. Her thesis, supervised by Patrick Le Galès under joint supervision with the University Milan-Bicocca and completed in 2010, is entitled “Public policy, territories and inequalities: the regional education policies of France and Germany (1969-2004).” A postdoctoral researcher at the University of Montreal’s Centre d’études et de recherches internationales in 2010-2011, Clare will be the Deakin Visiting Fellow 2011-2012 at Oxford University (St Anthony’s College).
Aurélien Evrard was awarded the JCPA-AFSP “young researcher” prize for the best comparative text at the 11th Congress of the Association française de Science Politique. Aurélien completed his thesis, which was supervised by Pierre Lascoumes, entitled “The integration of renewable energies into public policies on electricity in Europe. A comparison: Germany, Denmark and France” in December 2010. He is currently a lecturer in political science at the Université Paris 3.
Poor students thrive at elite university and go on to earn more than their peers. Jack Grove reports
Poor and ethnic-minority students selected through "positive discrimination" are thriving at an elite French university, according to a report by one of its academics.
L'Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris - better known as Sciences Po - was criticised when it announced it would drop entrance examinations for 10 per cent of its intake in 2001 to recruit more poor students.
The Higher Education Chronicle has lauded the outstanding success of Sciences Po's 10-year-old diversity program, the Priority Education Agreements, in recruiting students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. The recently-released Tiberj report found that the program has raised the proprotion of students from working-class or underprivileged backgrounds to 28.5% of the student body, considerably higher than in most American universities, and that these students perform as well academically as their peers and went on to find employment in "classic" jobs for Sciences Po graduates.
Detailed study of controversial CEP program shows that the overwhelming majority of students succeed at Sciences Po and go on to well-paid, secure jobs
In 2001, Sciences Po implemented a pioneering program to bring greater social and ethnic diversity to the student body. In a departure from its admissions practices, the Paris-based institution, France’s leading university for social sciences, invited high schools in deprived areas of France to become partners and put forward their most-promising students.
The policy attracted considerable controversy. One recurrent criticism was that this French version of U.S. “affirmative action” would fail, because the students wouldn’t be able to keep up with their peers at Sciences Po, or that they would be stigmatized as “second class” graduates and struggle to find employment.
Ten years later, 860 students have attended Sciences Po through this program, known as the Conventions Education Prioritaire (the “Priority Education Conventions”), and six cohorts have graduated. The CEP students currently account for about 10% of the annual undergraduate intake. The number of high schools participating has grown to 85, and about 20 companies are sponsoring the project.
Now, a detailed study of how these students fare at Sciences Po and what happens to them once they graduate provides the first scientific assessment of the program. The study, by Vincent Tiberj, a well-known French sociologist at the Centre d’Etudes Européennes research institute, focuses on the six classes of CEP students who graduated between 2006 and 2011. In looking at their performance on the labor market, he compared the beginnings of their professional careers with all the Sciences Po students who graduated in 2009. Among his conclusions:
“The Priority Education Conventions have proved their worth,” Mr. Tiberj’s report concludes. “To sum up, these former students are not considered like “cut-price Sciences Po” graduates. Quite the contrary, employers treated them either like their peers, or perhaps better.”
Listing some of the program’s principal merits, he writes: “They have made it possible to select the desired students, a large majority of whom are from working class backgrounds. This is not ‘smoke and mirrors’. The students who were admitted through this program had more difficulties than their classmates in adapting to Sciences Po, but in the end the very large majority obtained their degrees and now are employed in “classic” jobs for Sciences Po graduates.”
NOTE TO EDITORS
Sciences Po, founded in 1871, is France’s leading university for the social sciences. Its alumni include a Secretary General of the United Nations, four Managing Directors of the International Monetary Fund, numerous corporate leaders, 10 of France’s last 18 Prime Ministers, and the three most recent Presidents of the Republic. Today, 40% of the 10,000 students are international, from 130 countries.
The usual admissions procedure for French students to Sciences Po requires them to sit an entrance examination in the same year that they take their baccalaureate school-leaving examination. The CEP students must sit the baccalaureate but are not required to take the Sciences Po written exam. Instead, Sciences Po’s partner high schools put forward promising candidates, who submit a written paper on a current affairs topic. They are then interviewed. Successful applicants usually receive substantial financial aid that covers their Sciences Po tuition fees and, depending on their family’s income, can receive additional bursaries to cover living expenses.
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When Richard Descoings took over as director of the Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris in 1996, students at the school, founded in 1871 and universally known as “Sciences Po,” looked like those at any other elite French institution.
The Welcome Programme is organised to welcome International students who will be studying at Sciences Po for a semester or full academic year and provides them with the information and the tools they need to succeed in their studies.
40% of Sciences Po students have a nationality other than French and come from 130 different countries
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