- Nancy campus © Martin Argyroglo / Sciences Po
In October 2000, 42 first-year and second-year students arrived on Sciences Po’s first international campus outside of Paris, in Nancy. Inaugurated by Richard Descoings, then President of Sciences Po, the Nancy campus hosts the Undergraduate College’s European programme with a focus on Franco-German relations. In twenty years, over 2,000 students have studied at the Nancy campus.
Close to Germany and Luxembourg, and an hour and a half by high-speed train from Paris, Nancy is a student town (approximately 50,000 students live and study in the city) with a strong European identity and international dimension. Visitors to Nancy discover a rich historical legacy, featuring the renowned architectural ensemble around the Place Stanislas—a Unesco World Heritage site—and the École de Nancy, the spearhead of Art Nouveau in France. The campus itself is located in a prestigious eighteenth-century building, the Hôtel des Missions Royales.
A EUROPEAN SPECIALISATION WITH A FOCUS ON FRANCO-GERMAN RELATIONS
The Nancy campus hosts 300 students on its campus, for the first two years of their undergraduate degree. Students follow Sciences Po’s multidisciplinary programme in the social sciences with a geographical focus on the political, economic and social aspects of the European Union from a comparative perspective between France and Germany—the engines of European integration and community building.
The programme is taught mainly in French with some courses in English and German. It covers major European issues such as the creation of a European political area and an integrated economic market while deepening students’ knowledge of the French and German-speaking area, particularly through the seminar run through the Alfred Grosser Chair. Students can study the languages of the region such as German, English and Italian, but also Spanish, Russian, or Swedish. Students on this campus can also choose to pursue a dual degree with University College London (UCL) or Freie Universität Berlin.
Since 2005, students of the Nancy campus take an annual study trip to a European city to visit and meet professionals of European and governmental institutions. In 2019, second-year students went to Brussels to visit the European Parliament, the European Commission, amongst others, and first-year students had the choice between Berlin or Vienna.
Campus life in Nancy also includes annual simulations of the Franco-German Council of Ministers where students take the roles of the German Chancellor and the French President. Sciences Po’s campus in Nancy is also an integral part of CIVICA, the European University of the Social Sciences.
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- Student in the library © Paul Rentler / Sciences Po
In response to the uncertainty facing universities worldwide with regards to the start of the next academic year, Sciences Po is mobilising to guarantee all its students as complete and demanding an education as ever. Sciences Po remains faithful to the university’s vocation of training free, critical and socially engaged minds, intellectually informed through research and interaction with professionals at the heart of our teaching. It is this wholesome and well-balanced education that will give you the means to act in a world more uncertain now than ever.
A new and innovative system will allow us to open the entirety of the university’s courses to all 14,000 students enrolled in them, as of the 14 September 2020.
In compliance with all new health regulations, Sciences Po will continue to promote the excellence of its courses and will base its new start to the academic year on three central principles:
- Equality of access for all students to their courses, regardless of their location.
- Hybridity of course content, which will combine remote learning and on-campus teaching.
- Adaptability, so that all courses can be adapted according to the evolution of the health situation.
A new and adapted start to the academic year, following the “dual campus” model
Throughout the entire Autumn Semester 2020, all Sciences Po students will have access to a dual campus:
- A digital campus, providing all course content in a variety of formats, adapted to each class. Any student will be able to complete their entire course remotely.
- A physical campus, in the seven cities where Sciences Po is lucky enough to be based, will be open and will focus on student activities in small groups: course sessions, tutorials, group projects, small group work, supervised community activities, etc. This physical campus will, of course, remain connected to the rest of the community in order to guarantee the participation of students unable to reach our premises.
This dual campus will combine the advantages of digital and face-to-face teaching by linking them closely. It will remain flexible, so as to offer the most complete and rewarding academic experience possible, including for those who are geographically distant and regardless of how long that distance lasts. It will give special attention to the events of all kinds that punctuate life at our institution and ensure the continuity of Sciences Po’s rich student life for all. Emphasis will be placed on personalised support, in both teaching and technical matters, so as to offer all students optimal access to the digital campus.
This system will build on experience gathered since the end of February, with measures adopted across the board as of the 23 March, during which time all Sciences Po courses have been conducted remotely.
The academic staff of the Undergraduate College and each of the Graduate Schools will provide further information by mid-June regarding the pre-back to school terms as well as the curricula and course modules to be offered for the next academic year.
- A balcony in Bergamo, March 28, 2020 ©Luca Ponti / Shutterstock
Read below a copy of Giovanni Moro's personal testimony, written on April 19, 2020.
The fourth address of the President of the French Republic to the nation facilitated a personal reflection on the homage that Mr Macron paid to my city amid the current evolving crisis. "Yes, we will never win alone", the President declared, "because, today, in Bergamo, Madrid, Brussels, London, Beijing, New York, Algiers or Dakar, we mourn the deaths of the same virus." In the present circumstances, I have returned to Bergamo in Northern Italy, a city inhabited by roughly a hundred thousand people, erected by the foothills of the "Alpi Orobie". This is where I was born and where I attended high school before enrolling at Sciences Po Paris in France. In comparison to the metropolises remarked by the French President, Bergamo is a charming little town in Lombardy. Contemporarily, this province is martyred by the coronavirus pandemic, as it registers an increase of 337% of deaths in contrast to the previous year, subsequent to the outbreak of the current emergency, according to the Italian National Institute of Statistics. The mayor of Bergamo, Giorgio Gori, claims that 500,000 people may have been infected in the province, representing half of its population.
Like all those who live far from home because of their studies or their work, but suddenly find themselves living with their loved ones in this time of crisis, I think I can share the same apprehension faced with a new situation that brings about major changes within our way of living. But what could have changed in the life of a family in such a short period of time? Everything - the virus has taught us so far. Here in Bergamo, it is taking away our sweetness, our warmth, our affections. It disrupts the daily rhythm and creates abysses. Our family, like our hometown, is all that we have: it remains our refuge, the place of communion where we must return, a fortiori, when it is needed to share the pain. Bergamo has become the European epicenter of a tragedy that plunges us into the mourning of loved ones. It saddens me to see images of rows of military convoys carrying bodies out of the city for cremation, because there are no more places available at the cemetery. It breaks my heart to know that the people we love die in the hospitals alone, without their loved ones by their side, or worse, at home, without having access to medical care.
However, the Italians bite the bullet and, by virtue of their stoic, austere soul, prepare to roll up their sleeves, taking their courage in both hands to rebuild, together, all that has been destroyed. Everybody contributes here as much as they can: there are those who save lives by working in the hospitals; and those who save lives by staying at home. "I will be reborn, you will be reborn" are the words of a song that a local musician dedicated to Bergamo, and which resonates throughout Italy, whereby a new breath of life is instilled in us. We see many banners on the balconies with words of encouragement such as "Berghem mola mia", in Lombard, "be brave, do not give up, Bergamo". When this city - although today in the midst of suffering encroached upon its people by the pandemic - succeeds in the fight against the virus, it will be because of its citizens' appeal to the values that characterise them. Therefore, I would like Bergamo to be regarded as a European emblem not only for its suffering, but also for its spirit of sacrifice, resistance, and the union of wills. The people of this land of green valleys crossing the Alps are traditionally reserved, modest, and discreet. Today the city mourns in silence and secretly the death of loved ones, but Bergamo has never lost a battle. This city has never ceased to act heroically. Ever since the Unification of Italy, it was distinguished with honour by the sheer number of its inhabitants who joined Garibaldi during the Expedition of the Thousand in 1860. The walls of the fortifications of the Upper Town, the site of the “Risorgimento”, is the living testimony of the atavistic bravery of Bergamo. Inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, they protect “Piazza Vecchia”, which was once described by architect Le Corbusier as the most beautiful square in Europe. Bergamo is a mixture of history and modernity, as a major production center of Italy, and as the heart of its football: Atalanta makes us proud to see our soccer team for the first time in the Champions League this year. Right now, in our families, in our cities, we only need this team spirit, this audacity, this collective effort to defeat the virus together. I would like us all in Europe to fight with the same spirit of Bergamasque camaraderie, through civism that attains the highest value of the sense of community. In Italy we tell ourselves "andrà tutto bene", that "everything will be fine": we are firmly convinced of this. We are right to believe in it because it gives us hope and courage to resist. Everything that afflicts Italy cannot erase our desire to live, which has always characterized this robust land from Bergamo to Palermo. It cannot prevent us from planning ahead: from imagining the joyful moment when we will inherit the Olympic flame from Paris 2024, to celebrate, here, in Italy, the 2026 Winter Olympic Games. When the pandemic will end, the beauty of sport will know how to unite us again, and, together, we will be faster, higher, stronger. President Macron's words are welcomed here as a manifestation of human empathy, which, in the face of destruction, gives us the courage to join forces with our fellow Europeans. These words renew the spirit of brotherhood that unites us, citizens of Europe, in our war against a common invisible enemy. They remind me of a feeling of sympathy, which I experienced firsthand during my years at Sciences Po Paris, and in the French family that welcomed me during my studies: a sense of grace, harmony, which we so desperately need at the moment. I find it comforting to think that beyond these Alps, there lives a People who displays all the compassion for the tragedy that my city and my country are experiencing, although our western neighbours suffer as much as we do.
This compassion is the essence of our European friendship, which is founded upon two pillars: to rejoice together, but also to suffer together. President Macron's determined call for a stronger exhibition of solidarity in Europe is precious in a time of despair. A crisis, as its etymology betrays, does not only indicate the worsening of a situation, an insoluble aporia. Indeed, it has also a positive connotation: a moment of crisis must be, above all, a period of reflection and evaluation. This phase of discernment is the necessary precondition for a rebirth of a flourishing Europe bearing those human values bringing us together in these gruesome days.
Today, in our families, in our cities, we must nurture hope, consisting, as the President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella declared at the dawn of the new year, "in the possibility of always having something to achieve". Today, in our families, in our cities, we must nurture hope, constituting - as the President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella declared at the dawn of the new year - "in the possibility of always having something to achieve". In the name of the pain exerted upon us by our common suffering, the hope envisioned by President Mattarella is that Europe will be reborn in solidarity, and that the continent will be inspired by the citizens of Italy, France and elsewhere, who are struggling to preserve harmony with the only weapon of abnegation.
President Macron evokes our European identity as a splendid opportunity for resilience, re-foundation and renovation of our project of peaceful coexistence. With this spirit, our collective engagement to defeat the pandemic will breathe new life into the process of European integration, following in the footsteps of our founding fathers, whose legacy is now more alive than ever. Bergamo is the city that opens its arms to preserve the interest of the community, because "yes", as President Macron's words echo here, "we will never win alone." Therefore, likewise at the end of the Second World War, during the pandemic, we must respond to the irresistible call for a united Europe: we must continue to imagine life together, we must not forget the tender memory of the caress of tomorrow, while being the signs of hope ourselves for the common reconstruction of the future.
Giovanni Moro, third-year student - April 2020.
- Illustration of Online Education ©Alexander Trou / Shutterstock
14,000 students from all over the world and on all continents, 700 classes per day: going online due to the current pandemic has posed an unprecedented and considerable challenge for Sciences Po. It has also been an opportunity to invent new ways to teach and learn. Bénédicte Durand, Vice President of Academic Affairs, recounts the efforts made by the Sciences Po teams to successfully carry out this transition.
All Sciences Po classes moved fully online as of Monday, March 23. How did Sciences Po manage to get 14,000 students and 700 classes online in one week?
Let’s just say, we didn’t get much sleep! Once we decided that the rest of the semester would be all online, we defined three guiding principles: first, preserve the quality of education, and therefore the quality of the degree. Second, lighten the course load to allow students to reorganise their time and school/life balance, taking into consideration the time they would need to readjust and get settled. Finally, reinforce individual follow-up and communication with all our students. Then, we chose a platform that was best suited to our needs: the Zoom video conferencing platform, which we had already been testing for a while. Through using Zoom ourselves, we were able to see what could be done using the platform, and what should be accomplished off it.
At Sciences Po, there are many different programmes, from undergraduate level to doctorate level, and the types of classes are varied, from lectures to workshops or "conférences de méthode": how did you manage to get all these different types of courses online?
We had to boil the educational model down to the essentials, namely the fundamentals of our teaching, but we kept 80% of classes! Considering the fact that our students are scattered across all the time zones on the planet, we quickly realised the importance of recording lessons and providing a variety of teaching materials. The pedagogy we are offering today is partly via Zoom but also utilising other types of tools - Moodle, email, document dropboxes - in order to provide students with as many options as possible in case they have limited internet access or other connectivity issues. Hence the need to devote a week to build this new framework...
What existing tools did you use?
We wanted to get the whole community on board, from total beginners to tech-savvy users who are familiar with these tools. Of course, some of our professors are already very innovative in using digital technology in their syllabi. But we wanted to build a framework that was accessible for everyone, including those who didn’t know their way around these resources. This is an opportunity to bring a shared digital culture to everyone. This transition should also bring these tools into our everyday lives in the long term: our world is in great need of reinventing itself to be more sustainable, by decreasing mobility yet preserving contact.
Sciences Po has six campuses outside of Paris: how is the system deployed there and with what specificities? Could there be shared courses amongst all of the Sciences Po campuses?
We haven't yet thought about sharing courses across campuses - for the time being we especially want to maintain the sense of community within the student bodies. The students of each campus know and trust each other; their ties to each other are built on solidarity. We didn’t want to "disturb" this in any way. On the other hand, the pedagogical teams of the different campuses and Graduate Schools were immediately brought on board to co-construct this new educational offer at all levels.
How do you support teachers and students so that they engage in these new approaches?
We created Zoom accounts for all of our teachers and pedagogical managers, and we sent them very complete tutorials. We also offer training sessions twice a day to accompany them. Of course it was necessary to adapt our traditional teaching format: two hours of lecturing on video is too long. But each teacher is free to adapt his or her class with all the necessary flexibility, by mixing lecturing, discussions, Q&A sessions, etc. Everyone is discovering these new tools at the same time: we’re taking advantage of this situation to build a place of educational freedom. I am convinced that this will be extremely beneficial for the future.
Will this crisis have lasting effects on Sciences Po’s way of teaching?
Yes, I don’t think that we will be able to just go back to the traditional format, as if nothing had happened. This crisis is also an opportunity for teachers and students to reaffirm their will to continue to learn and transmit knowledge, whatever the cost. Despite the difficulties that come with transitioning, there is an incredible energy. Students and teachers will form new pathways to achieve their goals, I am sure!
- Panorama sur les toits de la ville © Joanna Peel / Sciences Po
At the beginning of March 2020, while much of France was still living relatively undisturbed, Tommaso Campomagnani, Nolwenn Menard, Joseph Moussa and Mathilde de Solages, first-year students on the Menton campus, anticipated the possibility of a lockdown. In this small town on the French riviera where a third of the population is over sixty, they created Menton Livraison, a service allowing volunteers to deliver essential products to at-risk individuals. Mathilde and Nolwenn tell us about the adventure, complete with administrative obstacles and happy encounters along the way.
How did you get the idea for creating Menton Livraison?
Mathilde: At the beginning of March, Joseph came to see us on campus and asked us for five minutes to present his idea. The same evening, all four of us gathered at his home to devise the operation of Menton Livraison, a service dedicated to helping at-risk individuals.
Nolwenn: In truth, at that point the idea of a lockdown seemed very far away. Some people thought that we would struggle to find partners. But, at the same time, a very strange atmosphere was growing in Menton given its proximity with Italy… When we came back from holidays in February, over half of the students at Sciences Po were in quarantine because they had travelled from cities like Milan. Tommaso, who is Italian, was getting worrying news from his loved ones on the other side of the border. We were seeing the inhabitants of Menton getting more and more worried, and couldn’t help but notice the suspicious glances shot around whenever somebody coughed in public...
Mathilde: We’re all aware that Menton has a particular demographic. Although the cliché of an “elderly town” is far from true, over a third of people living in Menton are over 60! We watched what was happening in China and in Italy, the curve of progression of the virus, and thought: this is the calm before the storm.
How does Menton Livraison work? When will the service be operative?
Mathilde: Menton Livraison is a phone number which at-risk individuals can call to order essential items listed on our website, which our volunteers then deliver to them at home.
Nolwenn: Initially, we were thinking of an app. Then, we realised that a hotline would be much more suitable for a target group of seniors. We agreed on a voice-operated server that can record the orders and render them, either as voice recordings or as a written transcription. That way, the line is never busy and we can handle orders at the rate at which they come in.
Mathilde: We hope to open the line between now and Thursday 26 March. We’ve already received around fifteen orders… When we began, we had no idea how long it would take to comply with administrative, legal, and health requirements! First we had to create an association, which is a simple process but takes some time. Then for every aspect of our activity there was a different process we had to follow. To deliver medication, for instance, we need to wait for the go-ahead from regional and then national organising bodies, which we have yet to receive.
Nolwenn: Fortunately, the Mayor has been a really active ally on the project. The municipal services and the Centre Communal d’Action Sociale (CCAS) have guided us in all of these procedures, they’ve put us in touch with the relevant authorities, and they’re providing us with invaluable items for everyone’s safety, volunteers and recipients, like masks, gloves, hand sanitiser...
Who are you counting on to help you?
Mathilde: We’ve got the participation of the Félix Faure Carrefour City, which has been a very cooperative partner. The franchise is run by several individuals who got on board with the project straight away. They were the ones who provided us with the list of essential items most frequently bought by customers. Of course, if our clients/recipients want other products, they can request them, but the availability of the products listed on our site is guaranteed by the shop.
For a small town like Menton and a small supermarket like the Félix Faure Carrefour City (CCAS) (which usually only has one delivery person), volunteer assistance is essential in order to tackle the huge amount of orders that the CCAS has already received.
What are your team’s strengths?
Nolwenn: All of us bring our knowledge, abilities, and personal experiences to the table. Especially since we come from different backgrounds: Tommaso, who is Italian, lived in Tenerife before coming to Sciences Po; Joseph is Lebanese and lived in Saudi Arabia; Mathilde is French and was living in Holland, and I’m Franco-American and lived in San Francisco. Each one of us has experienced various environments and health and security systems, which differ from one country to another.
Mathilde: We also pooled our collective knowledge and our personalities. Joseph has a great memory and thinks very quickly. Tommy is very creative. And Nolwenn and I like to meet people, and so weren’t afraid of the many necessary interactions with the French administration! Actually, all four of us have a tendency to focus very intensely on anything that we undertake. That level of involvement needs to be equal across a team.
How are you working today?
All of us are in our place of isolation, but we work together every day over the phone or via video-conference. Just because we’re not together doesn’t mean we can’t take action!
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- Xiaorui Zhou, 2020 Rhodes scholar ©Sciences Po
Sciences Po undergraduate student Xiaorui Zhou is one of the four Chinese students to become a 2020 Rhodes scholar. This prestigious scholarship allows outstanding students to spend two years at the University of Oxford pursuing a postgraduate degree. Xiaorui is currently completing her double degree with Sciences Po and the National University of Singapore (NUS), majoring in History and Middle Eastern studies. She aspires to pursue two Master’s degrees at Oxford next year: one in Women’s Studies, and one in Contemporary Chinese Studies. Interview.
Where does your interest in gender studies come from?
My interest in gender studies was first sparked by an introductory sociology tutorial, taught by Ms. Delphine Moraldo at Sciences Po’s campus in Menton. As first-year students, we were introduced to the making of “boys” and “girls” in modern society through exposure to different types of toys. While this notion of social construction of norms may sound vague or banal in our ‘woke’ society now, that particular reading really startled me. Then, in my third-year of the Undergraduate College, when I attended the National University of Singapore for the second half of my programme, I took a course on Historicising Gender, taught by Dr. Sharon Low. I began to develop interests in oral history as well as in Chinese women’s lived experiences: how have they been educated or socialised? How have they provided for their family? How do their experiences, as women, change as they age? Who and what do they dream of at night? Another class on the Problematic Concepts of Gender, offered in NUS’s University Scholars Programme by Associate Professor Lo Mun Hou, introduced me to the field of gender theories. So it is a combination of ingenious mentors, fascinating scholarship, and questions-awaiting-answers that led me to this exciting field.
What led you to choose the NUS-Sciences Po double-degree programme four years ago?
It was a combination of factors. First: I wanted an education in the humanities. Yet, I felt slightly undecided between history and political science. Second: I wanted to gain exposure to and in different parts of the world, not limiting myself to either Asian studies - the topic I felt more familiar with - or Middle Eastern studies, the topic I was interested in. With these considerations in mind, the NUS-Sciences Po dual BA programme seemed rather promising.
What was your experience at Sciences Po as an international student?
My experience at Sciences Po as an international student brought so many treasures to my life that still today I struggle to put them into coherent words. First of all, I loved the fact that I was able to witness countless moon rises and sunsets from the Menton campus which is situated in such a scenic part of France. Of course, sometimes it was difficult as my fellow dual-degree programme mate, Ms. Jessie Lim and I studied and lived on the Menton campus where not many students of Asian origins were around. Nonetheless, that particular experience taught me that instead of pulling off a pretense of integration, we need to forge and respect real, equal, and open dialogues.
Overall, with the truly international student body of Sciences Po, the most important thing I learnt was the necessity of ‘small’, personal stories amidst ‘grand’, national narratives: someone who personally underwent the Arab Spring could be teaching you a lecture on revolutions; someone whose family is at risk of appalling destruction or dislocation amidst the ruthless warfare can be your project mate; someone who lived, and still lives, the daily reality of racial discrimination may be walking you home. With all of these, I have realised that those ‘front-page news’ aren’t simply distant news, confined and contained on paper or screen. They constitute our fate. My deepest appreciation goes to everybody who shared their life stories with me back on the French Riviera, either in a light-hearted or a serious manner.
What is your approach to gender studies as a Chinese student who studied in France as well as in Singapore?
In my opinion, a striking commonality for most courses in gender studies, either in France, in Singapore or in China, is that the pioneers and professors in the field are both academics and activists. For many of us, we study social constructions to construct our reality differently, and we study the script of our gender play to play it differently. I would say that this aspiration for actual change in the real world is the defining common thread. I am not sure, however, if there are regional-based differences; with my limited knowledge, I believe that the nuanced approaches in the field are more a result of disciplinary frameworks and/or language backgrounds than a result of regional or cultural differences.
You co-founded an initiative for high school graduates from rural counties in Hunan in which you led seminars on history and gender. Can you tell us about it?
With the co-founder of Peer Experience Exchange Rostrum, Mr. Liu Hong and three other colleagues, we launched Project Initium (in pinyin, qizhi xueshe) in the summer of 2019. We worked with students from six different counties in the Hunan province. For my own seminar, entitled History of the Chinese Overseas, I exposed my students to different genres of primary sources, such as yearbooks of overseas Chinese girls’ schools during the Republican era (1912-1949). My intention was to acquaint students with the actual people who populated our history, yet somewhat absent in our historical narratives.
My fondest memory was of course our gender workshop; at first, we didn’t design any workshop related to gender given our packed schedule. However, as we observed some confusion over gender stereotypes expressed by our students, we saw the necessity of such a workshop where our students could hopefully walk away with two ideas: first, the social division of labour was not and should not be biologically determined; and second, structural factors hide within every aspect of our seemingly individual lives. Yet, we did not want to sound or appear overtly technical or dogmatic. Thereby, we (the mentors) designed a short, comic, immersive theatre session from scratch, where the female protagonist was trapped in between her romantic relationship, her family, and career choices. Many students, even the most silent ones, engaged with us by volunteering to play the role of the protagonist and break her structurally-constrained fate (to no avail). So that was fun for me, and thought-provoking for many of our students. I hope to run more sophisticated versions of this theatre with our future batches of Project Initium students.
What are your hopes and projects for the future?
It may be slightly premature to speak of the future, as I’m not really sure which profession I will pursue, or which projects I would work on. I do know that I would like to spend my future dealing with the past, by writing, either in an academic or non-academic context, about lived experiences, transcultural interactions, and more.
- Open House Day 2019 at the Reims campus @Paul Rentler/Sciences Po
At the start of the 2020-2021 academic year, Sciences Po will be offering a new interdisciplinary dual bachelor’s degree, the “BASc”, or the Bachelor of Arts and Sciences, combining the study of hard science with the social sciences and humanities. In partnership with multiple French universities, this dual degree is the first of its kind in France. Taught over four years, the aim of these programmes is to build the tools to analyse and act upon global challenges of the 21st century. Two of the programmes within the BASc focus particularly on the ecological transition.
An All-New Degree
Adding to a long list of pre-existing dual degree programmes, this Bachelor of Arts and Sciences offers an unprecedented level of interdisciplinarity: students will simultaneously follow the curriculum of the Bachelor’s degree at Sciences Po, the curriculum in the sciences at the partner university, as well as original courses which link the two domains, conceived and delivered jointly by the two institutions.
This new dual degree will be launched at the beginning of September 2020 on two campuses with two different themes:
- “Policies of the Earth”: Offered on the Paris campus, this dual degree with the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris (IPGP), links geosciences and social sciences;
- “Environment, Society and Sustainability”: Offered on the Reims campus, this dual degree with the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne, links life sciences and social sciences.
Two other dual degrees based on the same model in partnership with the University of Paris will commence in 2021:
- “Algorithms and Decisions”: A dual degree in mathematics & computer science and the social sciences to explore the challenges of big data on our lifestyles;
- “Policies of Life and Identities”: A dual degree in life sciences and the social sciences focussing on ethics pertaining to the manipulation of living beings.
For Frédéric Mion, President of Sciences Po, “the idea is not only to juxtapose these disciplines but to effectively educate future leaders with hybrid profiles, capable of bringing a new perspective on the crucial challenges of our era, in which the social sciences and humanities and the hard or natural sciences provide insights that are impossible to dissociate from each other."
A Challenging Curriculum Over 4 Years
These new dual bachelor degrees will be taught over a four-year period: two years in France spent between the two partner institutions, a third year abroad, and a final year dedicated to interdisciplinary courses and deepening scientific learning.
This Bachelor of Arts and Sciences degree is destined towards high school graduates with equally excellent records in the hard scientific disciplines as well as the soft ones. 50 students will be admitted to the first cohort at the start of the 2020-21 academic year, after which 100 students per year will be admitted (from September 2021). Candidates will follow the classic admissions procedure to the Undergraduate College, with an interview before a jury composed of representatives from each university.
At the end of these four years of studies, students will obtain the Bachelor of Arts and Sciences delivered by Sciences Po as well as a bachelor’s degree from the partner university. Graduates will then be able to choose to pursue their master’s degree at Sciences Po or amongst the master’s degrees in the hard sciences at the partner university.
- Student writing ©Martin Argyroglo/Sciences Po
The Sciences Po Undergraduate College is currently accepting applications from international students for the 2020 intake. To help you with your application, our admissions team has selected some of the most frequently asked questions from prospective international undergraduates.
What are the essential points to include in the personal statement for an undergraduate degree?
For the personal statement, our admissions team is ultimately interested in the reason why you want to study at Sciences Po and what you think you could contribute to the university. The personal statement is an opportunity to present your skills and motivation, and the most important thing is to give us a feel for your personality. Sciences Po is looking for students who are motivated, intellectually curious, and committed to making an impact in the world.
Do I have to get the qualifications in my application translated?
Copies of your transcripts and qualifications must be included in the original language version and be accompanied, where necessary, by an official or informal translation in French or in English (in English only for the programmes with Keio University and the University of Hong Kong).
What is the best way for international students to prepare for the admissions interview?
The interview is the second step in the admissions procedure and is only offered to shortlisted students. For the interview, applicants are asked to read and analyse a text within a short period of time, then deliver a structured oral presentation of their commentary. The interviewers then ask the candidate a series of questions pertaining to their presentation and to their application as a whole.
What foreign languages (except for French and English) are available on each campus and how much time is spent in language classes?
The time spent in English or French classes differs according to the student’s level in the respective language. Classes are more intensive for those who are less advanced and meet several times a week. For the student’s second foreign language choice, sessions generally take place once a week. Beginners in languages which require the learning of a new alphabet may need to meet more often.
The availability of foreign languages, aside from English and French, depends on each campus’s regional specialisation.
- More information about language courses at Sciences Po
- More information about language admission requirements
How many hours can I expect to spend each week on university courses and study?
The amount of time spent in class each week depends on multiple factors, including your language levels in English and French and the number of optional courses. The same can be said for the number of hours spent on studying and coursework. Overall, students can expect to spend somewhere between 20-25 hours in class.
What are the tuition fees for undergraduate international students?
For students whose tax residence is within the European Economic Area, tuition fees are calculated according to a sliding scale based on household income, and will fall between €0 and €10,540*. Those residing outside of the European Economic Area pay fees of €10,540.
*(Maximum tuition fee for the 2019-2020 academic year).
More information on the tuition fee calculator
May I apply for both a dual Bachelor’s programme and an undergraduate programme at Sciences Po simultaneously?
Yes, depending on the dual degree you will need to submit two separate applications or a single application for both programmes.
If you are applying to one of the dual degree programmes with Freie Universität Berlin or the University of Hong Kong, you need to submit one application through Sciences Po’s system. You must select the dual degree as a first choice of programme and one of our undergraduate programmes as a second choice.
For the dual Bachelor’s programmes with UC Berkeley, Columbia University, the National University of Singapore, University of Sydney, University of British Columbia, or University College London, you must submit two separate applications: one on the website of the partner university for the dual degree (joint admission process) and the other on the Sciences Po website, where you will also be able to select one of our undergraduate programmes.
- All you need to know about the Sciences Po Undergraduate College
It’s that time of year again! Sciences Po has been live to answer all the questions you may have about our programmes, admission procedures, courses, student life and so on!
Are you currently in high school and interested in attending college abroad? Sciences Po offers a 3-year bachelor’s degree programme in the social sciences and humanities. You may have questions about our undergraduate college, international admission procedure, life on campus, etc.
Watch the replays
Q&A session in English, 5 November 2019
- Tilman Turpin - Reims campus director;
- Morgane Gertz - International Undergraduate Admissions Manager at Sciences Po;
- Reem Al Ameri - Student in 2nd year, Euram programme.
Q&A session in French, 13 November 2019
- Stéphanie Balme, Dean of the Undergraduate College;
- Gabriela Rehorova Crouzet, Director of Admissions.
Find out more
- Open House Days 2019
Visit Sciences Po and discover our Bachelor's degree in the Humanities & Social Sciences! You can study the Sciences Po undergraduate programme in one of our 7 campuses all over France. Get to know the programme, courses and all the benefits of studying at one of France's leading universities.
- Nancy campus entrance ©Martin Argyroglo
International admissions for the 2020 intake are now open!
Should you need further information on the admission criteria and procedure, please do not hesitate to visit our admissions website.
- Students in the church yard ©Paul Rentler / Sciences Po
After having learned that one could study at Sciences Po while being outside of Paris, most high schoolers ask themselves THE fateful question: what differences are there between the seven different campuses of the undergraduate college? And how does one choose between the cities of Dijon, Le Havre, Menton, Nancy, Paris, Poitiers or Reims? Learn more about the ‘champagne campus’ and discover its solid arguments.
1. The "Harry Potter campus"
The regional campuses of Sciences Po are all situated on historic and architecturally exceptional sites. Inaugurated in 2010, the campus in Reims is one of the most beautiful examples: constructed in the 17th century, the former Jesuit College (fr.) has since renewed its vocation as a place of instruction. From the arches of the old kitchens to the stained-glass windows and paintings, and passing through the courtyards dotted with trees and century-old vines, the location finds itself somewhere between Oxford and the Sorbonne. Magnificently restored, the campus offers students both the beauty of a historic monument, and the technology and modernity necessary for contemporary students. Our favourite feature: the woodwork and baroque gilts of the old Jesuit library, transformed into a study room, that could easily serve as the background of a scene from Harry Potter.
2. The advantages of a Large City...
Blessed with an immense architectural heritage, the ‘City of Kings’ - it was in Reims that the sovereigns of the Ancien Regime would be crowned - is well-known thanks to its 13th century cathedral, and is home to three UNESCO world heritage sites.
Designated ‘The City of Art and History’, it plays host to a rich cultural life, with an opera house and multiple music festivals. Reims is the 12th most populated French city with nearly 200,000 inhabitants; thus the services and amenities necessary for a rich student life, including festive and athletic events are certainly available. Last but not least, Paris is only a 45 minute train ride away by TGV, allowing students to easily benefit from the endless possibilities offered by the capital, and opportunities to attend the events and conferences organised on the Paris campus.
3. ...Without the Inconveniences!
The living conditions in Reims are easier than those of Paris, notably due to considerably cheaper housing options available by the CROUS and other student residences. Many of these are located within a five minute walk from campus. Less expensive, daily life is also less stressful with shorter transits and an easy access to activities, leisure and services. Idem at the campus level: second largest campus in size, after the Paris campus, it hosts more than 1,400 students. A community of an ideal size, simultaneously nurturing exchange and cohesion.
4. A Passion for Student Life and Associations
Exchange and cohesion are built via a rich community life, which accentuates the rhythm of the campus year-round. More than 30 associations allow students to follow their passion in various domains such as art, culture, athletics, debate and politics, education, the environment, the world, health, solidarity, the fight against discrimination, etc… The spirit of the campus is particularly present during the Sciences Po Collegiades, the inter-campus sporting and artistic competition of the Undergraduate College.
5. A True MElting Pot
More than half of the students at our campus in Reims are international students, coming from over 50 different nationalities, with the United States strongly represented. The programmes are taught in both English and French, the two official languages of the campus that all students master by the end of their bachelor’s degree. Hence the presence of the most reputed anglophone professors in their respective domains. Faithful to the North-American culture, the classes are very interactive and are based on the Anglo-Saxon academic model.
The campus of Sciences Po in Reims is thus a unique opportunity to meet and befriend people with different backgrounds and experiences, to practice and learn foreign languages - from Spanish to Swahili to Arabic - and to have a very international daily life.
6. A Historic Programme Dedicated to the United States...
“Sciences Po with an American twist!” Since its inauguration in 2010, the Reims campus has hosted the “Euro-American” programme of the bachelor’s degree. What are the differences between the French and American legal systems? Why has the United States only had one constitution since the end of the 18th century? In this programme taught entirely in English, students explore transatlantic relations with a comparative approach of institutions, law, foreign policy, and their contemporary issues.
7. ...Not to Mention a New Programme Focusing on Africa
In 2015, Reims became the only campus to offer a second regional specialisation with the arrival of the Euro-African programme. Within the scope of this French-taught curriculum, students explore the history of the African continent as well as the democratic, demographic, environmental, economic and urban issues and the conflicts linked to them. Some examples of courses are: “Uses and Practices in History in Sub-Saharan Africa (19th-21st century), “Conducting Negotiations at the International Level: Europe and Africa”, and “Could the Solutions Implemented in Canada Against Poverty Be Effective in Africa?” (all in French). The coexistence of these two programmes leads to the development of interesting and diverse comparative perspectives.
8. Plus Six Times Two: the Vast Choice of Dual-Degree Programmes
Another specificity: Reims is the only undergraduate college campus that gives access to six of the nine bachelor’s dual degree programmes. These four-year programmes consist of two years of studies in Reims and another two years spent at the partner university. This is an exceptional experience that facilitates access to career opportunities in France and abroad.
The undergraduate dual-degree programmes offered in Reims are with the following partner universities:
- Columbia University (New York, USA)
- University of California Berkeley (USA)
- University of Hong Kong
- National University of Singapore (NUS, Singapore)
- University of British Columbia (UBC, Vancouver, Canada)
- University of Sydney (Australia)
9. Many Different Possibilities, One Single Degree
As is the case for all the campuses of Sciences Po, professors of all specialties and from different countries allow for the study of the fundamental subjects of Sciences Po: law, economics, history, sociology, political science and the humanities. This is the heart of the multidisciplinary education in the social sciences and humanities that is taught on each campus. No matter the choice of the regional specialisation, in Reims or elsewhere, students belong to the one and only Undergraduate College, and study to obtain the same bachelor’s degree.
10. A Ticket to the World (and to Paris)
Like all their undergraduate classmates, students at the Reims campus all spend the third year of their programme abroad at one of our 470 partner universities. And once they receive their degrees, all students have the opportunity to catch up with each other in Paris while following one of our 27 master’s degree programmes or 47 dual master’s programmes, all taught on our Parisian campus in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, in the heart of the capital.
- The Reims campus library, renamed in honor of Peter J. Awn ©Martin Argyroglo
Energetic. Supportive. Eccentric. Intellectual. Non-traditional. Witty. Brilliant. Passionate. When colleagues and alumni are asked to describe the late Dean Emeritus Peter J. Awn of the Columbia University School of General Studies, adjectives begin to flow. As of September 2019, his name will adorn the state-of-the-art library of our Reims campus.
On September 4th, 2019, current Dean of General Studies of Columbia University, Lisa Rosen-Metsch, the President of Sciences Po, Frédéric Mion, former Vice-President of International Affairs, Francis Verillaud, the Dean of the Undergraduate College, Stéphanie Balme, campus director, Tilman Turpin, family, friends, alumni and current students, gathered on the Reims campus for a dedication ceremony that would name the campus library after the late Dean Awn.
Dean of the School of General Studies from 1997 to 2017, Peter Awn, together with Francis Verrillaud, was the co-founder of the dual BA program between Columbia University and Sciences Po. Their shared vision of a world-class, international and multicultural education resulted in the creation of a program that would allow students to study two years at Sciences Po (in Reims, Le Havre or Menton), and two years at Columbia University in the city of New York.
According to students and colleagues, both past and present, Peter J. Awn was more than just a professor or a Dean - he was an inimitable institution of the Morningside campus. His fame was not limited to Columbia, however, as he was well-loved and respected by all who had the privilege of meeting him. He possessed an inexhaustible desire to improve the lives of students, and it was this shared desire that helped Columbia University and Sciences Po make the dual BA program between Columbia University and Sciences Po the success it is today. But his role did not end there: Dean Awn visited the three participating campuses twice a year, meeting students from the incoming cohorts and ensuring that they already felt part of Columbia University. President Mion described him as a francophile, and Vice-Dean Curtis Rodgers recounted how much he cherished meeting students during his bi-annual visits to France.
Dean Awn was part of the School of General Studies for four decades, and it is not difficult to understand why he became almost synonymous with the institution. “GS” (as it is informally known) was created in 1947 with the purpose of allowing WWII veterans to return to university and rebuild their lives. A former Jesuit priest-turned-scholar of Islam, Dean Awn believed in second chances, and so he took this vision and expanded it to all 'non-traditional' students (be it veterans, performers, entrepreneurs, career-changers, or clergymen) who had had to interrupt their higher education or start at a later age due to various circumstances. The dual BA, launched in 2010, was perhaps the most innovative extension of these values.
Awn, who had since retired from the position of Dean but continued to teach at Columbia University, kept a close relationship with students and alumni of the dual BA until his death in February 2019. Sciences Po chose to honour its colleague and friend through the naming of the recently created Reims campus library, a place of intellectual reflection and curiosity.
The dedication ceremony was conducted in the former refectory, where campus director Tilman Turpin, President Mion, Vice-Dean Curtis Rodgers, Francis Verillaud, Dean Rosen-Metsch, Elif Naz Coker, an alumna of the program, as well as Norman Laurila, a lifelong friend of Dean Awn, addressed the gathering. In a poignant series of tributes, speakers recounted memories, told anecdotes, and paid their respects to a figure who dedicated his life to the pursuit of excellence in education, but most importantly, to education that is accessible to all. To close the ceremony, President Mion and Dean Rosen-Metsch unveiled the plaque honouring Dean Awn that will henceforth adorn the entrance of the bibliothèque, a sacred space that symbolizes knowledge and education and where students spend countless hours during their studies.
- "Sciences Po Dedicates Reims Campus Library to Late Dean Emeritus Peter J. Awn", Columbia School of General Studies
- Students listening to inaugural lecture in amphitheatre @Judith Azema
On your marks, get set… the start of the new academic year is upon us! Some students will be taking their first steps at Sciences Po as freshmen, others will be returning to familiar ground. Like every year, a back-to-school ceremony is held on each campus.
Among the novelties for the start of term at the Undergraduate College is the creation of an ‘Ocean Series’ dedicated to a maritime theme, piloted on three campuses: Poitiers, Le Havre and Menton. The blue wave hits with an inaugural lecture by oceanographer Francois Sarano on the Poitiers campus, and then with Anne Cullere, Vice Admiral of the French Navy, who will discuss “Ruling the Seas, our concern, our future” in Le Havre.
On the Paris campus, the new recruits will spend their week preparing a debate simulation on biodiversity, and attending lectures by anthropologist and sociologist Bruno Latour on “Politics of the Earth”, and by Jean-Marc Jancovici, energy and climte expert, on the transition to renewable energy.
- Tuesday, 27 August: term starts at the Reims campus.
- Wednesday, 28 August: term starts for 1st year students at the Paris campus. Inaugural lecture by Bruno Latour, anthropologist and sociologist - Read our article "It's no longer a question of ecology, but of civilisation"
- Thursday, 29 August: term starts for 2nd year students at the Paris campus. Inaugural lecture by Jean-Marc Jancovici, energy and climate expert - Read our article "CO2 or GDP: The choice is ours"
- Thursday, 29 August: term starts at the Nancy campus. Inaugural lecture by Dr. Viviane Dittrich,Deputy Director of the International Nuremberg Principles Academy on the "Multilateral Vision of the EU".
- Tuesday, 3 September: term starts at the Le Havre campus. Inaugural lecture by Anne Cullerre,Vice Admiral of the French Navy.
- Thursday, 5 September: term starts at the Poitiers campus. Inaugural lecture by François Sarano, oceanographer.
- Monday, 9 September: term starts at the Menton campus.
- Thursday, 13 September: term starts at the Dijon campus. Inaugural lecture by Aleksander Smolar, journalist and political scientist.
- Sciences Po Updates Its Admissions for 2021
Starting in 2021, Sciences Po will update its admissions procedure in order to re-align with our world-class international partners, and for all candidates to be evaluated in the same manner and on the same criteria.
Applying for the Sciences Po Bachelor’s degree: 1 procedure for all
As of 2021, all candidates, whether French or international, will follow the same procedure when applying to the Sciences Po undergraduate college, and will be evaluated on the same criteria. (Previously, there has been a French procedure and an international procedure).
The selection criteria can be divided into four dimensions:
- Continuous assessment over the 3 final years of high school
- The average grade on written exams of the Baccalaureat
- The candidate’s profile and motivations
- An oral interview
Above academic excellence, “soft skills” will be more heavily emphasised in the selection process - allowing us to better identify candidates’ talent, whatever their background may be.
An admissions procedure that reflects Sciences Po's academic excellence and social openness
Like our international world-class university partners, this new admissions procedure aims to detect talent in our candidates and further strengthen the social, academic, and geographic diversity of our student body. Students will be assessed on their academic performance, on their experiences and civic engagements, as well as through an interview, in order to perceive candidates’ personality and identify their perseverance, motivation, and commitment.
The emphasis placed on soft skills is more relevant than ever, and Sciences Po wishes to go even further in recruiting the talents that our world will need tomorrow: talents that are open-minded, quick to adapt and capable of changing perspectives, able to communicate efficiently and manage conflict, time, and stress.
An admissions procedure that aims to attract all talents
This reform will allow Sciences Po to make our selection criteria more transparent, more efficient and more just in order to attract all talents. Developed in collaboration with researchers, professors and academic advisors, this update to Sciences Po’s admissions procedures aims to democratise access to our institution and diversify our candidates while continuing to raise the bar of excellence.
Studying at Sciences Po thanks to scholarships and the Equal Opportunity Programme
Sciences Po is committing to recruit a minimum of 30% of scholarship students in each new class. Sciences Po is also extending the Equal Opportunity Programme by doubling the number of partner high schools involved in our programme.
Find out more
- Portrait of Memphis Blue ©University of Sydney - International House
Memphis Blue is a student in the dual degree programme between Sciences Po and the University of Sydney. At the beginning of 2019, she was awarded the Davis Projects for Peace, which she used to launch the initiative “A Different View” in New South Wales, Australia. In this interview, she tells us about the project and her plans to expand it further.
You are studying in the dual degree programme between Sciences Po and the University of Sydney. What led you to choose this programme and how do the experiences at these two universities complement each other?
I chose the dual degree programme as it allowed me to combine my wide range of interests into one degree. I always knew I wanted to study Arabic and the Middle East, but at the same time I loved learning French and wanted to study different religions. The wide range of subjects provided at Sciences Po’s campus in Menton gave me a breadth of understanding and has subsequently helped me in narrowing down my interests at the University of Sydney.
At the beginning of this year you were awarded the Davis Projects for Peace. Can you tell us about this grant and how it led you to launch your project "A Different View”?
The Davis Projects for Peace is an initiative connected to International Houses Worldwide where students are supported in starting an initiative for peace in any part of the world. A Different View is an organisation which facilitates talks given by individuals from refugee backgrounds. In these talks at high schools and community groups, the speakers explain where they come from and their experiences, giving participants the opportunity to understand to a greater extent what it means to be a refugee. The money from the grant has allowed me to undertake these talks at more than 10 schools so far and establish A Different View as an organisation, which will hopefully continue into the future.
What are the greatest challenges that you have come across while working on this project?
So far, the greatest challenge associated with A Different View has been learning how to establish it as an association. There is a lot of paperwork involved to allow it to operate and I feel like I have learnt so much going through this process. Recently A Different View became registered as a charity, which was fantastic, as that had been a long and repetitive application procedure.
What have you learned through this project? What has it brought you?
For me, the best part of A Different View is when students come up to the speaker after the talk has finished, and thank them personally for sharing their story. Many of the students have said that it has helped them understand so much more about the experiences of refugees. This is the most rewarding part of the programme, as it demonstrates to me the need for these kinds of activities to provide people the opportunity to learn about refugee experiences.
What ambitions do you have for the future, for "A Different View" or another project?
In terms of A Different View, I hope to continue going to high schools in New South Wales Australia, and talking to more students about refugees. It would be fantastic if the organisation could grow larger, and branch further from schools into community groups, especially in rural areas of New South Wales. I plan to apply for government endorsement for A Different View, as this would mean that more schools would be attracted to the programme and request it to come to them.
- Africa Week on our campus in Reims ©Sciences Po
The 2019 U-Multirank has placed Sciences Po in the Top 25 Universities for Student Mobility. Student mobility is an integral part of Sciences Po’s core values and curriculum, with a mandatory year spent abroad as an undergraduate, but also in most master’s programmes.
Thanks to a network of nearly 480 partner universities, Sciences Po sends and receives students from all over the world, creating a multicultural community of open-minded, outward-looking students. 25 languages are taught at Sciences Po, and over 150 nationalities are represented in our student body. Thanks to the diversity of backgrounds and viewpoints - whether it be amongst professors or students, inside and outside of the classroom - studying social sciences at Sciences Po provides a global understanding of the world we live in.
*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 most well-known higher education rankings.
Find out more
- Arturo Garcia Gonzalez @Judith Azema / Sciences Po
Arturo is a 2nd year undergraduate student studying on the Poitiers campus. He was born in France but has lived the majority of his life in Mexico. He got his baccalaureate from a Franco-Mexican school, and he chose Sciences Po because social engagement is an important part of the curriculum. Read the interview with Arturo who is engaged and committed, well beyond the confines of the campus, to mental health issues...
Can you tell us about your civic engagement?
This year, I am doing my community internship at the National Association of Alcohol and Addiction Prevention. We work on various projects focusing mostly on preventing and reducing risks, such as workshops on narcotics in the Vivonne prison. Our flagship project this year, run by the Regional Health Agency, is to develop a network of “student resources”, who will be given psycho-social training. These students will serve as links between the student community and Public Health Authorities, with regards to mental health issues.
How do you plan to train these students? How will they be selected?
We help them develop their psycho-social skills and teach them ways to deal with student welfare issues, for example interpersonal relationships, coping with stress, and managing emotions. The content of the training programme is in the development stage, and we hope to put it into place in time for the start of the 2019 academic year. Student mentors will be chosen according to their involvement in university life (health or social work, clinical experience, etc.) The University of Poitiers is a pilot site for this project which, if successful, we would like to deploy on a national scale.
You seem really committed to the cause. Beyond helping your community, what does it represent for you?
I feel that suicide is completely overlooked by the media, despite the fact that there are a million suicides a year. It is still a taboo subject. The National Observatory for Student Life reports many cases of student depression and attempted suicide. Students often struggle to find someone to talk to about their problems. Training students so that they can help their peers allows us to maintain the Institution’s Duty of Care, which people often do not know about. In addition, it is much easier to speak to another student, in an informal context, about complicated situations. This all helps to remove the controversy surrounding suicide.
Is this your first experience in this sector?
No, last year I did a 7 week internship in Bogota that allowed me to experience a range of institutions. First of all, I worked for a private foundation which helps young people, mostly from more privileged families, to overcome drug addictions. I then joined a public foundation which helps people in situations of poverty and social deprivation, which gave me a completely different perspective. Finally, I spent some time in the psychiatric ward of a public hospital in the south of Bogota, and at the National Institute of Prisons and Penitentiaries. Through all of this, I gained a more global vision, which I hope will help me with our current project which concerns about 25,000 students.
What’s next for you?
I am going to spend my 3rd year in the United States, at the University of Pennsylvania, in preparation for a master’s degree in management. Obviously, I will continue to be committed to causes I am involved in. I have already noticed that the University of Pennsylvania offers medical training: I will definitely try to make the most of my time there and take part in some mental health projects.
- The entrance to the new Poitiers campus ©Sylvain Rochas
Since 2001 Sciences Po has had a campus in Poitiers, but the undergraduate college was pushed for space at the Hôtel Chaboureau. There was a 15% increase in students in the space of 5 years, with the attractiveness of the Latin-American programme making new premises necessary. This became a reality in September 2018 at the heart of a new site built in the 18th century and reinvented for the 21st. Watch the guided tour on the occasion of the official inauguration which takes places on Wednesday, 10th April.
It’s not the first time that it has been a “school”
Built at the start of the 18th century, the former Jacobin convent occupied one of the buildings. The new campus reconnects the site with its educational vocation. Former home of the University of Poitiers, the institution created in the Middle Ages by clergymen, successfully survived the ups and downs of history right up to the French Revolution. In 1789, the convent became the seat of the Jacobin club (not to be confused with the previous tenants of the buildings), then barracks and a prison. In 1842, a philanthropist bought the property and transformed it into the Ecole Saint-Vincent de Paul. The owners were no longer religious, but the educative vocation tied in with the building remained. In 1902, the establishment became a boarding school and is renamed Pensionnat Saint-Jean-Baptiste de La Salle. It closed in 1905 and then reopened again, then returned as collège Saint-Stanislas, which it remains until 1980. Acquired and converted by the Region Nouvelle-Aquitaine, the site welcomed the ESCEM up until 2017. Thanks to the renovations financed by the region and the town, it once again becomes a “school” but this time, of higher education. Read below for a short summary of the history of this exceptional place, 23, rue Jean Jaurès.
Poitiers is the new Paris
By moving to this new site, designed specifically for Sciences Po, we have conceived an “ideal campus” for the needs of students and instructors of the 21st century. First of all, students have more space: there are 3 lecture halls whereas we could only fit 90 students in a lecture on the old site, and 10 classrooms instead of 5. But there is the added benefit of more spaces for other purposes: an art room, a cafeteria, associative offices, coworking spaces, common room etc. The classrooms are equipped with the latest in teaching technology, and students now have access to a health centre in dedicated premises.
The site is thus a pilot, which prefigures other campus improvements, and notably the new site l’Artillerie in Paris, which will open its door in 2021-2022. The signposting, which is entirely accessible, is another example of this.
“Meet you at Mafalda”
Yes, the student common room has been baptised “Espace Mafalda”. But we are not called Sciences Po for no reason…The famous comic character, created by Argentine artist Quino, is very popular in Latin America, and has a political aspect to her. Her editor, Julian Delgado, was tortured and killed.
In total, eight famous personalities from the Latin American and Iberian world give their names to spaces on campus. All of which were chosen from amongst student suggestions:
- Gabriela Mistral lecture theatre - a Chilean poet, the first Latin American woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature (1889-1957)
- Rubén Darío lecture theatre - Nicaraguan poet, diplomat, and journalist (1867-1916)
- Paulo Freire lecture theatre - Brazilian academic (1921-1997)
- Gabriel García Márquez Library - Colombian novelist, short story writer, journalist, and political activist, Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982 (1927-2014)
- Cafeteria Mercedes Sosa, Argentinian singer (1935-2009)
- Luis Buñuel videoStudio - Spanish director and scriptwriter
- Frida Kahlo art studio - Mexican artist and painter (1907-1954)
- Ana de Castro Osorio room - Portuguese writer and politician (1872- 1935)
A Global Campus
With 30 different nationalities out of 187 students, the Poitiers campus in parallel with the other delocalised campuses of the Undergraduate college, is both international and anchored in the local framework. 60% of students are international - Brazilians and Spanish being the biggest contingent. But since 2007 the campus has admitted 950 students from the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. Students from all horizons, are both engaged in their local communities and fortunate enough to meet leaders from all over the world (since 2013, the heads of state of Costa Rica, Uruguay, and Ecuador have visited). These students, once they graduate, do not hesitate to become ambassadors of their campus the world over.
Cohabitation with the Region
The campus building also hosts the offices of 30 personnel from the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. And with good reason too! The acquisition of the site was in part financed by the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, the deparmtent of Vienne and the urban community of Grand Poitiers. The restoration of the building has been overseen by the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region since July 2017 and co-financed by Nouvelle-Aquitaine and Grand Poitiers. Sciences Po furnished the buildings with the help of the Region and Grand Poitiers.
- 187 students
- 100 instructors each year
- 2,400 m2
- 15 classrooms
- 30 nationalities represented
- 58% international
- 25.5% scholarship holders
- +15% intake in the past 5 years
- Portrait of Charlotte ©Sciences Po
Charlotte Nørlund-Matthiessen did her undergraduate studies on the Dijon campus, which hosts the European specialisation programme with a focus on Central and Eastern Europe, before enrolling in the European Affairs Master’s programme at Sciences Po. Since graduating in 2012, she has worked on multiple projects inspired by her drive to build a stronger Europe. Today she works as a Parliamentary Assistant for a French MEP at the European Parliament in Brussel
- Master in European Affairs
- School of Public Affairs
- "We must fight to defend Europe": in 2016, European Parliament President Martin Schulz came to Sciences Po