Start of the academic year on the Menton Campus
Students of the Menton Campus

Social Responsibility

Since its origins, Sciences Po has been committed to advancing its social responsibility. That is why we have established innovative measures to attract the most talented students, regardless of their socio-economic background, gender, or disability.

A university open to all

Financial aid: a policy of inclusion

We believe that financial difficulties should never be a barrier to studying at Sciences Po. That is why we set aside 10.5 million euros each year to put towards scholarships and financial aid. In total, we assist almost four out of ten students (figures for 2016-2017), by means of:

  • Scholarships: any French or European students awarded the CROUS scholarship (26% of students in 2016) pay no tuition fees and also receive complementary aid from Sciences Po
  • Tuition fee exemptions, which apply to more than a third of students (34%), including but not limited to the CROUS scholars
  • For non-European applicants, the Emile Boutmy scholarship provides funding to the very best international students from outside the European Union
  • Needs-based financial aid, particularly mobility grants for use during the third year abroad

These provisions complement our sliding scale system of fee allocation, a unique policy that aims to address financial inequality amongst students by adapting the cost of studies according to household income. All students whose tax residence falls within the European Economic Area can benefit from this scheme.

The Equal Opportunity Programme: a pioneering policy

Sciences Po seeks to recruit the most talented students, whatever their social or cultural background. It was this conviction that led in 2001 to the creation of a programme without equivalent in France: the Equal Opportunity Programme, which today works with over 100 secondary schools in the most disadvantaged areas of France and its overseas territories. Since its creation, this specially developed admissions scheme has allowed us to welcome nearly 1800 students from various partnered institutions, who might never otherwise have had access to Sciences Po.

> Find out more about our diversity and inclusion initiatives

There are 250 students with disabilities currently enrolled at Sciences Po. Every day, they prove that disabilities need never pose an obstacle to the smooth and hassle-free completion of one’s studies. To help ensure that, Sciences Po provides solutions tailored to each student’s needs and champions a policy of accessibility across all its entities.

> Read our Letter of Engagement on Accessibility (FR)

Assisting students in their studies & facilitating their access to knowledge

From the admissions procedure to the job market, Sciences Po provides individualised assistance to every disabled student. This can come in the form of adjustments to academic requirements, help from student note-takers, readers, or interpreters, or adapted course material. Our students can make use of accessible digital resources to prepare for classes and follow teaching online via our e-courses… or with the help of our telepresence robots. Little by little we are converting all our websites into fully accessible formats. Finally, students with disabilities are exempted from tuition fees and receive mobility grants during their third year abroad.

> Read our Guide for Students with a Disability (pdf, 2.2 Mb)

Innovations in inclusive pedagogy

Sciences Po has conducted extensive research to produce pedagogical resources and video tutorials that help lecturers compensate for the constraints posed by disabilities, whether visible or invisible. Our research also explores strategies of learning and assessment for disabled students, stress management, and even innovations in classroom design, resulting in the design of a new classroom prototype at the start of 2018.

Incorporating disabled employees

In 2017, 6% of Sciences Po’s employees declared themselves affected by a disability, meeting the French legal minimum employment requirement. A Disability Service provides personalised support to all staff members. We also subcontract important work to specialised businesses, particularly the IT helpdesk.

Ensuring the accessibility of all our sites (including those online)

Sciences Po is committed to ensuring all its sites comply with the legal requirements for accessibility. Work already undertaken has included the renovation of lifts to provide wheelchair access to the lecture halls and cafeteria, the creation of two accessible catering spaces, and the installation of hearing loops in the lecture halls. We are also in the process of fitting out inclusive classrooms and an accessible signage system for the visually impaired. As for our websites, applications, and bureaucratic documents, all are gradually being converted into an accessible format, as per requirements set by the French government.

Raising awareness amongst our community as a whole

The Disability Support Service teaches disabled students to know their rights and define their futures. It also provides training to students assisting them and those directing associations, as well as reception staff, academic supervisors, and the entirety of the administrative community.

Promoting and sustaining a culture of equality

Unveiling the reality of inequalities, widening the realms of possibilities for all (male or female), and promoting a culture of respect: these were the triple objectives that Sciences Po defined when the Gender Equality Unit was created in May 2014. The Unit is dedicated to advancing measures targeting all of the institution’s audiences (FR).

Training and raising awareness

A male and female student at Sciences Po
Sciences Po

Our commitment to principles of equality is enshrined in numerous charters and guidelines: a charter for non-sexist communication, a charter for lecturers, a charter for student lif(pdf, 357 Kb), as well as internal regulations. At the start of every academic year and on each of the seven campuses, we take various actions to raise awareness amongst students of all programmes. In an effort to guarantee equality in the classroom, we disseminate ten recommendations amongst the teaching community.

In 2010 Sciences Po opened a Gender Research and Teaching Programme (PRESAGE)(FR) that works to integrate the question of gender within teaching. A Women in Business Chair was also created in 2018, with the specific aim of examining obstacles facing women in their careers, as well as ways of reducing those, so as to help female students develop their professional and entrepreneurial skills.

Sciences Po Director speaks for the HeforShe campaign
Sciences Po

Networks & Partners

Sciences Po is coordinator of the European-wide study, “Effective Gender Equality in Research and the Academia” (EGERA), whose mission is to generate a European “community of practice” within an association of eight universities.

Sciences Po’s President is also one of ten university directors appointed to be members of the HeforShe Impact Champion network.

Sciences Po is an active member of the gender equality networks of the French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation (MENESR), of the Sorbonne Paris Cité University group (USPC), and of the Conference des Grandes Ecoles (CGE).

Assisting women in their careers

  • Young women make up 60% of the student body at Sciences Po. The university actively assists its female students via professional workshops (FR) designed to train them in assertiveness and self-confidence, salary negotiation, work-life balance, public speaking, and more.
  • Since 2012, a regular comparative report on the circumstances of female and male employees has allowed us to assess the professional development of 1,200 members of administrative staff at Sciences Po. Women, who comprise 60% of the workforce, are now being appointed to directorial positions and the overall wage gap is diminishing.
  • Sciences Po is also committed to recruiting female academic staff and assisting women in careers in science and research: raising awareness of gender issues amongst the research community, relaxing the procedure for tenureship, maintaining vigilance on the composition of juries, etc.

Fighting sexism and sexual harassment

Tackling sexism: Sciences Po firmly subscribes to the anti-sexism campaigns launched by the French government and regularly implements its own campaigns to raise awareness and understanding of gender issues.

A Sexual Harassment Monitoring Unit established in 2015 provides confidential support to any member of staff or student who finds themself a victim to sexual harassment.

Find out more about our measures to prevent sexual harrassment

In response to the migration crisis that took hold of Europe and the world in 2015, Sciences Po has developed a specific policy for welcoming student refugees and asylum-seekers. In addition to the ‘classic’ procedures of admission to our Master’s courses, Sciences Po, in partnership with the NGO Wintegreat, offers two specialised measures designed to work closely with migrants whose studies have been interrupted, and take into account the particularities of their academic background. We aim to mentor students as they regain confidence, get to know their host country, and embark on a new academic or professional project.

Orientation with the help of the Tremplin programme

Over the course of a semester, Wintegreat’s “Tremplin” programme offers weekly courses and personalised guidance. The objective: a seamless introduction to the French language and country more widely. The programme is open to any refugee or asylum-seeker who has completed their secondary education with certification in an equivalent to the French Baccalauréat.

> Find out more about the Wintegreat Tremplin programme

Finding a career pathway thanks to our Professional Certificate

Awarded at the end of two years of full-time study, the Professional Certificate for Young Refugees is a diploma designed for young people under 26 who have already completed a language programme and/or a full secondary education in their country of origin. It aims to improve students’ employability by teaching them skills tailored to the world of work and is targeted towards young people hoping to make a speedy entry into the job market.

> Find out more about our Professional Certificate for Young Refugees

  • 10.5 million euros pledged each year in scholarships and financial aid
  • 34% of students pay zero tuition fees
  • 2,000 recipients of the Emile Boutmy scholarship over the past 10 years
  • 1800 high school students accepted through our Equal Opportunities Programme
  • 1000 different high schools send their students to Sciences Po
  • 250 disabled students
  • 80 migrants participating in the Welcome Refugees programme