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.
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.
There are 300 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.
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.
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).
In 2010 Sciences Po opened a Gender Research and Teaching Programme (PRESAGE) 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 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 Écoles (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.
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.
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 30 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.