COVID-19 INFORMATION

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Recommendations & Frequently Asked Questions

The situation at Sciences Po, and the answers to your questions

Last updated: March 30, 2020

The situation at Sciences Po: latest updates

In accordance with the measures announced by the President of France, access to Sciences Po buildings is closed to undergraduate students, master students and the public, on all campuses, in Paris and on all our regional campuses, from Monday, March 16, 2020, until further notice.

Classes were suspended between March 16 and March 21, and then resumed remotely starting Monday, March 23, 2020. The main objective is to guarantee academic continuity via various tools and innovative methods supported by the Institute of Skills and Innovation. This offer is to be tailored to different students’ situations, many of whom are outside France, in different time zones. Subject to compliance with the new educational framework, the validation of this spring semester 2020 is in no way called into question

Access to Sciences Po sites, in Paris and on the regional campuses, is closed to all staff members, professors, and researchers starting Monday, March 16 in the evening, and until further notice. Staff members whose positions are eligible for remote work will work from home during the closure. Staff members whose positions are not eligible for telework will be placed on partial work leave and will receive their regular pay during the closure.

A monitoring committee made up of members of Sciences Po’s management meets daily to review the situation and the needs of all of our communities, in France and abroad.

>> For questions about the continuity of Classes, Exams, Internships, see the adjacent tab

>> For students currently abroad, see the "Students Abroad" tab

Recommendations to follow

The COVID-19 virus is actively circulating on French territory, therefore measures of confinement and strict limitation of movement and contact are now in place. Outings are prohibited, except in the following cases and only if you have a certificate to:

  • Go to work, if remote working is not possible;
  • Go to your local grocery store;
  • Go to a medical appointment;
  • Take your children to daycare or take care of an elderly person;
  • Exercise individually, around your home.

The two compulsory forms for outings can be downloaded on this website (FR). There are two types of certificates: one for personal outings, and one for professional outings.

A new form must be completed for every personal outing. It can be printed or handwritten, but it cannot be presented in digital form. For professional outings, only one form (to be completed by the employer) is necessary for the duration of the confinement period. All outings are subject to controls and violations of these rules are punishable by fine. All public spaces that are not essential to the life of the country remain closed.

Sciences Po asks all members of its communities to scrupulously respect these confinement instructions, as well as adopt the following barrier gestures to protect their health and the health of those around them:

  • Wash your hands very regularly and use a hydro-alcoholic solution
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow or a tissue
  • When greeting, do not shake hands and avoid hugging or kissing
  • Use disposable tissues one-time only

In case of symptoms (cough, fever) suggestive of Covid-19: stay home, avoid physical contact with other people, call a doctor before visiting his/her office or call the emergency number in your region. You can also benefit from a teleconsultation.

If symptoms worsen with difficulty breathing and signs of suffocation, call the SAMU-Center 15.

The wearing of masks is not beneficial for people showing no symptoms.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if I am sick?

If you have a confirmed case of COVID-19: remain strictly at home; if you have a vital medical appointment, wear a mask when you go. In the case of respiratory difficulty, dial 15 (SAMU emergency services). Arrange and adhere to an initial medical leave of between 7 and 14 days; between the 6th and the 8th day consult a doctor to evaluate your symptoms, and extend this leave for an additional 7 days if your condition requires it. Isolation should be lifted 48 hours after the complete disappearance of symptoms. 

It is necessary to inform and send your medical certificate by email to:

  • Staff members: your manager and the HR department (info.drh@sciencespo.fr);
  • Professors and permanent faculty: your programme manager (responsable pédagogique) and the HR department (info.drh@sciencespo.fr);
  • For part-time teachers: your programme manager (responsable pédagogique);
  • For students: your programme manager (responsable pédagogique)

What should I do if I show symptoms? 

If you are showing any signs of COVID-19 (fever or feeling of fever, cough, difficulty breathing):

  • Contact your general doctor or any doctor available via teleconsultation. 
  • Isolate yourself in your home; avoid any physical contact with others.
  • Contact emergency services (dial 15 in France) only if you have difficulty breathing or if you feel unwell. 
  • Get tested only if you are a person who is at risk, if you show any serious signs of sickness, if you have already been hospitalised, if you are a healthcare professional or a fragile person in a collective public structure. If you do not fall into any of these categories, a doctor will perform the diagnosis based on clinical signs.
  • If you do not belong to any of these categories, a doctor will diagnose you based on clinical signs.

> In all cases, follow the recommendations of your doctor as to whether or not to continue your professional activity.

Travel

Is travel still permitted?

For students, teachers and researchers currently in France, all trips, as well as departures for internships abroad, are canceled until further notice. For people currently abroad, the regulations in force in their country of residence apply.

>> See FAQ regarding Students Abroad

Communications sent by Sciences Po

Last updated: April 3, 2020

Given the evolving context of this issue, your questions and suggestions are essential to help expand and develop these FAQs. Do not hesitate to address them via the email address: contact@sciencespo.fr

Applicants: adjustments to our admission procedures have not yet been fully defined; they will be communicated very soon on our admissions website.

Classes & Evaluations

Are classes still taking place?

Classes were suspended from Monday, March 16 to Saturday, March 21, 2020. From Monday 23 March and until the end of the semester, classes are taught entirely online, according to the methods that each of your teachers will communicate to you. Common core classes (Master's) will resume on 6 April 2020.

The main objective is to guarantee academic continuity to preserve the quality of education and the quality of the degree, which will be achieved via various tools and innovative methods supported by the Institute of Skills and Innovation. Academic continuity is based upon three principles that we guarantee to all Sciences Po students: 

  • Maintaining the quality of teaching leading to the validation of your semester;
  • Reducing the weekly course load in order to leave more time for independent study and for the organisational constraints you are faced with;
  • Reinforce follow-ups and communication with all our students on an individual basis.

In addition, we decided to make teaching time and evaluation methods more flexible.

Subject to compliance with the new educational framework, the validation of the spring semester 2020 is in no way called into question.

How are students being evaluated?

It all depends on the type of course:

  • All classes which have continued remotely will keep their initial validation framework.
  • For courses suspended until the end of the semester and common core courses (Master's students), a principle of compensation applies: the marks of the first mid-semester will validate (or not) half of the credits. The other half of the credits will be validated automatically, in light of these exceptional circumstances.
  • Language course credits will be validated for all students. The level change remains at the discretion of instructors. Language courses will resume for Master's students starting 6 April.

In order to balance out the workload during this unprecedented period, alongside the consolidation of the curriculum, the period from 28 April to 17 May will be reserved, as needed, for the submission of all student work.

On what platform do remote classes take place?

All students received a connection to the ZOOM platform, which should facilitate these new pedagogical exchanges. This tool is in addition to a variety of educational materials which should help you to maintain your living and working routines, while still taking into account the variable conditions of internet access.

Is attendance mandatory for remote classes?

Starting March 23, 2020, classes will resume remotely. Attendance continues to be noted by teachers to identify any students who may have situational difficulties, but it is not sanctioned. It is strongly advised to follow remote classes available to you in order to acquire university credits.

Are evaluations still taking place?

Subject to compliance with the new educational framework, the validation of the spring semester 2020 is not called into question. See above for course evaluation methods.

All gallops (mid-term exams) for the Spring semester have been cancelled, including those planned to take place on Moodle (updated on 15 March 2020).

The Grand Oral will be transformed into a new written format. The required elements as well as the rules of validation are maintained. The submission date is delayed until 17 May at the latest. Each Graduate School will communicate specific instructions and modalities to students.

What is happening in terms of the Civic Learning Programme (Bachelor students)?

  • For first-year students, the civic learning internship is suspended until further notice. At this stage, it is too early to anticipate a definitive suspension.

  • For second-year students who have not completed their civic learning project, a literary review will be required, which will be included in the critical reflection. All practical details will be sent to you by your Civic Learning Programme advisors.

Can we access library resources?

The library's online resources remain accessible to its readers (except external readers) via the Digital Resources page or the catalog. To find out all about the services and resources available during confinement, consult the dedicated page on the library's website.

Events

Are events still happening?

Access to all Sciences Po sites, in Paris and on regional campuses, is closed from March 16, 2020, and until further notice. The events scheduled from 03/16/20 are therefore canceled until further notice.

Internships / Professional Opportunities

I am currently doing an internship: can I pursue it?

Yes, if you are authorized to work remotely (except Civic Learning programme internships, which are suspended). All students in France and abroad are invited to ensure with their employer that they can telework, in order to guarantee satisfactory health-safety conditions.

I cannot work remotely: what should I do?

In that case, we recommend that you stop your internship, and declare your situation in your student space - section: request an internship amendment.

I just found an internship: can I obtain an agreement?

No: given the health crisis and its evolution, the validation of internships, professional experiences or volunteering is suspended sine die, whatever the nature of the role and the country concerned. This information is valid for all current or future requests.

We understand and share your disappointment. We are aware of all the energy that you have devoted to your projects, but this unprecedented situation requires we put on hold all internship/professional opportunities for now.

How will Master's degree internships be validated?

Final Master's internships that have not been able to be completed will be validated if the duration of the internship is equal to or more than eight weeks. For shorter internships, recourse to an earlier internship, completed during a gap year, will be possible, as well as other instances, which will be communicated to you by your academic teams.

Last updated: March 31, 2020

This information concerns students who are currently abroad, on an internship or study exchange (3rd year of the Undergraduate College, or at Master level).

Academic Continuity

Is Sciences Po making students end their exchange programmes or current internships abroad?

Sciences Po students currently enrolled in exchange programmes or internships abroad are currently located in greatly differing areas of the world, which places them in greatly differing situations. This requires us to act with a lot of flexibility in how we handle the situation. 

Thus, so long as the situation does not require us to ask that students immediately leave the countries they are in, certain students may decide to continue with their exchange programmes or internships. Others may decide - and we permit them to do so - to leave the host country where they have been carrying out such an exchange or internship programme. 

As such, in the context of this global pandemic, we encourage students wherever possible to return to their families and healthcare systems familiar to them.

How will my study continuation plan be communicated to me in terms of my year, and is my situation being followed by Sciences Po’s teams? 

All students have received an email in their Sciences Po inbox indicating their study continuation plan. This information is also available in a secured Drive list, categorised by each study continuation plan, and accessible only to concerned students who received a link in this email. Any anomalies in these lists, or individual constraints, must be reported to your respective geographic programme managers of Sciences Po’s International Affairs Division by no later than 1st April, at 3 pm.

What happens if I am in a position to continue my exchange year abroad or internship abroad? How will my year be validated? 

In this case, the terms previously agreed upon with your host university will continue to apply for validating your semester. This concerns all students who are able to continue their exchange abroad at their host institution (or internship), either face-to-face if they have decided to stay in the country, or online if proposed by the host institution (regardless of whether students have left the country or not). Sciences Po’s International Affairs Division team remains your key point of contact for the 3rd year abroad. 

Under these circumstances, your full exchange year of 2 semesters at your host institution will appear on your transcript.  For students who are in a hybrid year, and in a position to continue their current 2nd semester internship, the complete hybrid year will appear on your transcript (listing your 1st semester of study abroad, and 2nd semester of internship).

What happens if my exchange year abroad or internship has been interrupted? 

In this case, Sciences Po’s academic teams from the Undergraduate College will take over responsibility for pedagogical continuity. The semester’s study continuation plan will be defined by the Undergraduate College, in the form of “individual work” framed and graded on a scale of 20. Further communication outlining terms for this assignment (format, support, timeline, evaluation criteria) will be sent by early April. 

The first semester of your exchange year abroad will appear on your transcript, followed by mention of a second semester of individual work at Sciences Po (with specific mention of interruption of your exchange at the host institution due to force majeure). 

In the particular case that your host university has not yet informed us of its educational continuity plan, and, if applicable, of their online transition plan which would allow you to validate your semester, teams from the Department of International Affairs are actively following these cases and will be in contact with you personally.

I have already completed part of my internship but it had to be interrupted: can my internship be validated? 

Yes, provided that you have completed a minimum duration of 8 weeks of your internship (either face-to-face or by telework) and submitted all required elements for validation (evaluation sheet and internship report).

I am having difficulties continuing my internship remotely and/or my internship organisation has decided to cancel my mission. What can I do?

Interns are invited to contact Sciences Po’s Careers Service in order to provide specific information on this particular situation. Sciences Po’s Careers Service team will assess each situation individually.

What about the Capstone project? (Grand écrit)

Naturally, all educational requirements, independent of the 3rd year on exchange abroad or internship, will be maintained under conditions previously communicated to you. This concerns in particular the Capstone project, which is a pillar of the culmination of your studies at Sciences Po’s Undergraduate College.

I am having difficulty continuing my semester online with the course offerings proposed by my host institution, what can I do? 

First and foremost, please contact the respective Department of International Affairs teams whose programme managers may contact your host institution and / or make a personal assessment of your situation.

My host institution has switched to a pass/fail grading system. Will Sciences Po accept credits obtained in this form?

Due to the exceptional circumstances of Covid-19, and if this is a set decision of your host university in the current context, Sciences Po will exceptionally recognise credits obtained by a pass/fail evaluation - corresponding to full course credit and ensuring that you may validate your semester.

My host university where I was on exchange offers online courses, however, the current course offerings will not allow me to validate my major. 

Students are invited to contact their geographic programme manager within the Department of International Affairs in order to provide specific information on this situation. Sciences Po’s teams will assess each situation individually. 

Can I still begin my Master's if international travel does not resume before the start of the autumn semester and I'm unable to leave the country I'm currently in? 

While it is too soon to hypothesise about the situation in the long term, we can still prepare and take precautions. We encourage you, where possible, to ensure that you can be at Sciences Po for the start of next semester, but in the event that this is not possible the Sciences Po teams will do all that they can do to defer or postpone the semester should you find yourself in such a situation. Nonetheless, Students will not in any instance be able to begin a programme any later than two weeks into the semester.

Return & Repatriation

I fear that I will be stuck in my host country due to travel restrictions, and that I will not be able to return to my home country at the end of the semester. What are Sciences Po's guidelines?

Many countries have closed borders and restricted international travel. Whatever your decision for the rest of your semester, we recommend that you keep us informed, in conjunction with the local authorities and your consulate.

Naturally, for those who fear being stuck in the host country against their will, we strongly encourage them to return as soon as possible to their country of permanent residence, where they can continue to pursue their education remotely, according to the instructions of the Sciences Po teaching teams.

The country I am currently in has closed its borders, what should I do?

If you haven’t already, immediately contact the Sciences Po International Affairs (DAI) representative of your host country for assistance. 

Do I have the authorization to leave the country I’m in even if there are no declared cases or measures taken regarding Covid-19?

All Sciences Po students currently on exchange abroad are allowed to leave the country and the university in which they are studying. This authorization is valid for everyone, whatever their particular situation.

What steps need to be taken regarding medical insurance and the MAIF repatriation from Sciences Po?

If you are not affected by Covid-19 yourself, there are no steps to be taken with the MAIF, which does not cover early returns.

If you are sick, you must immediately notify Sciences Po and the MAIF as Sciences Po students benefit from medical and repatriation insurance during their study abroad. Sciences Po's contract number with MAIF is N°4089550K, and the support services can be reached at 0800 875 875 from France and 0033 5 49 77 47 78 from abroad.

SCHOLARSHIP STUDENTS & FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

My anticipated return incurs additional costs. Is financial aid available for scholarship recipients?

To request possible financial assistance, we ask you to fill out our contact form attaching the necessary documents for your particular case, and informing your host country representative at the Sciences Po Department of International Affairs by email. An individual study of your request will be reviewed for potential support in this early return process.

If I cut short my study abroad semester within the Erasmus+ area, within the European Union, will I lose my scholarship?

The Erasmus + France Agency - Education & Training has just published dedicated information on its site.

The Ministry of Solidarity and Health has issued instructions regarding the COVID-19 epidemic. Additional information is available on the website of the Ministry of National Education and Youth. We invite you to read the recommendations concerning travel to and from risk areas.

As part of the Erasmus+ project, establishments may, as a result of force majeure, request the eligibility of non-recoverable costs linked to the postponement or cancellation of a residence planned in the exhibition areas. Such a request must be documented and sent to the project managers of the National Agency, via the Penelope+ organisation as soon as possible (without exceeding 30 days following the event). The beneficiary will need to prove what means were implemented to try to recover the sums already spent, including insurance policies taken.

 

Last updated: March 31, 2020

Work arrangements for staff & faculty

The Sciences Po Intranet for staff members is available remotely (authentication required with Sciences Po username and password). Read our guidelines for remote work (FR).

How is work being arranged from Monday 16/03/20?

All of the Sciences Po campuses, including Parisian and regional sites, will be closed from the evening of Monday 16 March until further notice. Staff whose roles are eligible for telework should therefore work remotely.

If remote work is not performed at your usual address, colleagues are encouraged to declare their new address to the Human Resources Department in compliance with collective telework agreements (info.drh@sciencespo.fr). 

Members of staff whose role is not compatible with remote work will be placed on temporary work leave; their regular pay will be upheld. 

Am I able to come in to work on the Sciences Po sites?

Access to our premises for staff, researchers and teaching staff will no longer be permitted from the evening of Monday 16 March onwards.

During the daytime on Monday 16 March, staff will be able to access all sites in order for them to retrieve any necessary personal and professional belongings (portable workstation/laptop, documents, etc). The evacuation of buildings will begin at 15:00 on Monday 16 March to finish by 19:30 at the latest. From this point onwards, badge access will be deactivated and the entrances will be locked. 

Following the evening of 16 March, any personnel needing to access one of our Parisian sites for compelling reasons relating to the continued functioning of our establishment must, having obtained authorisation from their manager, present themselves at 27 rue Saint-Guillaume in order to be accompanied to their office by a security guard. 

I have children at home and need to look after them - what should I do?

All staff, members of faculty and researchers are required to telework, so long as their position allows them to do so. Exceptional arrangements for telework may be adapted for those taking care of children.

Staff whose role does not support telework will be placed on temporary work leave following authorisation from their manager.