Opening up to the territories that will forge the world of tomorrow is a major challenge for Sciences Po. Both an object of study and a source of talent, the African continent is our priority international development axis for 2022.
Our ambition as a world-class French university is to deliver English-language courses and deploy our promotional teams across the continent’s three major linguistic zones. Building on the historic strengths of Sciences Po, new sources of funding will facilitate and promote increased student mobility. In addition, we will be able to strengthen our partnerships with African universities that are striving to achieve global standards of excellence, public policy incubators and private initiatives in key areas of the continent. Ours is an African ambition on an unprecedented scale, commensurate with the challenges facing a continent that is experiencing strong demographic growth, accelerated development, and the enormous talent pools that it harbours.
A clearly defined, innovative academic offer
Created in 2011, the Europe-Africa undergraduate programme is a bilingual programme dedicated to engaging with the challenges of the African continent from a social sciences perspective and by examining its relationship with Europe. Forty students enrolled in the programme when it launched in 2011. The programme now welcomes more than 200 students per year, 40% of whom come from the African continent.
Master’s programmes: Each year 250 students from around the world choose to follow the African Studies concentration for the duration of their studies at the School of International Affaires (PSIA). The Urban School’s Master’s programme, Governing the Large Metropolis, also offers an ‘African Metropolis’ regional focus.
The MOOC “Africa and globalisation: a comparative perspective” has been launched by a team of nice Africa, Latin American and European scholars and three African univeristies in partnership with the University of Cape Town (South Africa), the University of Khartoum (Sudan) and Université Gaston Berger, Saint-Louis (Senegal). An invitation to rethink global governance, the MOOC was launched in February 2018 on the online learning platform Coursera.
A collaborative teaching and research project, “African Agency in an Era of Global Transformations” has been set up by the Centre for International Studies and Research (CERI) at Sciences Po, the LSE’s Global South Unit and the Department of Political Science at the University of Cape Town (UCT). This has led to the creation of a new course to be taught at the UCT/LSE Summer School. Sciences Po intends to further develop this project to create a Summer School in Africa.
Research on Africa
The Centre for International Studies and Research (CERI) brings together international experts from Africa in different disciplines – international relations, comparative politics, historical sociology and economics – and with different geographical area specialisations. CERI leads a research group on “Africa: Citizenship, Violence and Politics”. The group’s research contributes to the supply of teaching on Africa and makes Sciences Po an actor in the public debate on the contemporary challenges of the African continent.
A successful strategy for attracting talent
More than 850 African students (up 59% in 5 years) are currently enrolled at Sciences Po. In 2018, applications from African students increased by a further 15%. The African nationalities most represented at Sciences Po are, in order of numbers: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Senegal, Cameroon, Ghana and Kenya. The number of African students from sub-Saharan Africa studying at the Undergraduate College (250 in 2017-2018) has quadrupled in five years, due in particular to the links that Sciences Po has established with 59 high schools and 22 universities in sub-Saharan Africa, via national education systems, local and regional NGOs.
A boost for the scholarship programmes
Sciences Po has developed scholarship programmes (at Bachelor’s and Master’s level) for talented students from the African continent from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Individual and corporate sponsors such as TotalEnergies, L’Oréal and RATP support these programmes.
Sciences Po has also forged a partnership with the MasterCard Foundation worth seven million euros over six years (2017-2022) to support 120 talented African students. Sciences Po is the only actor in continental Europe that is a partner in this academic excellence programme.
Finally, a US$1 million endowment from the McMillan-Stewart Foundation in 2018 has secured the continued award of scholarships from the Foundation for students in sub-Saharan Africa.
Our 5-year objective is to welcome 1,000 African students by developing:
- scholarships based on social criteria. At present, 80% of African students self-finance their tuition fees. Building on our partnership with the MasterCard Foundation, the creation of more scholarships will attract increasing numbers of talented individuals, giving them the opportunity to continue their education at Sciences Po.
- excellence scholarships designed to attract the best students, as with the leading English-language universities.
Stepping up exchanges and cooperation
Fifty students per year currently benefit from a university exchange between Sciences Po and African universities, either coming from or going to Africa. Our goal is to double this number within 5 years. This implies the creation of new partnerships and more dual degrees with African institutions (e.g. a joint course with Ashesi University in Ghana). Mobility grants will be created to enable students in their 3rd year or on a gap year to study at the very best universities in Africa.
A visiting professor chair will also be created, to set up joint and shared courses between Sciences Po and our African partners, based on distance learning technology and MOOCs co-designed with our African and global academic partners.
Fostering the professional integration of our young graduates and promoting Sciences Po in Africa
In 2017, Sciences Po opened a representative office in Nairobi (Kenya) to raise awareness of our institution in Africa, create links with the Sciences Po communities in the region and develop projects with local universities. A biannual lecture series will give visibility to this plan, helping its broader objectives to be achieved. Following the example of the “Employment in Africa” round table organised in October 2018, an academic or a practitioner who teaches at Sciences Po will be invited to give a series of lectures at the Alliance Française in Nairobi (the Sciences Po representative office host institution).
€5,000 funds a maintenance bursary for one semester in an african country.
€50,000 funds a visiting professor for one semester.