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Refugees

Engaging with the global issues of the day has been central to Sciences Po since its foundation. When the migration crisis took hold in 2015, students at Sciences Po challenged the institution to take action. The Welcome Refugees Programme was created in 2016 to enable refugees wishing to resume their studies to do so at Sciences Po. Following an initial two-year trial phase, and in line with the institution's commitment to diversity, Sciences Po now offers a diploma programme for young refugees, leading to a “Professional Certificate”.

110 migrants supported by programmes for young refugees

36 students following the Professional Certificate for Young Refugees

The project’s origins

The first cohort of Welcome Refugees enrolled at Sciences Po in 2016, thanks in large part to students involved in a variety of associations and NGOs. Since then, the programme has expanded, with the very active support of Sciences Po students, the NGO Each One, Sciences Po teaching and administrative staff, corporate partners and donors. The first year’s cohort mainly consisted of Syrian refugees. Some had left jobs in engineering and teaching, while others were still students when they came to France. At the beginning of the following academic year this initial cohort was joined by refugees from other regions of the Middle East and Africa.

In partnership with the NGO Each One, Sciences Po now offers two specific programmes designed to support migrants who had interrupted their studies, and which pay close attention to the specificities of their backgrounds. Participants are able to regain confidence, discover their host country, and build a new plan for their studies or career.

The Tremplin programme 

In 2017 Sciences Po and Each One signed a partnership agreement to facilitate the recruitment of students onto the programme in close collaboration with the Sciences Po Language Department. Each One’s role also involves arranging support and assistance for students during and after their time on the programme. French language courses and cultural reference classes provide a better understanding of contemporary French society, politics and culture, helping students acclimatise to life in France. At the end of the programme, which may last either a semester or a year, students are oriented towards different programmes of study or professional projects. Sciences Po welcomes some of the refugees in the same way as exchange students, giving them the opportunity to test their academic level. Others gain admission to a degree programme.

I left my country so that I could continue my studies. The courses I’ve followed and the French I’ve learnt at Sciences Po have given me the confidence to know that I can do what I want and achieve goals that were unimaginable back home.

Sini, a Welcome Refugees student.

Professional Certificate for Young Refugees

In 2018, Sciences Po expanded opportunities for refugees by creating a two-year full-time certificate programme. Aimed at young refugees under the age of 26, the programme is designed to broaden the students’ employment prospects with a “Professional Certificate” awarded after two years of full-time study.

During the first year, refugee students follow courses in the humanities and social sciences taught at the Sciences Po Undergraduate College: history, political science, mathematics applied to humanities and social sciences, public speaking, art workshops, etc. During the second year, they will be accompanied in their employment search with personalised mentoring, a 6-month internship and professional workshops that include French classes, initiation to entrepreneurship, and more. After completing the programme, there are many potential paths to follow either at Sciences Po, at another higher education institution, or in the form of internships, long-term training or employment.

The programme’s first cohort has 18 students from countries as diverse as Syria, Yemen, Guinea, Iraq, Albania, Congo, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

Course overview

Funding requirement: €600,000 per year

A gift of €1,500 (before tax deduction) funds the training of a refugee student for one year.  

Ruth Stanton Foundation is proud to sponsor the first cohort of the Young Refugee Certificate programme. We are convinced that giving these young people the opportunity to return to education is a major step towards building a successful life here. So it seemed natural to us to join forces with Sciences Po to support this initiative, which offers an exemplary response to one of the major challenges of our time: migration.

Franck Giraud, Ruth Stanton Foundation

Become a partner

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Meet the students who benefit from the programmes

Host students on internships

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We thank partner companies and foundations that support our programmes for student refugees:

Explore

Our programmes for student refugees

Over the course of a term, “Tremplin” programme offers weekly courses and personalised guidance.

Scholarships

Sciences Po takes a proactive approach to social inclusion, which translates into a unique tuition fee and financial aid policy. Contributing to a scholarship fund or creating your own scholarship helps deserving students make the most of their potential.

Africa

The multiculturalism and academic excellence of our student body are key factors in Sciences Po’s international appeal. We’ve made Africa a priority by creating new merit-based scholarships and developing the international mobility fund.

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