Become Team Leader of the August 2022 Welcome Programme!

  • Student with a Sciences Po T-Shirt ©Caroline MaufroidStudent with a Sciences Po T-Shirt ©Caroline Maufroid

The Student Exchanges team recruits a group of Team Leaders from among Sciences Po students to welcome exchange students taking part in the Welcome Programme.

Do you want to share your experience and help newcomers discover Sciences Po and Paris? Join the team of Team leaders, we need you!

The role of the Team Leaders will be to contribute to the good atmosphere, to manage the organization of the week and finally to provide exchange students with the information necessary for a successful arrival and stay at Sciences Po.

Information and application on your Sciences Po account (vacation area).

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Meet Zina Akrout, Laureate of the 2020 Max Lazard Award

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  • Zina Akrout / Copyright Zina AkroutZina Akrout / Copyright Zina Akrout

Zina Akrout is a graduate student in the Master’s of Public Policy at the School of Public Affairs and has been awarded the Max Lazard Prize (FR) to carry out her project “Berbers of Tunisia”. Interview on her journey so far, distinctive for her unbounded curiosity and in its strong international dimension.

You completed your undergraduate studies in the dual degree between Sciences Po and UCL. Can you tell us why you chose this programme and what was your experience?

Zina Akrout: I chose the dual degree between Sciences Po and UCL firstly for the curriculum, which requires students to major in a humanities discipline and a European language (French, German, Spanish or Italian depending on the student's background, abilities and choice), which are studied intensively throughout the four years of the degree at both universities. I was highly looking forward to this dual experience and learning from different perspectives. I was also able to tailor the degree based on my personal choices and interests. I chose to spend the first two years on Sciences Po’s Menton campus to be able to study MENA-related courses in addition to Italian (*as of 2020, Italian is no longer offered in Menton) with a specialisation in International Law... I also very much enjoyed going from Sciences Po’s multidisciplinary way of teaching to the more Anglo-Saxon approach at UCL. There, I took Public Policy courses and was able to take specific classes in disciplines such as Urban Politics and Political Geography and also language courses at the same level as Modern Languages students. Overall, the programme was a wonderful experience not only academically speaking but also on a personal level as both settings led me to meet people I can call friends for life and offered great extracurricular opportunities and support.

You took an exchange semester at Bocconi University during your Master's in Public Policy at Sciences Po. Due to the sanitary crisis, your experience abroad was quite different than expected. Can you tell us how the exchange was carried out? How did the experience nonetheless complement your Master's studies overall?

ZA: I chose to spend the final semester of my Master's at the School of Public Affairs on an academic exchange at the Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi in Milan, Italy. It was indeed an odd time to be in academic exchange and especially in the north of Italy, a region that was tremendously impacted by the sanitary crisis and made quite the headlines. The university closed at the end of February, just two weeks after the start of classes, and switched to online learning immediately. They were very good at adapting to the situation and managed to use online resources and digital tools to ensure the teaching could continue remotely, provided people had space, internet connectivity, and the mindset to do so! The exchange allowed me to take more management and sustainability-related classes to complement my curriculum and to see how Bocconi's "business-school" way of teaching differs from that of Sciences Po’s School of Public Affairs. I highly recommend to Master’s students in the future to consider an academic exchange during their gap year or for their last semester, as it is an enriching experience and an option that is not well known!

You recently were awarded the Max Lazard prize for a project entitled "Berbers of Tunisia". Can you tell us about it?

ZA: This project is more of a personal one: as a Franco-Tunisian citizen, I am deeply interested in Berber heritage and identity. My goal is to carry out a field research trip to learn and explore Berber heritage and identity in Tunisia. The Berber community in Tunisia is very much in the minority and has expressed concerns over the lack of official recognition of its identity and culture. I would, therefore, like to conduct a sociological survey on the Berber identity and the feelings of Tunisian citizens of Berber descent to analyse how they apprehend their culture, their integration and their potential revendications. This research would be combined with a field study to map the different existing initiatives for the protection and promotion of Berber culture in Tunisia (mainly in South East Tunisia). This topic is dear to my heart, and I am very grateful to have been awarded the Max Lazard Prize to help me realise this project.

What form will the project take? When do you plan to carry it out?

ZA: The perception and study of the Berber identity in Tunisia are very different from that of other countries in the region and hardly addressed nowadays. I hope to be able to gather enough information and knowledge for this research that could be reusable for those concerned by the matter or interested in the subject. It is mostly a personal and not a professional project, but I intend to go as far as possible in the research and reflection and hopefully bring a modest contribution to giving a voice to people who remain little heard by their government and other groups. Any cultural heritage deserves to be analysed and somehow studied. 

The project will most likely culminate into an article and a video report - depending on if the people interrogated agree to be filmed. If individuals prefer to not speak on camera, I may decide to turn this project into a photo exhibition (virtual or physical) with descriptions. 

I hope to carry out this project this summer, government measures vis à vis the sanitary crisis in France and Tunisia permitting. It also depends on the availability of individuals I hope to interview. If it is not possible this summer, I plan to carry out the field research trip next winter!

What are your plans for the future after your graduation?

ZA: At the moment I am still completing my MPP in Digital, New Technology & Public Policy at Sciences Po, and am studying Food Geography at the Sorbonne. After finishing my Master's thesis for that curriculum, I hope to start a career in food policy, and more specifically in the food-tech sector.

Interview by the Sciences Po Editorial Team.

More about the Max Lazard Award

“This grant has been active at Sciences Po since 1956 and has adapted to contextual changes and university reforms by knowing how to cultivate its fund: the thirst for intelligence and the passion for discovery…” - Gérard Wormser

We owe this philanthropic fund to Max Lazard (18765-1953). Max Lazard left his job at his family’s bank to become a volunteer social worker and write a thesis on unemployment. He assisted Albert Thomas during the first world war and later became an activist for civic and political education in Europe. It is with this open mind and the desire to confront oneself with the world, combined with sincere intellectual and personal curiosity that the jury selects laureates for this prize, awarded annually since 1956.

The laureates of this prize receive financial support up to 3,000 euros depending on the cost of their project and are offered the possibility to publish an article or dossier in the “Sens Public” journal - subject to acceptance by its scientific committee.

More information

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A Warm Welcome to the New Deans of PSIA and EAP

The pair will take up their respective positions at the beginning of March.
  • Arancha Gonzalez Laya and Philippe MartinArancha Gonzalez Laya and Philippe Martin

Paris, 18 February 2022 - Mathias Vicherat, President of Sciences Po, has appointed Arancha González Laya as Dean of the Paris School of International Affairs (PSIA) and Philippe Martin as Dean of the School of Public Affairs. These appointments were made on the basis of proposals by two Search Committees, composed of members from within and outside Sciences Po. The pair will take up their respective positions at the beginning of March.

"These two appointments open a new chapter in Sciences Po’s history. I am delighted to welcome Arancha Gonzalez Laya, whose rich political experience at the national, European and international level will take us to a new phase in PSIA’s development. Philippe Martin knows Sciences Po inside out: a distinguished economist within our permanent faculty, he has also chaired the Conseil d'Analyse Économique (CAE) since 2018. He comes to the role with a strategic vision for the School of Public Affairs that combines academic excellence with a bid to tackle new challenges in the training of future leaders."

Arancha Gonzalez Laya, the new Dean of PSIA

Ms Arancha Gonzalez Laya holds a degree in law from the University of Navarra and a Postgraduate Degree in European Law from University Carlos III of Madrid. She has been a member of PSIA’s Strategic Committee since 2017 and has extensive experience of international affairs at multilateral, European and national levels. Most recently, Gonzalez served as Spain’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation (2020-2021); Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of the International Trade Centre (2013-2020); Cabinet Director for the Director-General of the World Trade Organization, Pascal Lamy (2005-2013), and has held several senior positions within the European Commission.

In assuming her duties as Dean, Ms Gonzalez Laya will build on the achievements of Ghassan Salamé, the founding dean of PSIA (established in 2010), and Dean Enrico Letta, whom she succeeds. PSIA’s success is reflected in Sciences Po's current ranking as second in the world for "Politics and International Studies”, according to the QS World University Rankings 2021. The school owes much of its excellence to its faculty, which is composed in equal proportion of academics and professionals renowned within their field of work. As the world's largest school of international affairs, 70% of PSIA’s 1,500 students are international students, coming from over 110 countries. The school offers a choice of seven Master's degree programmes in key fields of international affairs and has established partnerships and dual degrees with leading universities around the world.

Arancha Gonzalez Laya notes: "After a long career in international affairs, I have decided to devote my passion and energy to preparing the leaders of tomorrow. I am very honored to be joining Sciences Po as the director of PSIA, which ranks second in the world among schools of politics and international studies. By investing in knowledge, skills and experience, PSIA plays a unique role in training international actors to understand and shape our complex world. I would like to thank Mathias Vicherat for putting his trust in me and I look forward to working towards a more sustainable and peaceful world with him, his faculty and the students of Sciences Po.”

Philippe Martin, new Dean of the School of Public Affairs

Philippe Martin holds degrees from Sciences Po, Paris Dauphine University and a PhD in Economics from Georgetown University, Washington DC.

Mr Martin is a Professor of Economics at Sciences Po, the Chairman of the Conseil d'Analyse Économique (CAE), the Vice-President and a Research Fellow in international macroeconomics and trade at the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) and the Vice-President of the Board of Directors of the FNSP. He succeeds Yann Algan as Dean of the School of Public Affairs.

Mr Martin has previously worked as an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (2001-2002), a professor at the Paris School of Economics (2000-2008) and at the Graduate Institute in Geneva, the director of Sciences Po’s Department of Economics (2008-2013) and as an economic advisor to Emmanuel Macron during his time as Minister of the Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs from 2015-2016. He was also co-editor of the journal Economic Policy from 2006 to 2011 and has served as a consultant to the Bank of France. In 2002, Mr Martin was awarded the Prize for the Best Young Economist in France.

Seven years since its founding, the Sciences Po School of Public Affairs has established itself as one of the finest programmes in public affairs on a national and international scale. The school hosts 2,100 students, 30% of whom are international, across its two Master’s programmes and eleven policy streams taught in both French and English, its national and international dual degrees, its preparatory programmes for competitive recruitment exams for the French and European civil service (76% of candidates admitted to the ENA in 2021 came from Sciences Po) and its one-year masters programmes. Today, the School of Public Affairs is working to reinvent its vision of training future decision-makers in the public sector to emphasize European integration and the challenges of digital and environmental changes.

Philippe Martin affirms: "Sciences Po is very dear to me as an institution where I have worked in a number of different capacities, and I am delighted now to be taking over the direction of the School of Public Affairs. Working in collaboration with each of the school’s communities, I want it to continue to exemplify academic excellence and to rise to the challenges of shifts in public affairs both in France and in Europe.”

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Mathias Énard Named Sciences Po’s Newest Writer-in-Residence Chair

"After all, books remain–along with fire–the only means of fighting off the shadows.” - Mathias Énard, Rue des voleurs
  • Mathias Énard @PierreMarquèsMathias Énard @PierreMarquès

As Sciences Po’s newest Writer-in-Residence Chair, Mathias Énard will teach students to master the art of fighting off shadows–not with fire, but with literature–in two creative writing workshops.

This award-winning French novelist will be following in the footsteps of other noteworthy francophone writers such as Kamel DaoudMarie DarrieussecqPatrick ChamoiseauMaylis de KerangalLouis-Philippe Dalembert, and the most recent Writer in Residence, Alice Zeniter, who will pass on the title to Énard during the Inauguration Ceremony on February 1st, 2022 in the Chapsal Ampitheatre (FR) in the presence of writer Alice Zeniter and journalist Ali Baddou.

A Great Voice of Our Time

Mathias Énard’s work, characterised by a profound interest in the Middle East and stemming from his work as a translator of Farsi and Arabic into French–as well as his many travels throughout the region–has been widely recognised for its erudite style and compelling subject matter.

He was the winner of the Candide Prize (2008) and the Inter Book Prize (2009) for Zone (FR), the High Schooler’s Goncourt Prize for Parle-leur de batailles, de rois et d'éléphants (FR) (2010), and the Goncourt Prize for his novel Boussole (FR) (2015). The entirety of his literary work was recognised in 2020 with the Ulysses Prize (FR).

Shaping the Writers of Tomorrow

As Writer-in-Residence Chair at Sciences Po’s Center for Writing and Rhetoric, Mathias Énard will continue in the tradition established by his predecessors–namely, that of helping to unlock the creativity of his students by encouraging creative expression and critical thinking skills through workshops in creative writing.

The Sciences Po Editorial Team

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Welcome to La Grenade, the Participative and Solidarity-Based Student Grocery Store!

Discover this student initiative
  • La Grenade, a student grocery store with a participatory approachLa Grenade, a student grocery store with a participatory approach

To help students encountering financial difficulties and to promote food aid, La Grenade (FR),  Sciences Po's participative and solidarity-based student grocery store, was inaugurated on December 13th in the presence of Mathias Vicherat and the Erignac family, who awarded the Prix Claude Erignac 2021 to this innovative project. We met with two members of the student team, Elsa Ingrand and Pierre Peyrelongue, to discuss. 

 In a few words, could you outline the genesis of this project?

The initial idea was to set up a participatory grocery store at Sciences Po where students can come to do their shopping, decide together which products should be available on the shelves, and run the store by signing up for shifts. The grocery store’s objective is to make quality and sustainable products available to students, thus allowing them to reclaim control over their food consumption by buying food directly at their university while simultaneously creating a space for mutual aid and community building.
 The participatory model used at the grocery store allows all products to be sold at cost price, without applying a margin, which is beneficial for both buyers and producers. We are delighted that the grocery store reached fruition a few weeks ago and can now welcome students right in the courtyard of 56 rue des Saints-Pères
 
The project was conceived of during the first lockdown. Faced with growing lines of students waiting to receive food aid, it became necessary to further our accessibility goals by including a food-aid component. This project is open to students encountering difficulties, who are identified by Sciences Po's senior management and then referred to the grocery store. These students have access to organic and local products at a lower cost (20% of the market price). We felt it was essential to build the grocery store's two components according to the same principles: access to organic products, the inclusion of beneficiaries in the decision-making process, and a spirit of friendliness. 

How did you manage to turn the initial specifications into reality? 

The initial specifications were drawn up in close collaboration with the Direction de la Vie de Campus et de l'Engagement at Sciences Po and our partners: the nonprofit Mon Epi (FR) for the participatory aspect and the Association nationale des épiceries solidaires, ANDES (FR) for the solidarity aspect. And of course with all the members of the grocery store during long brainstorming sessions on Zoom to reconcile our ecological, solidarity, and democratic goals. We would also like to thank the Crous de Paris (FR) for having supplemented the investment aid provided by Sciences Po.

La Grenade is a self-managed grocery store by, and for, students. Can you tell us how it works?

All registered students work at the grocery store for two hours per month. This can be done directly in the grocery store during opening hours, but also during deliveries or by collecting produce in organic shops for the solidarity component. We rely on open-source software developed by Mon Epi, which allows us to easily organize grocery store tasks and to support all new grocers in their duties.
Our decision-making bodies are open to all members who wish to get involved and we try to apply participation and transparency rules for all decisions regarding the grocery store's organisation.  

How is your team structured? How can students get involved in the project? 

The best way to get involved in the project is to become a member and carry out a monthly shift at the grocery. Our team operates with working groups: from product selection to activities, treasury, and the solidarity component. Each group is represented by a referent. The "products" group is a good example of how the project functions democratically: members decide together which new products should be added to the catalog. 

You have become a permanent Sciences Po nonprofit association with this project. What are your long-term goals? 

First of all, to institutionalise the grocery store within Sciences Po by making it more visible and by developing member loyalty. We would like to be able to open it to as many students as possible, and eventually move to a bigger space to have more choice and storage room. We also aim to organise events around the grocery store (conferences, workshops, screenings, tastings, etc.) to promote the topic of food at Sciences Po. Finally, we would like to carry out an impact study on our model–which is quite new in the university environment–to understand how to improve it and possibly implement it in other universities. 

At the inauguration on December 13th, you were awarded the Prix Erignac, which honors a student initiative for its commitment to republican and humanist values every year. How do you plan to put this award to use?

We are very proud to have received this award, which will allow us to accelerate the development of the solidarity component. The first project is to set up weekly fruit and vegetable baskets priced at 1€. This will be launched in January 2022! Next, we plan to buy a cargo bike to collect unsold products in the neighborhood.

Interview by the Sciences Po Editorial Team

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Toward a Gender-Sensitive Approach to Corruption: PSIA Students Co-Author a Policy Brief for the G20 Task Force

  • Mathea Bernhardt and Laura DugardinMathea Bernhardt and Laura Dugardin

When starting a Master’s level class on “Gender and Development in Theory and Practice”, most students do not imagine that they will finish the semester having their policy brief chosen to be presented at a global summit. Yet this is precisely what happened to students Mathea Bernhardt and Laura Dugardin at the Paris School of International Affairs upon completion of their class with professor and researcher Maxime Forest.

Their policy brief, “A Transformative Gender Approach to Fighting Corruption in Low- and Middle-Income Countries,” was selected from a pool of over 600 submissions to be presented at the T20 Italy Summit in Milan in the context of Think20, a group of think tanks that provide research-based policy recommendations to G20 policy makers.

In their policy brief, the two students aimed to disprove gendered myths on corruption, using Latin America and the Caribbean as their regions of focus. Their aim was to provide tangible steps towards fighting corruption using what they call a “transformative approach”, which is to say, an approach that does not hinge upon gendered stereotypes that depict women as inherently less prone to engaging in corruption. As they note in their brief, “Increasing the participation of women should not be regarded as an anti-corruption strategy, but as a fundamental right,” (Bernhardt, Dugardin, Forest p. 10).

They go on to note the ways in which policies that do not take a nuanced understanding of gender and of social structures that form gender presentation into account ultimately fail to enact substantial change when it comes to corruption. Instead, Bernhardt, Dugardin, and Forest highlight the necessity of “a shift from instrumentalizing women in the fight against corruption through the feminisation of public agencies, towards a structural and gender-sensitive approach.” It is precisely this approach that they outline in their policy brief, co-written with Professor Maxime Forest, and which influenced the reflection on corruption at the T20 conference in early October.

In the following interview with PRESAGE, Sciences Po's Gender Studies Programme, Laura Dugardin and Mathea Bernhardt discuss their experiences writing their policy brief and the opportunities that Sciences Po has afforded them.

The Sciences Po Editorial Team

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Have you heard about the Welcome Programme ?

The registrations are opened from 12 to 31 May, 2022
  • Have you heard about the Welcome Programme ?Have you heard about the Welcome Programme ?

What is the Welcome Programme?

The Welcome Programme is an integration week for exchange students which will be held on the Parisian campus from 22 to 27 August 2022 and which will offer you the possibility of:

  • Learning the methodology of Sciences Po
  • Understanding French political life
  • Knowing Sciences Po and its functioning
  • Discovering Paris in the best conditions
  • Meeting other international students of more than 50 different nationalities

What are the highlights of the Welcome Programme?

  • An opening ceremony accompanied by a welcome breakfast
  • Workshops on the working methodology, in French and English, to integrate more effectively into the pedagogy of Sciences Po
  • A conference on French political life in English
  • Information sessions on housing, administrative registrations, residence cards and student associations
  • Campus visits and the library
  • Cultural activities: Museum, discovery of Paris, boat tours on La Seine, wine and cheese tasting, movie, etc.

These highlights are part of a whole and can’t be chosen independently.

How to register?

If you wish to participate in the Welcome Programme, you can register on your Sciences Po student account. The registrations are opened from 12 to 31 May, 2022.

Please note that this programme is optional and costs 250 euros.

Informations and Contacts

Student Exchange Team: candidature.echange@sciencespo.fr

For further information on the Welcome Programme, please visit the Welcome Programme page and discover our video:

Grace Moore: Meet the Newest Recipient of the Michel David-Weill Scholarship

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  • Grace Moore in Sciences Po's garden  ©Thomas ArrivéGrace Moore in Sciences Po's garden ©Thomas Arrivé

An unprecedented occurrence: Cambridge’ prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)—globally recognized for their programs in hard sciences (scientific and technological research)—backed the application of Grace Moore, one of their students, for the Michel David-Weill Scholarship. Hear more from the promising recipient. 

The Michel David-Weill Scholarship: A Springboard for Involved Students

This merit scholarship—one of the scholarship programs offered by Sciences Po’s American Foundation—seeks to attract particularly promising American students to obtain their Master’s degree from Sciences Po in Paris.

In order to benefit from this prestigious award (an 80,000€ value that covers registration fees, tuition, housing, textbooks…), one must embody the values that Michel David-Weill himself held dear. As a Sciences Po alumnus and president of the Foundation in his name, Michel David-Weill considered qualities of excellence, leadership, multiculturalism, and tolerance to be points of pride. The candidates for his scholarship are thus selected based on their academic achievements and their critical thinking skills, but also an uncommon capacity to carry out projects and to engage with their community on both a local and international level.

This year, the recent graduate of MIT’s Bachelor of Science in Materials Science and Engineering, Grace Moore, is the eleventh student to join the list of recipients since the scholarship’s creation. 

An Uncommon Opportunity to Combine Science and Public Policy

This brilliant student has championed a project that makes her stand out from the crowd as it toes the line between the hard sciences—her field of expertise—and public policy. This fall, she began a Master’s program in the School of Public Affairs (with a concentration in Energy, Environment and Sustainability).

“At MIT, one of my favorite courses was Industrial Ecology, in which I had the opportunity to do a project studying plastics with the idea of producing a circular industrial approach--producing and recycling plastic—which basically closes that loop, which is talked a lot about in science and in public policy making. However, something I definitely noticed in my project and studies in engineering is that it often feels like some innovations reach this blockade where they can’t be realised--they get stuck in a sort of quagmire of policy.” 

The intersection between subject matters is what excites her in her studies. “By no means would I call myself an expert, but I certainly have a fairly broad knowledge of the scientific side of things. So getting the background in policy is important for me to then reach that niche space that I’m interested in. “

“[Studying at Sciences Po] is an incredible opportunity and the Foundation Michel David-Weill was fundamental in enabling me to take that opportunity. I couldn’t be here otherwise. I’m so grateful. ”

Sciences Po’s international standing played a large part in convincing this brilliant student to pursue her studies here. “I've had speakers in my classes so far that are very relevant in the world of environmental policy, and that sort of access to world leaders is something I was very excited about.”

Grace Moore has also noticed that she has a unique background in the classroom, “It may seem a bit odd that an engineering student has ended up here, and believe me, in classes, we introduce ourselves and I’m the only engineering student at times. But for that same reason, there is something that I can add. It feels like there is often only the policy perspective in our debates, but if you’re gonna talk about innovation, you should probably involve the people that are innovating.”

This passionate, involved, and open-minded student is one whose path we will follow with interest, as we have no doubt that she will be capable of transmitting important messages and will follow a road that will lead her to make a significant and positive impact on the planet’s future.

The Sciences Po Editorial Team

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Pedagogic innovation in the pandemic: New opportunities in hybrid teaching

Discover Gaspard Estrada’s innovative course
  • Research school hybrid course ©Malika Sadaoui / Sciences PoResearch school hybrid course ©Malika Sadaoui / Sciences Po

Enjoying a return to face-to-face classes, while harnessing the digital tools and experience gained during the pandemic: this is the pedagogic opportunity offering itself to many faculty members at the start of the new academic year. Gaspard Estrada, the Executive Director of Sciences Po’s Political Observatory of Latin America and the Caribbean (OPALC) (fr), is no newcomer to hybrid teaching. He experimented in the format last semester for his course “How to conquer, govern, and quit power: methods and practice of political communication”, a module on political communication offered to students of the Master in Advanced Global Studies at PSIA in May 2021. Estrada told us more about his dynamic course, which was enriched by the new possibilities opened up by hybrid teaching.

What were the aims of your course?

Gaspard Estrada: For several years now, I have been working on the structuring of the political consultancy market and the professional network of political consultants in Latin America, as well as their impact on issues around the quality of democracy. This work has allowed me to build up a pool of contacts in the field and, since my work is not limited to this geographic area alone, to gain a detailed understanding of the evolution of electoral campaigns around the world. I previously taught a course on electoral campaigns in Latin America at the Sciences Po Undergraduate College, which began by outlining different theoretical contributions to these issues from within sociology and political science, in order to then introduce a series of case studies.

For this course at PSIA, my aim was twofold. On the one hand, it was to set out the terms of the academic debate surrounding the internationalisation of the political consultancy market and electoral campaigns globally, while maintaining a firm focus on analysis of political communication in all its diversity (campaign communication, governmental communication, post-governmental communication). On the other hand, I also wanted to give students as many keys to understanding the world of political communication on an international level as possible, together with tools that would be useful to them in their own careers, given that these were qualified professionals enrolled on the Master in Advanced Global Studies (MAGS) at PSIA.

How did you make use of the opportunities offered by hybrid teaching to innovate in your teaching?

G.E.: This was the first course I had taught in person since the start of the pandemic. I was thrilled to be able to see students’ faces and interact with them directly! While it’s a pleasure to be back on campus, the option of inviting speakers to contribute remotely using new technologies is also a real opportunity to enrich courses, in both form and content. So I took the initiative of inviting some very high-level practitioners to share their insights with students. These included the former special advisor to British Prime Minister Tony Blair, the former Minister of Communication for Brazil, former French president François Hollande’s communication advisor, the director of qualitative research for Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, the former president of the French National Digital Council and the associate director of political research at IPSOS. Their discussions helped to give the course a genuinely comparative and international dimension. Hence why one of my students nicknamed it “the presidential advisors course”!

Were you struck by any one discussion in particular?

G.E: The aim of my course was to invite reflection on the idea of power, whether it be in an election campaign, when exercising governmental duties, as well as during a president’s departure from office. In that context, I was keen to invite speakers with divergent points of view, so as to foster discussion and enliven the debate. I was struck by a remote discussion between Benoît Thieulin, the former Dean of the School of Management and Innovation and Jessica Reiss, the former director of qualitative research for Joe Biden’s electoral campaign, concerning the role of data in structuring and leading an electoral campaign. While Jessica was arguing for the centrality of data, based on her experience as a consultant for one of the biggest political consultancy firms in the world, Benoît put forth a more nuanced view, highlighting the oversizing that can be seen in some campaigns.

More generally, would you say that this period has led you to explore new horizons in your work as a professor and teacher?

G.E.: Without a doubt. The pandemic has forced us to revise our pedagogic practices but it has also revealed new ways of teaching, particularly through use of new technologies, which are not a substitute for but a compliment to face-to-face teaching.

What feedback have you received from your students and how would you evaluate the experience?

G.E.: The feedback from my students has been excellent. First of all, they enjoyed the course’s comparative approach, which was intended to provide a counterbalance to theories that aim to demonstrate the “americanisation” of electoral campaigns around the world. The US undoubtedly plays a central role in the political communication market, at both a technical and narrative level (due, in large part, to the huge cost of campaigns in the country, as made possible by the absence of a spending cap there). However, the internationalisation of campaigns and, above all, the circulation of ideas and expertise networks, do not (or rather, no longer) only work according to a dynamic of simply “exporting” the North American model. Other countries, whether developed or emerging, such as Brazil, have created their own powerful markets for political communication, enabling them to outsource their expertise – and their consultants.

Secondly, I think the opportunity to interact with experts from across different countries and horizons, all of whom have played an important role in the politics of their country at the highest level, gave students a better understanding of the issues at stake in the course. The students at PSIA are excellent and the course will definitely be one to run again!

The Sciences Po Editorial Team

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A new mechanism to tackle Sexual and Gender-Based Violence

Find out more about the action plan
  • No More campaign - Let's end SGBV ©Sciences PoNo More campaign - Let's end SGBV ©Sciences Po

Following on from the report issued on 4 May by the commission chaired by Danièle Hervieu-Léger, Sciences Po is introducing a new system for combating Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) from the start of the 2021 academic year. The new measures include an overhaul of the listening and support system, a reform of disciplinary procedures and increased awareness among all members of the community.

A campus-wide mechanism to support survivors

Sciences Po has implemented a campus-wide mechanism for reporting incidents and providing help and guidance.

Free of charge and open to all members of Sciences Po’s communities (students, faculty, researchers and staff), this mechanism consists of:

  • SGBV Specialist Nurses present on every campus
  • A new external listening and support service run by France Victimes
  • A SGBV Officer appointed within the institution

In addition, Sciences Po ensures that all students who have experienced SGBV receive support that is adapted to their situation specifically, including curriculum adjustments, social or financial assistance and psychological support.

> More information about the support mechanism

Systematic triggering of an independent investigation

Every report of SGBV systematically triggers an internal investigation led by a specialised structure, the Preliminary Internal Investigation Unit (CEIP), chaired by an external appointee (a magistrate of the judicial or administrative order). The role of this independent unit is to establish the facts of the incident in question. When the investigation is complete, the President of Sciences Po decides whether or not to refer the case to the relevant disciplinary body based on the CEIP’s recommendations.

> More information on the disciplinary procedure and sanctions

Building a culture of equality and respect

From September 2021, members of all Sciences Po’s communities (students, faculty and staff) will receive training courses run by the organization VSS Formation, as part of a comprehensive awareness strategy.

Prevention and control measures target high-risk situations, particularly in relation to student life:

  • Organisers of events hosted outside of Sciences Po must take every necessary precaution to protect the physical and moral integrity of participants (cf. updated Regulations on Student Life, PDF 51 Ko).
  • A prior declaration is now compulsory for all social events gathering more than 20 students.
  • All student association representatives on every campus must attend core training on SGBV, reducing risks in social settings and combatting discrimination.

An awareness-raising campaign aimed primarily at students completes this system, by firmly affirming the zero tolerance policy and the culture of respect required by Sciences Po. 

The Sciences Po Editorial Team

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The one-stop helpdesk becomes the Student Services Centre

Discover the Centre and its missions
  • Helpdesk 13 rue de l'Université ©Jean-Luc Baticle / Sciences PoHelpdesk 13 rue de l'Université ©Jean-Luc Baticle / Sciences Po

The Student Services Centre brings together in one place a large part of the services that are not linked to teaching. Formaly located at 9 rue de la Chaise on several floors, the Student Services Centre will move to the first floor of 13 rue de l'Université in August. 

The Student Services Centre is made up of 3 main divisions:

  • The registrar's and tuition fees office
  • The Scholarships and students’ support office 
  • The Specific studies and Committee for social affairs Office

The two main missions of these services are:

The Centre welcomes the entire student population thanks to:

  • a unique and modern reception area ;
  • boxes for individual face-to-face and remote interviews
  • spaces for the organisation of events and workshops for students on everyday student life issues (students' social file, residence permit, application for housing assistance, etc.).

These spaces are connected via digital tools to facilitate the procedures.

The different areas will be accessible to people with disabilities:

  • access for people with reduced mobility ;
  • a magnetic loop in the reception area for the hearing impaired.

The Health Centre is located in the immediate vicinity of the Student Services Centre in order to facilitate the student experience.

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Sciences Po, a three-star university for French as a Foreign Language

Sciences Po has obtained for the second time the Label Qualité Français langue étrangère
  • Students from the Summer School (2016) in progressStudents from the Summer School (2016) in progress

Sciences Po has obtained for the second time the Label Qualité Français langue étrangère (Quality Label for French as a Foreign Language), attaining the maximum score of three stars. Sciences Po has been attributed this label for the quality of its teaching of French as a foreign language, the professionalism and commitment of the teachers and staff, and the conditions in which the students are taught.

1700 students of 95 nationalities are following courses of French as a foreign language (FLE) 

With a student community composed of 47% internationals, Sciences Po attributes great importance to the teaching of French as a foreign language. The quality of its language teaching plays a significant role in the academic success of students and their integration into the Sciences Po community.  At Sciences Po, more than 130 teachers give FLE courses, which attract more than 1700 students of 95 nationalities each year.

Each year during the months of June and July, the Summer School receives several hundred students from more than 50 different countries. Its French language track offers six levels of study, from beginner to the most advanced.

The FLE label: a guarantee of excellence

Awarded conjointly by the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Culture, the Quality Label for French as a Foreign Language is a guarantee of excellence for institutions that promote the teaching of French abroad such as diplomatic and consular networks and the Campus France agency. 

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"Meet the services" days

Come and see us on Thursday 20th and Friday 21st January 2022, from 10am to 3.30pm
  • Meet the Services ©Caroline Maufroid / Sciences PoMeet the Services ©Caroline Maufroid / Sciences Po

Student life goes hand in hand with independence. But being independent doesn’t mean being left to your own devices.

Sciences Po offers personalised services to help students joining us in the spring semester with any issue they may encounter.

Come and meet representatives from our different services and find out how they can provide tailor-made solutions to help make your everyday life run more smoothly.

Next "Meet the Services" days: Thursday 20th and Friday 21st January 2022

Location: 27 Rue St Guillaume, 75007, Paris

Opening hours: From 10am to 3.30pm

In-house services available to you

Meet the Services

Our External partners

Many of our external partners will be on hand to assist you with ocial procedures outside of Sciences Po (health, housing, banks and many others).

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Autumn 2021: in-person teaching and a renewed student life

  • Start of the academic year on the Reims campus @Thomas Arrivé/Sciences PoStart of the academic year on the Reims campus @Thomas Arrivé/Sciences Po

After an unusual and eventful academic year, the start of the 2021/2022 year is intended as a "return to normal". All Sciences Po teams are working to prepare the conditions for reception and teaching in person for all students, on all campuses, with the academic year starting at the end of August and a return to the usual academic calendar, always in respect of the governmental regulations in force.

We are aware that some of our students may face health problems or have travel restrictions imposed which prevent them from joining our campuses at the beginning of the year. Accordingly, distance learning will remain available for the students concerned.

The adapted Academic Rules and Regulations will be maintained, requiring attendance of face-to-face, hybrid or distance learning courses, as appropriate.

Strengthening student experience and campus life

Sciences Po would not be itself without its dynamic campus life, which has been sorely missed! Despite the health crisis, numerous events, conferences, workshops and activities, as diverse as they were enriching, could be held in person or remotely. For the 2021/2022 academic year, our teams are working on a fuller intensified and inclusive student life programme.

The Sciences Po teams, and in particular the administrative, social and health support teams, will continue to support students affected by the situation to achieve their academic goals.

A renewed project for Sciences Po

The election of Laurence Bertrand Dorléac as Chairperson of the Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques, which took place on 10 May 2021, will be followed by a process of designation of the new President of the Institut d'Études Politiques.

This new team will lead a renewed plan of action for Sciences Po, a world-class university for research in the humanities and social sciences, which takes its social and ethical responsibility seriously.

How to prepare for the start of the new academic year?

Are you joining Sciences Po for the start of the 2021 academic year? In order to prepare yourself as well as possible, it is strongly advised to start any required administrative procedures and research as soon as possible, particularly concerning visa and residence permits applications.

Here are some elements to help you prepare:

Discover the message of Acting President Bénédicte Durand to the students and faculty of Sciences Po:

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The Commissions on Gender-Based Violence and on Ethics publish their conclusions

Read their conclusions
  • Entrance to 27 rue Saint-Guillaume ©Sciences PoEntrance to 27 rue Saint-Guillaume ©Sciences Po

The two commissions dedicated to the fight against gender-based and sexual violence and to fostering ethics within Sciences Po submitted the conclusions of their work to the Acting President Bénédicte Durand on Tuesday, 4 May 2021.

> Read the report of the commission on gender-based and sexual violence (fr)

> Read the report of the commission on ethics (fr)

Since the establishment of these two commissions on 17 February 2021, the chairpersons, Danièle Hervieu Léger and Catherine de Salins, as well as the various members, have worked independently with remarkable commitment to learn the lessons of the crisis experienced by Sciences Po in recent months.

In their respective reports, the commissions have drawn up a detailed analysis of the ethical mechanisms and the structures to tackle gender-based and sexual violence within the institution, and formulate concrete and ambitious recommendations in order to strengthen these mechanisms.

Bénédicte Durand expressed her gratitude to the member of the commissions and announced a provisional timetable for the implementation of these recommendations

The quality of the proposals I have received allows me to affirm the commitment I made before you to present an implementation plan as soon as possible. We will propose an approach and a timetable for implementation before the end of the current academic year. From the beginning of the next academic year, we wish to reinforce our mechanism for listening to and supporting victims, and to overhaul the disciplinary procedure.

Bénédicte Durand also expressed her willingness to engage in a similar reflection on the fight against racism, anti-Semitism, and all forms of discrimination in the institution. “Just as a stop must be put to gender-based and sexual violence, hatred of the Other, for whatever reason, must be prevented, combated, and sanctioned relentlessly at Sciences Po”.

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Gender-based and sexual violence: what are the goals of the commission?

Interview with the head of the commission, Danièle Hervieu-Léger
  • Danièle Hervieu-Léger ©DRDanièle Hervieu-Léger ©DR

On 17 February, Sciences Po's Acting President Bénédicte Durand announced the creation of a commission focusing on the fight against gender-based and sexual violence in our institution. The commission consists of twenty members, including representatives of the student, faculty and employee communities. It will submit its conclusions in early May, after two months of work. Its President, sociologist Danièle Hervieu-Léger, explains its mission and objectives. 

What are the objectives and the scope of the commission on the fight against gender-based and sexual violence? 

Danièle Hervieu-Léger: It is a dual approach. First, we have an immediate and concrete objective: to make proposals to strengthen the means already invested within Sciences Po in the fight against gender-based and sexual violence. I am talking about both the means and procedures that are offered to victims to rebuild their lives, and the awareness-raising and educating actions necessary to create a culture of dignity and respect within the institution, which will reduce the occurrence of such violence. I understand this term to mean all forms of violence: misdemeanor and criminal offenses as well as more pervasive or surreptitious forms. The commission will make concrete proposals: we will go beyond statements. But we also want to open a wider focus: the idea is to go deeper into the analysis of relational contexts that can lead to toxic situations. 

Do you have examples of these toxic situations? 

Danièle Hervieu-Léger: We are going to work on power relations that are conducive to the emergence of situations of domination. They can appear in different forms in a university context, in all communities. There can be situations of violence between students linked to risky social contexts, to festive events which are a part of student life. Violence can also appear in unequal power relationships that can develop between a doctoral student and her director, a department head and administrative staff, etc. We do not exclude any possible situation. 

How will you involve the different communities, and in particular the student community, which is very active on these issues? 

Danièle Hervieu-Léger: We are aware of the expectations of the student community: they are represented within the commission by their elected union representatives. But we will also hear from all the associations that have taken up the issue, in Paris and on the regional campuses. These hearings will give all the communities concerned the opportunity to make their voices heard: not only the students, but also the staff, who are eager to benefit from training and awareness-raising.

Will you be examining the systems set up in other universities, particularly abroad? 

Danièle Hervieu-Léger: The commission's work includes taking into account the experiences and good practices implemented in other institutions, in France and internationally. Comparison is an important tool for the work of the commission: researcher Maxime Forest will present a study on international experiences to inform us on ways of dealing with these topics. Other hearings are planned on this subject.

As a sociologist of religions, and particularly of Catholicism, you have worked on the problems of sexual violence within the Church: how will this experience and this research help you in your work?

Danièle Hervieu-Léger: Indeed, in my research fields - in Catholicism but not only - I have been confronted with questions of sexual violence and pedocriminality in the religious sphere. I have retained a fundamental point, which concerns all institutions - secular or religious: sexist and sexual violence always emerges in situations of domination and control, which must be analysed in order to understand and prevent this violence. 

You were president of the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS) from 2004 to 2009. Have you ever had to work on these issues, which nowadays span across the entire field of higher education? 

Danièle Hervieu-Léger: At the time, the topic of gender-based and sexual violence was less present. The focus was on gender equality, and I initiated a mission at EHESS to identify gender bias in the recruitment and promotion of academics. EHESS and Sciences Po are two very different institutions, but both produce knowledge in the social sciences. Their mission is to develop critical knowledge, capable of contributing - in their own way - to the transformation of our world. There are collective expectations on certain subjects and social sciences must provide the tools for understanding these expectations. The topic of gender relations is one of these crucial questions. It questions the different configurations of domination, both hierarchical, physical and symbolic, which organize the relations between men and women.

Is it the role of a university to accompany this transformation of society?

Danièle Hervieu-Léger: Yes, this is perfectly the role of a university of social sciences: it must contribute to forging the critical tools that will enable us to advance the collective understanding of these situations and their evolution. Moreover, every educational institution today has a crucial mission, which is to educate new generations in a culture other than the normalisation and the silencing of gender-based and sexual violence. If I agreed to come out of my retirement to chair this commission, it is because the stakes are very high for an institution like Sciences Po, but also for society.

Interview by Sciences Po editorial team.

About Danièle Hervieu-Léger

Sociologist Danièle Hervieu-Léger is a graduate of Sciences Po and of the faculty of Law (Paris-Assas). She holds a doctorate in sociology from EHESS and in literature and humanities from the University Paris-Descartes. She began her career at the Sociology of Religion Group of the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), as research fellow and then as Director from 1974 to 1992. Professor (Director of Studies) emeritus of the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS), she directed the Centre d'études interdisciplinaires des faits religieux from 1993 to 2004, before becoming its President from 2004 to 2009.

A specialist in the sociology of religion, Danièle Hervieu-Léger has devoted most of her research to the sociological description and theoretical interpretation of religious modernity in Christianity. Among her works: Le temps des moines ; clôture et hospitalité (PUF, 2017) - Le pèlerin et le converti : la religion en mouvement (Flammarion, 2001).

Learn more

Brexit: changes from the 1st January 2021

  • Brexit: changes from the 1st January 2021 ©Rawpixel.com/ShutterstockBrexit: changes from the 1st January 2021 ©Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock

The United Kingdom's exit from the European Union has resulted in many changes.   Have a look at what changes after Brexit.

This page will be updated regularly.

Last update: 22/12/2021

Scholarships

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Visa applications / residence permit applications

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A "projet collectif" with the World Bank

Feedback on the experience of 5 students with The World Bank
  • (From left to right) Leon, Gia, Tom, Fran, and Tallie after a team meeting(From left to right) Leon, Gia, Tom, Fran, and Tallie after a team meeting

In the first week of October 2019, five Master level students at Sciences Po met at the crowded student-filled bar around the corner from campus to discuss their projet collectif, an eight-month intensive project with the World Bank and its Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP). The topic was centered around “clean cooking,” a concept that first produced blank stares among us but would soon become a subject of expertise and even greater passion.

We were a diverse group. Leon and Franziska hailed from Germany, Gia from the Philippines, and Tallie from the United States. Tom--the native French--served as our translator whenever necessary. Aside from arriving on the same steps of 27 Rue Saint-Guillaume, our backgrounds hardly converged, with interests spanning international development, microfinance, human rights, and public policy; and professional experiences wide ranging, from public sector to private sector work. Nonetheless, we had all been selected to work on clean cooking, a topic that due to its far-reaching impacts on the climate, the environment, the economy, public health, and gender, precisely required a multidisciplinary perspective that a team like ours could provide. We reported to Franck Gbaguidi, Infrastructure Specialist in the Office of the World Bank Vice President for Infrastructure, member of the Clean Cooking team at the World Bank, and alumnus of Sciences Po.

Clean cooking

So, what is clean cooking? Clean cooking is part of Sustainable Development Goal 7, universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all, and refers more specifically to access to modern cooking solutions. When most of us cook, we don’t think about what it takes to turn on our ovens to reheat leftovers or boil water to make tea. Unfortunately, half the world is not as fortunate--roughly 4 billion people still rely on polluting biomass fuels, such as charcoal and woodfuel, and basic stove technologies. This carries major implications for a variety of development objectives. Illnesses arising from traditional cooking practices poses a larger mortality burden than HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined. Reliance on biomass fuels also results in significant CO2 and black carbon emissions, as well as deforestation. Finally, due to entrenched gender roles that assign cooking responsibilities to women and girls, traditional cooking practices are drivers of gender inequality. In other words, “this project had something for everyone--whether you were interested in climate change, girl’s education, or women’s empowerment” says Franziska.

From left to right) Tom, Tallie, Gia, and Leon during the ideation exercise to narrow down our topic and region of focus.

From left to right) Tom, Tallie, Gia, and Leon during the ideation exercise to narrow down our topic and region of focus.

A gender-centered approach, focused on sub-saharan Africa

After an extensive period of research, the team decided to take a gender-centered approach to the issue. We focused on the effects of traditional cooking practices on women and applied a novel approach to clean cooking called smart economics. Smart economics is a development framework that places women at the center of the agenda, under the premise that investing in women has exponential positive effects for the wider economy. While this approach has been applied in the health and education sectors, clean cooking has not benefited extensively from this type of analysis. We also decided to focus on Sub-Saharan Africa, “a region that has experienced particularly slow progress on the SDG 7 agenda and is also one of the most gender unequal regions in the world” (Tom).

Our analysis centered around evaluating the costs and benefits of transitioning to clean cooking for women end-users and the wider Sub-Saharan African economy. If the benefits are larger than the costs, then clean cooking access is smart economics--there is an exponential positive effect derived from investing in women. We found that “although the price tag for infrastructure, production, delivery, and maintenance can indeed be big, the benefits returned to women in terms of health, time, and economic savings are much greater” comments Gia. Importantly however, to achieve this reality, the right policy environments are crucial, and public, private, and civil society sectors have a lot of work to do to ensure a smart economics outcome. “The investments required to meet universal access to clean cooking for all Sub-Saharan African women is truly immense, but if achieved, the expected benefits are even more remarkable” (Franziska).

An intense process...

The process was intense. Collectively, we spent hundreds of hours producing the final deliverables: a 100-page report, a 40-page policy brief (PDF, 2.5 Mo), a 15-page executive summary, and a PowerPoint presentation. We began with an extensive literature review, a process which “allowed us to dive into the intricacies of the world of clean cooking - from its regional differences to its financial and social impacts” (Tallie). Next, we delivered a first draft, which at that point could be compared to a dish made from all ingredients in your cabinets--disorganized, discombobulated, and not particularly pleasant to consume. After receiving extensive and deeply valuable feedback, we decided to rethink the structure and flow of the report. We rewrote entire sections, which at first felt redundant and painstaking, but in the end “allowed us to determine how to bring a new perspective to the field of clean cooking and feel like our addition would be valuable” (Tallie). We delivered the final outputs by the end of April, including case studies based on interviews with practitioners in the field. “Conducting the case studies was a particularly eye-opening learning experience, as many of our assumptions were challenged and we were able to visualize the reality of clean cooking operations in certain local contexts” reflects Tallie. In the beginning of May, we presented our project to various experts in the field.

As any collaborative, multi-month project, we faced many challenges along the way. While working with a diverse group of students with different interests and expertise was a tremendous upside, it was also challenging to bring varied perspectives together to deliver a unified product. From narrowing the scope and focus of the project, to agreeing on inclusions and exclusions of each draft iteration, to aligning writing styles during the drafting and editing phases proved time consuming and sometimes difficult. “My teammates and I could easily spend hours and hours debating and exchanging ideas about how to define terms, design a framework, conduct an analysis, or phrase a single sentence in a report,” reflects Gia. However, it was precisely this challenging process, involving debate and compromise, “over Monoprix pizzas and beers” that allowed the final report to be well-developed and highly thought out.

From a more logistical perspective, a further challenge was coordinating the schedules of five students. Simply finding a time and space to meet each week proved difficult and at times frustrating. “On one occasion we couldn’t find a room for a partner meeting and were subsequently forced to take the call in a dark hallway somewhere deep inside a Science Po building,” remembers Leon. Alongside this, prioritizing and planning project milestones to align with various deadlines, external classwork, work schedules, and personal activities was a major challenge. Some phases of the project were incredibly time-intensive, and “what seemed to be a simple and straightforward report turned out to be one of the most painstaking and labour-intensive materials that I had ever worked on,” says Gia. When overlapping with Sciences Po deadlines, finding the time and energy to continue the work for projet collectif was incredibly demanding.

(From top to bottom) Tallie, Tom, and Fran on one of many skype sessions taking place during the lockdown.

...Made even more challenging with the COVID-19 crisis

Finally, a wholly unexpected challenge was navigating the effects of COVID-19 on the project. To ease academic requirements under the uncertainty of the pandemic, completion of the project was left up to individual teams and partners. Having invested so much time at that point, the team decided to carry on for the remainder of the project to deliver the final outputs to the World Bank. “Stopping at that stage would have been a huge disappointment and would have gone against our motivation--delivering a product that could have a small impact on the millions of women suffering daily from traditional cooking practices,” says Franziska. However, coordinating across time zones (there is a fifteen-hour time difference between Oregon and Manilla) and through online forums, proved challenging. Furthermore, after an immense amount of collective efforts, finishing the project without being able to present the work in a formal and celebratory setting was disappointing.

A very positive and rewarding experience

Despite the aforementioned challenges, the entire process was incredibly rewarding. Several key tenets of the project were particularly enriching, including working with a diverse group of students. Each of us brought unique perspectives to the table and greatly enhanced the quality of the end product. During long work nights together, “colleagues turned to very good friends,” says Leon. While disagreements were part of the process, the ability to compromise, listen to others, debate on divisive issues, and ultimately unify, were greatly strengthened along the way. “These debates and conversations weren’t always easy, but they served as the foundation of our arguments and the backbone of our report,” reflects Gia.

Another positive aspect was the in-depth nature of the project. The team spent eight months researching and writing a report on a novel topic, reaching a much greater depth of analysis and expertise on the subject. “Working on the same topic for eight full months allowed us to acquire some in-depth knowledge of clean cooking, and more generally the issues of gender, energy and economics in Sub-Saharan Africa,” says Tom. This was especially rewarding for a sector like clean cooking, which is often forgotten as a key piece of the global agenda on energy access, but remains a major driver of poverty, climate change, and gender inequality. Furthermore, beginning collectively at the novice stage and progressing to junior experts in the field was incredibly empowering and rewarding: “we all ended up developing a deep interest and passion for a development topic we all had never heard of before,” reflects Gia.

Creating a product of value for a leading development organization like the World Bank, while gaining practical experience alongside traditional academic work, were additional positive outcomes. “It’s easy to stay stuck within the four walls of the classroom when you’re a student but having a projet collectif allowed me to balance my academics with valuable professional experience,” says Gia. “It helped to broaden my horizon beyond the theoretical studies and frameworks of my master’s degree,” says Leon. Working on a project with real-world implications was incredibly empowering, offering the opportunity to gain first-hand experience working in the development sector and “to develop insight about the inner workings of a specific team” notes Tallie. Collaborating with the World Bank in a professional manner, including with experts in the energy field and practitioners working directly on the ground to bring modern cooking solutions to women end-users, served as a springboard for future professional engagements. “It helped me grow and learn valuable lessons before entering the job market,” says Leon.

From the World Bank’s perspective, the project was a “very positive and rewarding experience” comments Yabei Zhang, World Bank Senior Energy Specialist and Lead of the Clean Cooking Fund. “The Sciences Po team of student-consultants showed their passion and dedication for this cross-sectoral topic and brought some fresh perspectives.” Furthermore, “they showed great commitment, creativity and dedication and were thus able to exceed our expectations” added Franck, the team’s supervisor at the Bank. After the conclusion of the project, Ms. Zhang even hired a few of the students as summer interns and consultants to work on a clean cooking online course at the World Bank “to help more people understand and work on this important development challenge.”

Putting the challenges and immediate rewards aside, in the end, the project felt much larger than this. Clean cooking, an oft-overlooked development objective, carries immense implications for the lives of women across the developing world. Providing access to modern cooking technologies seems simple enough and the impacts would be massive: Sub-Saharan Africa loses an estimated 58.2 billion dollars per year from its reliance on traditional cooking solutions. We now know that the issue is more nuanced than this, as women’s cooking behaviors are tied deeply to entrenched gender norms and traditional food preferences. At times, this reality felt overpowering--what could we, five Sciences Po students just beginning their professional journey, do to change this reality? Engaging on an eight-month project to deliver a novel take on clean cooking, one which highlights the power of investing in women on the energy agenda, is a small step in the right direction. Our take on smart economics “is a reminder that achieving universal access to modern energy cooking services could yield significant economic benefits and new opportunities for countries and communities alike” reflects Franck. Although “the clean cooking space in Sub-Saharan Africa may be small at the moment, it holds immense promise for gender equality and economic growth for the entire region,” concludes Franziska.

Find out more

Policy Brief "The Smart Economics of Clean Cooking" (PDF, 2.5 Mo).

Remote learning

Documents and tutorials for getting started with remote learning
  • © AHGraphic / Shutterstock© AHGraphic / Shutterstock

In order to ensure the pedagogical continuity of your learning, you will have access to a new web-conference service called Zoom. You will be invited by your teachers to join your classes remotely, and you will also be able to create your own meetings for study and group work. You can also use this service to contact your families and thus keep a social link with your loved ones, friends, etc.

You will find below all the documents and tutorials for getting started with this service. We particularly invite you to read the document "Remote learning" in which you will find the operating methods and training tutorials.

Please note: Consult the legal information and cookies settings of the videoconference tool Zoom at Sciences Po

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Whaller: The newest feature of our digital campus

Sciences Po is enriching the features of its digital campus with the help of the social network Whaller.
  • Create your spheres on Whaller! ©Sandrine Gaudin / ShutterstockCreate your spheres on Whaller! ©Sandrine Gaudin / Shutterstock

What is Whaller?

Whaller is a watertight social network that respects your personal data. It was created in France in February 2014 by the entrepreneur Thomas Fauré.

Watertight

Whaller invites its members to create their own sealed networks, known as “spheres”, and to organise them as they would in “real life”: networks between students of the same course, the same class, the same student association, and so on. Each of these spheres remains separate from the others: watertight and secure for private conversations. For example, with Whaller, students can interact easily with their teachers or with other students in their classes.

Respects your data

A social network that respects your privacy: that’s the Whaller concept. Social networks have taken over our daily lives, meanwhile our ersatz new virtual companions are happily harvesting our personal data. With Whaller there’s zero data exploitation, zero marketing, zero public domain and no information flow. Whaller’s guiding principle is "algorithmic neutrality”. In other words, the platform will never manipulate its results on the basis of user data. That eliminates the issue of viral posts – all the more so since the network is, by definition, sealed.

Create your spheres today on Whaller! (FR)

For more information about Whaller and how to use the platform, consult the tutorials:

Back-to-School 2020: Schedule of Inaugural Lectures

Discover this year’s guest speakers
  • Inaugural Lecture on the Reims Campus © Thomas Arrivé /Sciences PoInaugural Lecture on the Reims Campus © Thomas Arrivé /Sciences Po

Welcome new and welcome back, Sciences Po students! Despite an unprecedented and peculiar global context, our 2020 Back-to-School programme of inaugural lectures - which are, for many, open to the general public - promises to set you on the right track to begin an inspiring, fulfilling, and challenging academic year.

As always, Sciences Po’s inaugural lectures are a formal occasion that celebrate Sciences Po’s educational programme’s values and ambitions. This year, our prestigious guests of honour include: Nobel Memorial Prize Laureate of Economics, Esther Duflo; Harvard professor and former Chair of Council of Economic Advisers under President Barack Obama, Jason Furman; French jurist and judge of the European Court of Human Rights, André Potocki; the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda; the CEO of Voxe, Léonore de Roquefeuil; Karima Delli, French politician and Member of the European Parliament, and Sverker Sorlin, Swedish historian and professor of Environmental History; and our very own FNSP President, Professor Olivier Duhamel.

Find the complete schedule of inaugural lectures below - many of which will be streamed live and open to the public. (For students, a link was sent by your school to participate in the private webinar where you have the possibility to post your questions live). Follow trending topics related to our Back-to-School programme on social media via the hashtag #RentréeScPo.

Schedule of Inaugural Lectures

On 9 September 2020

  • 3:30pm: The Undergraduate College’s Inaugural Lecture, “To be in the world, to be at Sciences Po”, with Olivier Duhamel, President of the FNSP, Frédéric Mion, President of Sciences Po, and Stéphanie Balme, Dean of the Undergraduate College. Follow live on 9 September 2020 from 3:30pm to 4:40pm.

On 10 September 2020

  • 3:30pm: The School of International Affairs’ Inaugural Lecture, "Multilateralism Under Duress: The case for international criminal justice and the international rule of law", with Fatou Bensouda, Chief Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court. Open to PSIA students only.
  • 5pm: The Urban School’s Inaugural Lecture, “Cities, Climate Crisis and Ecological Transition”, with Karima Delli, Elected Member of the European Parliament, and Sverker Sorlin, Swedish historian and professor of Environmental History. Follow live on 10 September from 5pm to 6:30pm.

On 11 September 2020

  • 2pm: The School of Management and Innovation’s Inaugural Lecture, "The Post-Crisis World Beyond Public Policy: Stakes and Prospects" with Jason Furman, American Economist and Professor at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government and Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. Follow live on 11 September from 2pm to 3pm.
  • 3:30pm: The School of Public Affairs’ Inaugural Lecture, “Good Economics for Harder Times” with Esther Duflo, Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Nobel Prize Laureate in Economic Sciences. Follow live on 11 September from 3:30 to 4:45pm.
  • 5pm: The Law School’s Opening Lecture, “The Judge and Democracy”, with André Potocki, French jurist and judge of the European Court of Human Rights. Open to Law School students only.

On 18 September 2020

All times are Central European Summer Time (GMT+2).

​More information

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Key takeaways from a semester unlike any other

Results of our survey
  • A student in the library post-lockdown @Caroline Maufroid/ Sciences PoA student in the library post-lockdown @Caroline Maufroid/ Sciences Po

The 2019/2020 academic year has come to an end, and our students have experienced a semester unlike any other. What takeaways can we draw from this unprecedented period? How did this hurried switchover go over for students and teachers? The verdict that we are able to draw today shows a successful adjustment for the vast majority and provides useful lessons for the upcoming semester.

On 16 March, the start of the lockdown in France, Sciences Po closed its doors to teachers and students for the first time in its history. On 23 March, the semester was resumed fully online for five equally historic weeks, closing with a session of online exams and a Grand écrit (written exam) instead of the Grand oral (oral exam). Altogether, there were nearly 70,000 online classes and meetings, over 571,000 hours of exchanges and nearly 7,000 assignments "turned in" in the digital space, which replaced traditional classrooms.

What conclusions can be drawn from this unprecedented experience? The survey carried out at the end of April by the Institute of Skills and Innovation* shows that the system put in place has brought overall satisfaction, with 9 teachers out of 10 and 3 students out of 4 who report being “somewhat satisfied” or “very satisfied”.

Room for innovation for teachers

The vast majority of teachers report being satisfied with students’ attention, attendance and level of interaction. For the most part, they adapted their classes, both on the content level - syllabus and assessment methods - and on the practical teaching level, by shortening the sessions, and by offering more detailed instructions and alternative resources. Other than Zoom, which was available to everyone, teachers report frequently using... email, but also shared folders online, as well as the Moodle platform. “Teachers did not just lecture: they took advantage of this phase to test different innovations”, observes Jean-Pierre Berthet. 

As for students, 86% spent 4 hours a day or less in online classes, and ¾ of them declared being quite satisfied or very satisfied with the experience. The remote classes system was overall well-received, even though some report certain learning difficulties, mainly citing difficulties staying attentive and maintaining motivation. Many of the students who answered the survey also report having to deal with organisational difficulties or an unfavourable work environment.

“The solution is not 100% online”

“The analysis of these positive outcomes and the difficulties faced constitutes a very important lever in designing the upcoming semester, which will operate on an entirely different model: the dual campus model,” explains Jean-Pierre Berthet. "We're building from a massive emergency switch into a more nuanced hybrid model. The solution lies not in a 100% face-to-face, nor 100% online, but in finding a balance to combine the best of both, thinking of both the students who are physically present and those who will be remote, in other countries, and in other time zones. We will have to take care to produce more varied, shorter formats, to reinforce support and tailored tutoring for remote students.”

The last key takeaway of this semester is the massive use of Zoom for online socialising: nearly 80% of students used it to work in groups, 6 out of 10 report using it to exchange with other students, and 4 out of 10 to connect with family and friends. “We wanted to provide a Zoom license for students to use freely,” specifies Jean-Pierre Berthet, “because in such a particular context, keeping social ties and a social life is absolutely essential for success.

The Sciences Po Editorial Team

KEY FIGURES

  • 67,700 classes and meetings held on Zoom
  • 556,000 participants
  • 571,448 cumulated hours
  • 72% of classes of 2 to 10 students, 14% of classes of 11 to 50 students, and 3% over 50 students
  • 217 new classes opened on Moodle, a 20% increase
  • 69 exam rooms opened online and 6,659 assignments turned in 

* 671 teachers and nearly 2,000 students responded to the survey conducted by the Institute for Skills and Innovation between 29 May 29 and 5 April 2020.

> Read more: A New Online Campus Starting Fall 2020

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A New Online Campus Starting Fall 2020

Modalities of the Fall 2020 semester
  • ©Sciences Po©Sciences Po

After a successful online spring 2020 semester despite an unprecedented emergency context, the start of the 2020/2021 academic year will allow all of our students to embark on a new year at Sciences Po in a safe and serene manner. With both physical campuses and an all-new digital campus available to them, courses have been redesigned to best suit all students.

From a “pedagogical crisis” to a new digital opportunity

The spring semester 2020 will be remembered by many as a jump without a parachute into the unknown: from nearly one day to the next, Sciences Po switched to all-online classes and exams for the remaining five weeks of the semester. Even though various initiatives existed, and the Institute for Skills and Innovation had been created since January 2020, like in most institutes of higher education, the Covid-19 crisis shoved our model into another dimension.  > Read the interview with Benedict Durand on Sciences Po’s transition online

This semester leaves us with multiple important lessons. Some are positive: the majority of students and professors reported being happy with their adjusted experience. There are also some negatives: problems with connection or with loss of motivation, as well as loneliness, have impacted daily life for some students. Sciences Po’s conclusions are clear: neither 100% online nor 100% in-person teaching is the solution. >> Read the article “Key takeaways from the first all-online semester”

For this first semester of the year 2020/2021, Sciences Po will thus adopt an all-new and multiform arrangement, with 100% of teaching taking place online, and simultaneously, 100% of the student experience to be lived on campus

Online classes centred around interaction

The upcoming academic year will be enriched by a new dimension: the online campus. This expansion of our digital space will be a definitive step forwards in our teaching capacity. Nonetheless, in-person classes will still return progressively, as and when sanitary conditions allow.

“The new online campus that we are inaugurating at the start of the semester will exist side-by-side with our existing physical campus, and will reinforce and expand it. But it is not a matter of simply mirroring the usual pedagogical models,” explains Bénédicte Durand, Vice President for Academic Affairs. 

To overcome the drawbacks observed during the spring semester 2020, these models will be partially alleviated. Teachers are invited to redesign lectures by adapting them to an online teaching model, taking into account best practices that were tested the past semester: offering different teaching sequences within the allocated class time, articulating the study of concepts that are assigned before the course in order to allow for thoughtful interactions during the online session... These practices are the subject of specific guides that have been distributed to all teachers. "This model could inspire evolutions in “traditional” classes, lectures or workshops,” adds Bénédicte Durand.

Sciences Po is preparing to implement this new form of teaching by dedicating additional funds to the recruitment of teaching assistants and student tutors to provide students with additional support. The Institute for Skills and Innovation has been continuing to accompany our teaching staff, providing training on digital tools and presenting them with various pedagogical methods that will allow for reinforced interaction in classes.

Our physical campuses 100% open

“Our seven campuses in France will be open at the start of the academic year,” states Bénédicte Durand. Students will be able to take classes, work in groups and on case studies, take part in collective projects, student associations, art workshops, social engagements and more, in keeping with the established gathering limit.

More generally, access to the physical campuses will be possible for students who wish to come and work, in particular in the event of connection difficulties. In early July, a survey will be sent in order to know students’ intentions of being physically present.

“There will be particular attention given to“ newcomers,” namely first-year students of the Undergraduate College who will be discovering both Sciences Po and the world of higher education at the start of the school year and for whom we will ensure the widest possible access to in-person classes and activities,” states Myriam Dubois-Monkachi, Director of Studies and Student Success.

These campuses will also be connected to the new digital campus, thanks to new equipment that allows the recording and retransmission of the course. Approximately forty classrooms on the Paris campus and over 70 classrooms on regional campuses will allow for this hybrid education.

In class and beyond: an unprecedented student experience

Welcoming and integrating a new class of students who represent over 150 nationalities is a challenge each new academic year at Sciences Po. The challenge for the 2020/21 academic year will be greater than ever. The formal back-to-school event programme, complete with lectures that will be broadcasted live online, will play a particularly important role in this regard. To overcome the distance, student ambassadors, BDE and student associations will be live animators, in particular via a new internal social network - Whaller - which will be deployed on this occasion, as well as the MySciencesPo application deployed since early 2020.

Intellectual and athletic activities will continue to be offered in-person according to sanitary restrictions in place, coupled with a specific and free online offer. The possibilities of engagement will be even greater thanks to volunteer organisations, proposed in partnership with the Civic Reserve (Réserve civique) and the Benenova platform.

Finally, for all those who will be discovering Sciences Po for the first time, an online one-stop helpdesk will be available. Social and administrative support will be available via online appointments throughout the semester, as was the case during the spring semester. Medical consultations will be accessible remotely and in-person if conditions allow, as will wellness workshops, which were highly popular in the spring and maintained via Zoom.

Calendar, absences, exams, third-year abroad

For the time being, this hybrid system concerns the first semester of the 2020/2021 academic year (autumn 2020). Depending on developments of the current health situation, a new framework may be proposed for the spring semester 2021.

  • The semester will begin on 14 September. The semester will end on the 18 December, as scheduled.
  • Class attendance obligations are maintained and will be monitored, but absences will not be sanctioned. Teachers will ensure participation as a whole.
  • Evaluations and exams of the fall semester will take place mainly online. The terms will be announced at the start of the semester for each course.
  • Third-year students of the Undergraduate College who will not be attending their exchange university during the next semester will follow an original course programme, specially designed for them. They will also be offered new options including, for example, an initiation to research course or an optional free civic learning programme.

The Sciences Po Editorial Team

Meet Zina Akrout, Laureate of the 2020 Max Lazard Award

Interview on her journey so far, distinctive for her unbounded curiosity and in its strong international dimension
  • Photo of Zina Akrout / Copyright Zina AkroutPhoto of Zina Akrout / Copyright Zina Akrout

Zina Akrout is a graduate student in the Master’s of Public Policy at the School of Public Affairs and has been awarded the Max Lazard Prize to carry out her project “Berbers of Tunisia”. Interview on her journey so far, distinctive for her unbounded curiosity and in its strong international dimension.

You completed your undergraduate studies in the dual degree between Sciences Po and UCL. Can you tell us why you chose this programme and what was your experience?

Zina Akrout: I chose the dual degree between Sciences Po and UCL firstly for the curriculum, which requires students to major in a humanities discipline and a European language (French, German, Spanish or Italian depending on the student's background, abilities and choice), which are studied intensively throughout the four years of the degree at both universities. I was highly looking forward to this dual experience and learning from different perspectives. I was also able to tailor the degree based on my personal choices and interests. I chose to spend the first two years on Sciences Po’s Menton campus to be able to study MENA-related courses in addition to Italian (*as of 2020, Italian is no longer offered in Menton) with a specialisation in International Law... I also very much enjoyed going from Sciences Po’s multidisciplinary way of teaching to the more Anglo-Saxon approach at UCL. There, I took Public Policy courses and was able to take specific classes in disciplines such as Urban Politics and Political Geography and also language courses at the same level as Modern Languages students. Overall, the programme was a wonderful experience not only academically speaking but also on a personal level as both settings led me to meet people I can call friends for life and offered great extracurricular opportunities and support.

You took an exchange semester at Bocconi University during your Master's in Public Policy at Sciences Po. Due to the sanitary crisis, your experience abroad was quite different than expected. Can you tell us how the exchange was carried out? How did the experience nonetheless complement your Master's studies overall?

ZA: I chose to spend the final semester of my Master's at the School of Public Affairs on an academic exchange at the Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi in Milan, Italy. It was indeed an odd time to be in academic exchange and especially in the north of Italy, a region that was tremendously impacted by the sanitary crisis and made quite the headlines. The university closed at the end of February, just two weeks after the start of classes, and switched to online learning immediately. They were very good at adapting to the situation and managed to use online resources and digital tools to ensure the teaching could continue remotely, provided people had space, internet connectivity, and the mindset to do so! The exchange allowed me to take more management and sustainability-related classes to complement my curriculum and to see how Bocconi's "business-school" way of teaching differs from that of Sciences Po’s School of Public Affairs. I highly recommend to Master’s students in the future to consider an academic exchange during their gap year or for their last semester, as it is an enriching experience and an option that is not well known!

You recently were awarded the Max Lazard prize for a project entitled "Berbers of Tunisia". Can you tell us about it?

ZA: This project is more of a personal one: as a Franco-Tunisian citizen, I am deeply interested in Berber heritage and identity. My goal is to carry out a field research trip to learn and explore Berber heritage and identity in Tunisia. The Berber community in Tunisia is very much in the minority and has expressed concerns over the lack of official recognition of its identity and culture. I would, therefore, like to conduct a sociological survey on the Berber identity and the feelings of Tunisian citizens of Berber descent to analyse how they apprehend their culture, their integration and their potential revendications. This research would be combined with a field study to map the different existing initiatives for the protection and promotion of Berber culture in Tunisia (mainly in South East Tunisia). This topic is dear to my heart, and I am very grateful to have been awarded the Max Lazard Prize to help me realise this project.

What form will the project take? When do you plan to carry it out?

ZA: The perception and study of the Berber identity in Tunisia are very different from that of other countries in the region and hardly addressed nowadays. I hope to be able to gather enough information and knowledge for this research that could be reusable for those concerned by the matter or interested in the subject. It is mostly a personal and not a professional project, but I intend to go as far as possible in the research and reflection and hopefully bring a modest contribution to giving a voice to people who remain little heard by their government and other groups. Any cultural heritage deserves to be analysed and somehow studied. 

The project will most likely culminate into an article and a video report - depending on if the people interrogated agree to be filmed. If individuals prefer to not speak on camera, I may decide to turn this project into a photo exhibition (virtual or physical) with descriptions. 

I hope to carry out this project this summer, government measures vis à vis the sanitary crisis in France and Tunisia permitting. It also depends on the availability of individuals I hope to interview. If it is not possible this summer, I plan to carry out the field research trip next winter!

What are your plans for the future after your graduation?

ZA: At the moment I am still completing my MPP in Digital, New Technology & Public Policy at Sciences Po, and am studying Food Geography at the Sorbonne. After finishing my Master's thesis for that curriculum, I hope to start a career in food policy, and more specifically in the food-tech sector.

Interview by the Sciences Po Editorial Team.

More about the Max Lazard Award

“This grant has been active at Sciences Po since 1956 and has adapted to contextual changes and university reforms by knowing how to cultivate its fund: the thirst for intelligence and the passion for discovery…” - Gérard Wormser

We owe this philanthropic fund to Max Lazard (18765-1953). Max Lazard left his job at his family’s bank to become a volunteer social worker and write a thesis on unemployment. He assisted Albert Thomas during the first world war and later became an activist for civic and political education in Europe. It is with this open mind and the desire to confront oneself with the world, combined with sincere intellectual and personal curiosity that the jury selects laureates for this prize, awarded annually since 1956.

The laureates of this prize receive financial support up to 3,000 euros depending on the cost of their project and are offered the possibility to publish an article or dossier in the “Sens Public” journal - subject to acceptance by its scientific committee.

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Sciences Po Student Services: Helping all our talents to succeed

Hear more about them from Sciences Po’s Director of Students and Teachers’ Support and Services, Francesca Cabiddu
  • Students at the Paris "Meet the Services" Event © Marta Nascimento / Sciences PoStudents at the Paris "Meet the Services" Event © Marta Nascimento / Sciences Po

Succeeding as a student isn’t just about your studies! From accommodation and visas to health and accessibility, Sciences Po staff support students across a whole range of issues. We work hard to free our students of all unnecessary difficulties so that they can complete their studies without hassle and make the most of this unique period in their lives. Our personalised student services are available to students at every stage of their degrees and can be adapted to the full range of their circumstances and needs. Hear more about them from Sciences Po’s Director of Students and Teachers’ Support and Services, Francesca Cabiddu.

Francesca CabidduFrancesca Cabiddu, Director of Students and Teachers’ Support and Services

What support do Sciences Po’s student services provide to students?

Francesca Cabiddu: As well as exceptional academic training and a stimulating environment in which to study, our campuses also offer students a wide range of resources and services. The aim of all of these is to guarantee the quality of life at Sciences Po and to allow students to thrive right the way through their studies. Help finding or securing accommodation, information on visa or residence permit applications, financial support, health and well-being, accessibility improvements for disabled students: whatever the needs of our students, staff guarantee assistance that is attentive to personal circumstances and adapted to the requirements of each.

For example, when it comes to accommodation support, we make hundreds of individual or shared housing offers available to students each year. Our partnerships with public and private bodies allow us to obtain preferential rates on rent and priority access to local leases on every campus.

The activities of our student services are founded on the values of approachability, respect and openness, while also empowering student responsibility and autonomy. We collaborate closely with Sciences Po’s Graduate Schools and campuses, who provide the university’s most direct contact point for students.

How do you reach out to students to publicise the university’s services?

FC: From the moment of admission, our student services are the primary contact guiding new arrivals through their first steps at Sciences Po: we distribute the university’s Student Guide, communicate information about the start of year events and make sure all new students are aware of how to contact the necessary support staff.

In particular, in order to facilitate the integration of new students and to help them with the various administrative procedures that accompany starting university, Sciences Po organises a ‘Meet the Services’ event during the induction period. This event provides an introduction to a huge number of our student services and partners.

This collective mobilisation of our services is also reinforced by a peer-led induction programme. Student ambassadors appointed on all our campuses can supply answers to any questions and are our most effective way of liaising with students on the ground.

Above and beyond our start of year induction events, the support we provide all year round follows a convenient “one-stop-shop” approach. That means that students can find all the information, advice and support they need for extracurricular procedures in a single and centralised location, both on-site and online.

Do specialised initiatives exist for students most in need?

FC: In line with the pioneering commitment Sciences Po made to advancing equal opportunities more than 15 years ago, the university has a particularly active policy of inclusion for students with a disability and refugees. More than 300 disabled students are currently enrolled at Sciences Po, while our professional certificate and linguistic programme, Tremplin, are open to 80 young refugees every year.

We also have services specially designed for international students, who we assist, for example, in residence permit applications and renewals. With international students making up 49% of Sciences Po’s student body, this particular service involves providing one-on-one assistance to a total of several hundred students each year.

In the light of the current health context, what medically related measures have you introduced to support students?

FC: Like other departments at Sciences Po, the Student Induction and Support Department has been fully mobilised since the start of the crisis to maintain continuity across its services. It has been especially vital during this time that we remain available for questions of any kind and provide completely personalised support, particularly for those finding themselves isolated as a result of the crisis. 
In particular, this has meant maintaining and expanding our full range of medical support, with medical staff paying close attention to the evolution of the pandemic and acting on behalf of students requiring psychological support during the lockdown.

We also took the decision to continue our health and well-being workshops, which have taken place via videoconference on Zoom. A series of activity videos to help students stay energised during lockdown was published on our webpage dedicated to student life during confinement.

What new support measures do you plan to roll out for the start of the next academic year?

FC: The staff of our one-stop student desk will be continuing their support in all areas, both on-site and online depending on current health conditions. This will include medical assistance, financial aid, specialised support for the needs of disabled students, administrative assistance for those needing to renew or extend a residence permit and so on.

All welfare or administrative support will be available remotely via Zoom or Google Meet, with an appointment system, as has been the case throughout the Spring Semester 2020. One-on-one meetings on campus for more informal discussions will be possible, exclusively upon appointment for the moment and subject to adaptation in accordance with current government guidelines.

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