- Graduate receiving her diploma 2019 ©Corinne Haury
Over 7,300 people attended the four graduation ceremonies of the Class of 2019 on June 28 & 29, 2019. Graduates walked under the proud gaze of their parents, friends, teachers, companions, and sometimes children to receive their diploma. Relive these unforgettable moments in video.
For the first time, the Sciences Po graduation ceremonies were held in the great hall Pierre Boulez of the Philharmonie, the newest concert hall in Paris designed by renowned architect Jean Nouvel. Over two days, the ceremonies filled the room with intense pride and joy. On stage, at the microphone, in the room, the singularity of the Sciences Po experience was expressed with fervor. The exceptional diversity of the student community was shown off proudly, from shimmering saris to kilts to military uniforms; talents from all walks of life walked across the stage, smiles on their faces and diplomas in hand.
An Exceptional Diversity of Talent
Our student speakers shared their vision on what brought their talent together, beyond the diversity of their origins, their choice of Master's, and their projects. Graduates of honour, grateful and free-spirited, embody the qualities that Sciences Po strives to place in the forefront: Fatoumata Diallo's commitment, Marie Geoffreoy's duty of impertinence, Anne-Sophie Travert's open-mindedness, but also Mas Mahmud's resilience.
A Diploma and a Responsibility
For the guests of honour, the diploma received is a passport, but also a responsibility. Journalist Gilles Bouleau urged graduates to "reach out beyond themselves." Jacques Toubon, human rights defender, pushed the urgency to think about "the absolute right of dignity." For Entrepreneur Emmanuelle Duez, graduation plants the seed of the energy to create, for Mary Robinson, first woman president of Ireland, the categorical imperative to act against the climate crisis.
Graduates were told to use their diploma to make an impact, but without forgetting to "love with passion", in the words of President Frédéric Mion. The deans of the seven Sciences Po graduate schools also delivered a powerful message: rewatch the speeches of Pierre François of the Doctoral School, Patrick Le Galès of the Urban School, Bruno Patino of the School of Journalism, Christophe Jamin of the Law School, Marie-Laure Djelic of the School of Management and Innovation, Yann Algan of the School of Public Affairs and Enrico Letta of the School of International Affairs.
- Rewatch the 2019 Graduation Ceremonies in full on our YouTube channel
- See the highlights of the 2018 Graduation ceremonies
- Open book on a beach ©MaleWitch/Shutterstock
Summer is here, and so is our 2019 Summer Reading List! We asked our community to give us their reading recommendations using #ScPoSummerReading, and here is our final selection of 10 summer must-reads!
Use the hashtag #ScPoSummerReading on social networks to discover more recommendations, and don’t hesitate to share your reading wherever you may be spending your summer!
Educated by Tara Westover // 2018
Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches. A true autodidact for whom learning and education was just the start of her journey. She went on to study at Harvard and Cambridge. Educated is an account of the struggle for self-invention. It is a tale of fierce family loyalty and of the grief that comes with severing the closest of ties.
Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami // 2006
Kafka on the Shore, a tour de force of metaphysical reality, is powered by two remarkable characters: a teenage boy, Kafka Tamura, who runs away from home either to escape a gruesome oedipal prophecy or to search for his long-missing mother and sister; and an aging simpleton called Nakata, who never recovered from a wartime affliction and now is drawn toward Kafka for reasons that, like the most basic activities of daily life, he cannot fathom. Their odyssey, as mysterious to them as it is to us, is enriched throughout by vivid accomplices and mesmerising events.
Jog On by Bella Mackie // 2018
In Jog On, Bella explains with hilarious and unfiltered honesty how she used running to battle crippling anxiety and depression, without having to sacrifice her main loves: alcohol, cigarettes, and ice cream. With the help of a supporting cast of doctors, psychologists, sportspeople and friends, she shares a wealth of inspirational stories, research and tips that show how exercise often can be the best medicine. This funny, moving and motivational book will encourage you to say ‘jog on’ to your problems and get your life back on track – no matter how small those first steps may be.
The Shape Of The Ruins by Juan Gabriel Vasquez // 2015
The Shape of the Ruins is a masterly story of conspiracy, political obsession, and literary investigation. When a man is arrested at a museum for attempting to steal the bullet-ridden suit of a murdered Colombian politician, few notice. But soon this thwarted theft takes on greater meaning as it becomes a thread in a widening web of popular fixations with conspiracy theories, assassinations, and historical secrets; and it haunts those who feel that only they know the real truth behind these killings. This novel explores the darkest moments of a country’s past and brings to life the ways in which past violence shapes our present lives.
The Long Song by Andrea Levy // 2011
The Long Song is written as a memoir by an elderly Jamaican woman living in early 19th-century Jamaica during the final years of slavery and the transition to freedom that took place thereafter. It tells the tale of a young slave girl, July, who lives at Amity – a a sugarcane plantation. She lived through the 1831 Baptist War, and then the beginning of freedom.
Machines Like Me by Ian McEwan // 2019
"The present is the frailest of improbable constructs. It could have been different.” Machines Like Me takes place in an alternative 1980s London. Political events and the lives of great historical personalities are reversed - notably for Margaret Thatcher, JFK, John Lennon, and Alan Turing, who steers British society into a new technological age with his invention of near-human androids. Charlie a bright student who lives with a terrible secret, comes into money, he buys Adam, one of the first synthetic humans and—with Miranda's help—he designs Adam's personality. The near-perfect human that emerges is beautiful, strong, and clever. It isn't long before a love triangle soon forms, and these three beings confront a profound moral dilemma.
The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars by Michael Mann // 2012
A book about climate change by the American climatologist and geophysicist Michael E. Mann. In the book Mann describes how he became a researcher investigating the temperature record of the past 1000 years and was lead author, with Raymond S. Bradley and Malcolm K. Hughes, on the 1999 reconstruction that was the first to be dubbed the hockey stick graph. He concisely explains the basics of climate science including statistical methodology dealing with paleoclimate proxy data, and examines the tactics which opponents of action on climate change use to distort the science and attack the reputations of climate scientists. The book describes both the hockey stick controversy and the broader context of skepticism in science and contrarians rejecting evidence of human influence on climate.
The Perfect Nanny by Leila Slimani // 2018
When Myriam, a French-Moroccan lawyer, decides to return to work after having children, she and her husband look for the perfect nanny for their two young children. They never dreamed they would find Louise: a quiet, polite, devoted woman who sings to the children, cleans the family’s chic apartment in Paris’s upscale tenth arrondissement, stays late without complaint, and hosts enviable kiddie parties. But as the couple and the nanny become more dependent on one another, jealousy, resentment, and suspicions mount, shattering the idyllic tableau. Building tension with every page, The Perfect Nanny is a compulsive, riveting, bravely observed exploration of power, class, race, domesticity, and motherhood—and the American debut of an immensely talented writer.
A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum // 2019
In Brooklyn, eighteen-year-old Deya is starting to meet with suitors. Though she doesn’t want to get married, her grandparents give her no choice. History is repeating itself: Deya’s mother, Isra, also had no choice when she left Palestine as a teenager to marry Adam. Though Deya was raised to believe her parents died in a car accident, a secret note from a mysterious, yet familiar-looking woman makes Deya question everything she was told about her past. As the narrative alternates between the lives of Deya and Isra, she begins to understand the dark, complex secrets behind her fragile community.
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion // 2013
Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. He is a man who can count all his friends on the fingers of one hand, whose lifelong difficulty with social rituals has convinced him that he is simply not wired for romance. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a “wonderful” husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and he embarks upon The Wife Project. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which he approaches all things, Don sets out to find the perfect partner. She will be punctual and logical—most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver.
- Welcome Programme Student ©O.H.N.K / Sciences Po
What is the Welcome Programme?
The Welcome Programme is an integration week for exchange students which will be held in the campus of Paris from 23 to 30 August 2019 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, to integrate more effectively into the pedagogy of Sciences Po
- A conference on French political life
- Information sessions on housing, administrative registrations, residence cards and student associations
- Campus visits and an "escape game" in the library
- Cultural activities: Orsay Museum, discovery of Paris, boat tours on La Seine, wine and cheese tasting
- Integration activities: Ice breakers, French-speaking times, ...
These activities are offered in French and in English, according to your choice of language during the registration to the Welcome Programme.
How to register?
If you wish to participate in the Welcome Programme, you can register on your Sciences Po student account.
The deadline for registration is 27 June 2019, 12pm.
Please note that this programme is optional and costs 250 euros.
Student Exchange Team: email@example.com
Find out more
- Fête de la musique de Sciences Po, 21 juin 2019 ©Sciences Po
For the second time, Sciences Po is inviting you to celebrate the fête de la musique, France's national music day! This year, you can come with your family and friends! Further details coming soon.
We are calling upon all of Sciences Po's students who are musicians, singers, bands and orchestras to perform on 21 June in the garden of the 27 rue Saint-Guillaume: you can sign up by sending an email to Charlène Lavoir
Deadline to fill out the participation form: 17 May
- Two students at the Vienna Opera House ©Sciences Po
Every year for the past 15 years, undergraduate students of the Nancy campus have had the opportunity to go on one-week study visits to Vienna, Berlin, and Brussels. The goal of these visits is to give them a glimpse into how European and International institutions work behind the scenes.
The Nancy campus hosts the Europe & Franco-German concentration programmes; thus these cities are of particular interest for students. This year, it was the first-year students who travelled to Vienna, whilst the second year students went to Berlin.
The five-day programme was divided as such:
- On Monday: visit of the Opera.
- On Tuesday, students visited the Diplomatische Akademie (the Viennese equivalent of PSIA) and the University of Vienna, where they listened to a social democrat politician speak about Austrian political life.
- On Wednesday, students visited the OSCE (Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, created in 1975 to ease tensions during the Cold War).
- Thursday, a visit was organised to the Viennese Headquarters of the United Nations, complete with meetings with French and German ambassadors at the United Nations Vienna base.
- On Friday morning, students got to peak inside the OPEC, The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
Outside of this rich programme, students were also given free time to explore. Some visited the cities’ numerous museums and art galleries, filled with large collections of Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt. Others returned to the opera to see a performance.
- Art'Core dancing in Boutmy during their show ©Marie Fraboulet
Art’Core is a student society at the heart of Sciences Po which brings together dancers of all different styles. After their annual show we met with two of the dancers from the troupe.
Interview with Claire Bailly and Katell Coueraud, students in their second year at the undergraduate college and active members of the association.
What is Art’Core? How did it first start?
Claire: Art’Core is a student dance group at the Paris campus of Sciences Po. The club is made up of both undergraduates and graduates and it runs independently to classes run by the Sports Club. We are students who want to meet up outside of formal dance classes and create new routines in all different styles: hip-hop, classical, contemporary, afrobeat, and jazz etc. The club has been running for 7 years now and there are about 20 active members.
You have recently performed in a show, how does that work?
Katell: This show was an artistic collaboration between Batuka, a music group, and Art’Core, which took place in Sciences Po. There is no specific theme for the show, the aim is just to create something cooperative and to show what kinds of things we have been working on throughout the year. It is an opportunity for all the dancers to come up with choreography, and everyone is free to invent whatever they like!
Claire: Doing the show in the Boutmy lecture theatre really adds something to the performance. Normally we experience Boutmy under solemn and quite dry contexts, but it becomes a very warm and exciting space. The main aim of the show is to share the joy of performing with each other, Batuka, and of course the Sciences Po student community. Art’Core is a big family and that creates a fabulous group dynamic and energy.
Do you take part in competitions?
Claire: Yes, alongside preparing for the show, we compete in inter-university competitions, called CRIT and Collégiades, as well as inter-university sports competitions. These are big projects and they require a lot of practice: from February to March for the CRIT, and the end of the second semester for Collégiades. The academic year kicks off with workshops, and a performance at “Cash and Trash” - a renowned event hosted by the Sports Club of Sciences Po. After that, we begin working on the Boutmy show; this is a good way to get to know the new members. This show also acts as a reminder that the spoken word is not the only way one can express themself. It also demonstrates that at Sciences Po public speaking is not the only way to express yourself; we use our bodies to communicate.
Besides competitions and shows, what other things do you offer?
Claire: We also have a Youtube channel with videos filmed by amateur videomakers from inside and outside of Sciences Po. For example, last year we made a short film with amateur directors who then went on to present their film, Bleu Désert, which was nominated by the British Film Institute! We also do shows for other associations, like at the Sciences Po Fashion Show, or last year, in the Carreau du Temple in Paris. When possible, we try to export our brand outside the walls of Sciences Po.
Katell: In an ideal world we would love to do more shows, but there are only two academic semesters in a year, which are already very busy, and we appreciate a lot the diversity of the projects which we are involved in.
Do you have to already be a dancer to join Art’Core?
Katell: Every year we hold auditions in September to select the future members of the group. To join us, it is important to have a certain technical base, but at the same time we do not discriminate. What we look for is diversity, expression, and individuality. The creativity, energy, and originality which each person brings are also essential for the dynamic of the group. Sometimes people can earn their place in the group because of their fantastic energy, even if their technique is not perfect.
Claire: You can be accepted by Art’Core because of your potential or desire to develop and improve. Within our group there are some people who have only been dancing for one or two years but who have reached a good level and developed a lot of creativity. Give it a go!
See more about Sciences Po student life
- Sorting and Recycling Waste ©Robuart / Shutterstock
Sciences Po recycles and sorts with 3 types of bin: blue, yellow and grey. This is thanks to the initiative of the Sciences Po Environnement student association, which has been working closely with the institution’s teams.
How does recycling and sorting work?
- The blue bins are for recycling paper (70% of Science Po’s waste), newspapers, magazines, brochures, books, envelopes, bound documents, full notebook binders, and small cardboard packaging;
- The yellow bins are for recycling plastic bottles and metal cans;
- The grey bins are for all other waste: food packaging, tissues, plastic and cardboard cups, bubble wrap, soiled paper and food waste.
The Sciences Po cleaning company is involved in this programme, with a complete system for sorting and recycling.
Take a look at the guide "Good practices and good habits" (PDF, 112 Ko)", the user guide to recycling. It contains all the details.
- Sciences Po's girls rugby team ©Sira Thierij
Tabea Biesemeier, a student from Germany, sees joining Sciences Po’s all girls rugby team as the best decision she made while an undergraduate on the campus of Nancy. Playing rugby has allowed her to practice her French and meet new people, from Sciences Po as well as outside. Now enrolled in a Master’s in International Security at the Paris School of International Affairs, Tabea is still an active member of the team, training alongside 50 other female students. Watch the video.
- Campaign to raise awareness on sexual harassment
Starting this week, Sciences Po is deploying on all seven campuses a campaign to raise awareness on sexual harassment. New posters illustrating the potential difficulty of identifying situations of harassment are now displayed inside toilets.
The posters highlight scenarios between students, between teacher and student, and between employee and mentor. The campaign was conceived in partnership with student associations and student union representatives.
Contact the sexual harassment monitoring unit:
- By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- By phone (all calls are confidential): 01 45 49 54 00
Read more information on preventing sexual harassment.
- Eve Isambourg, Ocean Ambassador ©Eve Isambourg
This week is Oceans Week at Sciences Po and alongside a series of events on the topic, we spoke to Eve Isambourg, a third year undergraduate student and ocean activist. After two years of study at the Sciences Po Paris campus, Eve spent her third year abroad raising awareness of oceanic issues around the world. The last stop on her mission: a conference of the UN in New York.
“If someone had told me,"Eve, this summer you will be speaking at the UN to defend the ocean," I would never have believed it. But, it turns out that the most unexpected paths open up to those who fight to achieve it, and then, meetings multiply, opportunities arise, projects are born, and the virtuous circle is engaged.”
A few months ago, Eve Isambourg was still a second-year student taking her exams in environmental governance and oceanic issues. Last May she decided that she would spend her third year abroad on a mission she would dedicate to the planet. It was on Twitter that Eve launched the #IspeakBlueToo movement, in support of International Ocean Day, on 8 June, 2018. Several thousand people raised their voices for a global cause, to stand up for the blue planet that we inhabit. Today the #IspeakBlueToo movement is a growing human wave, a community of actors who are committed to protecting the oceans.
"When we hear that in 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans, yes, that worries me. But above all, it makes me want to raise my voice and take action!"
Of French origin, Eve grew up in Mauritius, and it is there that she first got involved with humanitarian work, by working as an intern for the local Let's Do It Foundation. She was put in charge of communications and public relations for the WorldCleanUpDay 2018, an event that received international attention on 15 September. More than 15 million people, gloves and bags in hand, united to clean up the planet. In Mauritius, more than 8000 people committed to more than 70 clean-ups, a first for the small Indian Ocean island! During that time, Eve received a phone call announcing that she had been selected to become an "Ocean & Climate Youth Ambassador" aboard the Peace Boat.
"After some internet research, it did not take me very long to understand that I needed to seize this unique opportunity! I am lucky to have a family and parents who support me in my projects and believe in me. So a few days later, I took off for Stockholm.” The programme: crossing the Atlantic, from Stockholm to New York, with stops in Copenhagen, Bergen, Reykjavik, and Halifax. There were seven young ambassadors of the Pacific Islands, the Indian Ocean and the Caribbean, there to raise their voices, to fight for justice. "When water rises, erosion is visible to the naked eye in front of our homes, so questioning climate change is not an option!"
On board, these young ambassadors had several jobs: "closed-session" discussions amongst themselves on various topics (global warming, coral bleaching, the erosion of biodiversity, geostrategy of the seas, plastic pollution...); presentations and conferences for the passengers of the ship (more than 1000 passengers travel on the Peace Boat, which travels around the world in three and a half months.) On top of this, at each of the various ports on the journey, volunteers held meetings with local actors, both public and private, engaged in the fight for a healthy environment and a clean and preserved ocean. "The experience was enriching on both a human and intellectual level. With no internet connection for three weeks, I enjoyed living the moment, learning more and more, sharing, meeting, discovering, it was truly awe-inspiring... This voyage opened my eyes; I met dozens of positive and committed people! I am extremely grateful." After docking their ship at its final wharf, the Ocean Ambassadors set off for the UN with a mission: to speak at the High-Level Political Forum conference. There, the youth of today, adults of tomorrow, raised their voices in an urgent invitation to act and unite.
Fint out more
- Sarah Indahy Malgasy student ©Sciences Po
As of 2017, Sciences Po and the Mastercard Foundation provide full scholarships to students with great academic potential and limited financial resources. Over six years, this program will support 120 students from Sub-Saharan Africa admitted to its undergraduate, graduate and summer programs. This exceptional scholarship program aims to recruit talented students who aspire to shape the future of the African continent and help them develop their full potential.
- Camille Viros with her three children ©Camille Viros
Sciences Po is proud to be one of ten academic institutions selected by UN Women, the United Nations entity for gender equality and the empowerment of women, to act as a “HeforShe Champion”. As part of the annual HeforShe Summit on 26 September 2018, Director Frédéric Mion will discuss actions taken by Sciences Po to advance gender equality, specifically work accomplished by the university on the question of parenthood. To mark the occasion, we are sharing the inspiring story of one of our female students: Camille Viros, recent graduate of the Class of 2018, and mother of three children. How does she balance her student and family life? Read the interview on her experience at Sciences Po.
You have just graduated from the Sciences Po School of Public Affairs, and you are also a parent. Does it feel like an even greater achievement to have combined the two?
I think I am a graduate like any other and I do not feel more special. It is true that studying and having children can be challenging at times, but everyone has his or her own special circumstances that can complicate and/or enrich being a student.
What has been the greatest challenge about being a parent and student? Were there some pleasant surprises? Were you supported by your peers?
The main challenge was probably juggling family obligations with three small children and a full-time master’s programme with all the constraints it can have (essays to write, group assignments to coordinate, exams to prepare). I found it was not so different than being a working mother, but with the added difficulty of often having to study after the children’s bedtime or during weekends. Once I had found the right balance between my personal and student life, it became much easier.
There were also many nice things about being a student and a parent. For example, my girls would love to tell their teachers and friends that their mum was also going to school. I was also able to organise my classes at Sciences Po to be able to pick my girls up from school most days, and could often make myself available to assist parent-teacher meetings at my girls’ school. I also felt supported by professors at Sciences Po. Once I had to take one of my girls to the emergency room the same day a paper was due. With my husband away on a business trip, it was impossible for me to finish my paper on time. I explained the situation to my professor and he gave me an extension.
Are there preconceived ideas or stereotypes around student-parents?
I did not feel at all judged by other students and did not find there were any negative stereotypes about being a parent-student at Sciences Po. Other students were often surprised when I told them I had three children, but they never put me in an awkward position – quite the contrary. I think there are more positive stereotypes about parents than negative ones. Other students often suggested that parents are well organised, efficient, and able to multi-task. I also think students with children can help promote greater acceptance and understanding of parenthood in the workplace in general, by showing fellow students that parents can be just as successful.
Did you meet other student-parents during your studies? Is there a community at Sciences Po?
Yes I did meet other parents during my year at Sciences Po. In my MPA (Master in Public Affairs) class of 27 people there were four other parents, two fathers and two mothers. It was really great to meet other people in the same situation as me and we often joked about our parenthood stories, like having to deal with a sleep-resistant child while trying to finish a paper for a midnight deadline. There is no official community per se but Sciences Po has a very active gender equality unit. It also organises a yearly event called “Sciences Mômes”, a Parent-Child Day when staff and students can bring their children to the Paris campus. Group reflection on parenting issues is also organised for this occasion. I think it is really great that Sciences Po organises such events and it certainly made me feel part of a community.
What advice would you give to future students who are also parents?
Be organised! Try to gather people around you that you can count on and who can be on call: your partner, a grandparent, a nanny, etc. If you want to follow a programme at Sciences Po, just give it a go and have no reservations about doing it with children. It will be intense and demanding, but you’ll manage and it will be one of the most enriching experiences of your life. And besides, Paris is a fantastic city for children, with lots of international schools, day-care services, and an amazing healthcare system.
Good luck! And don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need any help or advice!
- Emily Olyarchuk: international student and apprentice ©Sciences Po
Emily Olyarchuk is a second-year Master’s student in Communications at the School of Management and Innovation and an apprentice at Burson Marsteller, a global PR agency with offices in Paris. We interviewed her on the benefits of gaining professional experience alongside studying and the process of finding an apprenticeship in France as an international student. Her advice: don’t be daunted!
- Jingjing Fan, founder and designer of Elleme ©Sciences Po
Since graduating from Sciences Po in 2011 with a Master's degree in Finance and Strategy, Jingjing Fan has been pursuing her lifelong passion in the fashion industry. She founded Elleme, a luxury accessories brand based in the Marais but with an outlook that is global. Hear more about her path from Sciences Po to haute couture.
- @Sandrine Gaudin/Sciences Po
Students will now have class in the Simone Veil or Jeannie de Clarens lecture halls, the first at Sciences Po to be named after women. In honor of two extraordinary graduates, this decision to rename lecture halls after two female alumni with extraordinary stories is a symbolic gesture amongst other actions taken in favor of gender equality.
Simone Veil (1927-2017), a major political figure and icon of the Women’s Rights movement
Located at the 28 rue des Saint-Pères site in the heart of Paris, the Caquot lecture hall is being renamed Simone Veil after one of Sciences Po’s most famous graduates who passed away in June 2017. Simone Veil began her studies at Sciences Po at 18 years old in October 1945, less than six months after returning from a concentration camp in Germany, where most of her family died. She spent three “happy and intense” years studying in the Public Service section, one of the most male-dominated sections of the institution at the time, with only 20% of women. She graduated in 1948 at 21 years old, highly determined to enter the professional world once her husband, Antoine Veil, whom she met at Sciences Po, had graduated from ENA (Ecole Nationale d’Administration or French School of Administration). In 1956, Simone Veil passed the national examination to become a magistrate. In 1970, she became secretary general of the Supreme Magistracy Council. In 1974, she became the Minister of Health and within the same year successfully pushed the law that legalized abortion, becoming an icon of the Women’s Rights movement. She later became the first president of the European Parliament (1979-1982), and a prominent political figure in the construction of the European Union. She passed away in June 2017, and was elected to the Académie Française (French Academy) in 2008. She entered the Pantheon in July of 2018.
Jeannie de Clarens (1919-2017), interpreter, spy and heroine of the French Resistance
Born in 1919, Jeannie Rousseau was the daughter of a brilliant multilingual diplomat. She studied at Sciences Po from 1937 to 1940 and graduated at the top of her class. At the outbreak of World War II, she moved with her family to Dinard, Brittany, where she began working as an interpreter for the occupying German forces. This led her to become one of the most talented (and unknown) spies of the Second World War. In Brittany and then in Paris, where she returned in 1941, she transmitted information that she gathered from the German authorities thanks to her position as a translator and interpreter. In 1942, she was recruited by the French Resistance. Under the code name “Amniarix,” she was responsible for one of the greatest exploits of the Allied forces for transmitting intelligence that allowed the British army to delay the development of the German flying bombs V-1 and V-2. In April 1944, she was arrested by the Gestapo and deported to Ravensbrück. One year later, in April 1945, she was released and returned to Paris. After the war, she married Henri de Clarens and pursued a career in translation, working for the United Nations and other international organizations. She seldomly spoke about her past. She was later awarded the Resistance Medal and the Croix de Guerre. In 2009, she was made a member of the Legion of Honor. She passed away on August 23rd, 2017, at 98 years old.
Sciences Po’s actions for gender equality
As one of 10 “University Champions” of the United Nations’ HeForShe programme, Sciences Po is committed to promoting gender equality through a number of actions: professional workshops and awareness campaigns on everyday sexism, recommendations sent to faculty on preventing inequalities in the classroom, an annual "bring your children to school/work" day, and many more.
- Robert Tindwa ©Elisabeth Brunet / Sciences Po
Robert Tindwa started as an undergraduate on the Sciences Po Reims Campus. Today he is a Master's student and the recipient of the L'Oréal Excellence Award Africa. Read the interview.
Tell us a little about your background. What are your aspirations?
I am half Zimbabwean, half Kenyan and I grew up in Zimbabwe. Before coming to Sciences Po as an undergraduate, I got my International Baccalaureate (IB diploma) at United World College in Swaziland, a small kingdom in Southern Africa. My long-term goal is to acquire the range of expertise and soft skills I will need to grow professionally, so I can use my skills in an enlightened and responsible way in the era of increasing digitalisation, globalisation and climate change-related challenges.
You chose to apply to the Europe-Africa programme on the Reims campus. Why is that, and what did you get out of it?
I chose the Europe-Africa programme for two main reasons.
First, the academic rigour and originality of the curriculum appealed to me. Euraf was a rare opportunity to complete a bilingual degree programme and learn a third language, not to mention the compulsory year abroad. Who would refuse such a great opportunity? It was also a chance to study important (and often delicate) issues objectively and from a long-term perspective. That was very important to me.
Second, I wanted to be surrounded by the sort of people who would be interested in this kind of programme. I knew I would learn a lot outside the classroom, especially with such a diverse student body. I certainly don’t regret my choice. I learned so much over the last two years, from the importance of teamwork to the need to develop and nurture your critical thinking skills. The experience also broadened my horizons and helped me get to know myself better. More importantly, I made some very good friends over the two years and I am proud to have been part of this exceptional, unique programme.
You have a scholarship from the L’Oréal Group for the duration of your Master’s programme. How will this help you with your studies? What relationship do you have with your sponsor?
I will be eternally grateful to L’Oréal for awarding me this scholarship. In terms of my studies, it has helped me gain perspective and given me a lot of prospects. I am currently doing a Master’s in Economics & Business at the School of Management and Innovation. The programme questions the role of business in today’s connected world. It is a great help for me to have the support of L’Oréal’s leaders, who truly embody the company’s values and vision. I believe that that kind of support and personal commitment play a key role in training tomorrow’s leaders.
- Isabelle O'Brien ©Krystof Stupka
Isabel O’Brien, first year student in the Dual BA Program between Sciences Po and Columbia University, has been awarded the 2018 Henri de Castries scholarship. Below is an excerpt of her personal statement
"My father lived in Oswego his whole life, as did his father, as did my great-grandfather before him. When I meet a stranger who has never heard of Oswego (and, to be frank, most people haven’t), the first way I describe my hometown is through numbers — 18,000 people, 300 inches of snow each winter, 25% of the population below the poverty line, and just one hour’s drive from the Canadian border.
Still, there are a lot of things that numbers don’t say. I can express that Oswego is small, but it’s hard to explain to outsiders the quietness of Oswego, and its stillness. I’ll state that Oswego is snowy, but I can’t explain the cyclicality of the seasons — the five-month winter, the muddy spring, the mild summer and ephemeral fall, which come and go each year eerily unchanging, just like they did the year before. I can claim that Oswego is poor, but it’s hard to explain the way that our one bookstore is always empty, but the bars which litter nearly every street corner are always full, no matter what day of the week it is.
At the age of eighteen, I got on a plane and bid Oswego goodbye. Unlike many of my friends, I wasn’t staying in Upstate New York, not even the tri-state area. I was heading to France.
To make an eighteen-year-long story short, my ‘‘academic interest,’’ or rather, my passion, is travel. Not just in the literal sense, with planes, trains, and automobiles, but travel through experience. Reading was the first type of travel I experienced, and I often wonder what could have happened to me had I not read as a child. I was always fascinated by something new, whether it be the French Revolution one month or Ancient China the next. I would devour books at what felt like the speed of light, being taken places that I could only dream of going to.
And then I came to Sciences Po. Today, my best friends are from all over the world — from China to Colombia to, of course, France. The amount that I’ve learned from them in the past eight months is too much to describe in a 1,500-word essay. Nonetheless, my world view has been entirely shaken. The globe to me now is simultaneously both bigger and smaller than how I saw it less than a year ago.
I’ve met people from what feels like everywhere. I see their issues as more nuanced and complicated than I originally did. I see their struggles and their politics and know that, even if I study them my whole life, I will never truly understand it the way they do. Yet, I know there is an inherent similarity between us, and on campus it stretches beyond our obsessions with politics and social sciences. As a child, people who lived abroad were a fascination that I read about in books, incomprehensible and insurmountable in their differences from my own way of life. Now I see that, at the very core of it all, we have the same goals, the same fears. The world is complicated, diverse, and different, but at their very core, people are not."
- International students ©Martin Argyroglo / Sciences Po
The Times Higher Education World Rankings released its International Student Table 2018, a ranking of the top 200 universities in the world in terms of percentage of international students. Sciences Po comes in at 17th in the world and 1st in France in this ranking, with 44.9% international students of over 150 nationalities in the student body.
Sciences Po has had an international policy since its founding in 1872. With over 470 partner universities, Sciences Po stands for open-minded education and an outward vision of a complex world.
Find out more
- Female student receiving her diploma ©Sciences Po
Whether setting up a new business, negotiating a pay rise or taking on more responsibility in the workplace, women can be supported in reaching leadership positions. Sciences Po's new Women in Business Chair aims to improve understanding of the obstacles women face and spearhead action to remove them. Interview with Anne Boring, researcher in charge of the Chair. Anne’s work focuses on the analysis of gender inequalities in the professional world.
Anne Boring, the idea for this chair began with an observation: that fewer female students at Sciences Po are involved in creating start-ups than their male counterparts...
Yes, the idea was sparked three years ago when I was doing research for PRESAGE, Sciences Po's Gender Research and Academic Programme. Maxime Marzin, Director of the Sciences Po Business Incubator, told me about a phenomenon she had observed: that female students at Sciences Po are less involved in the creation of start-ups than their male counterparts. This is despite the fact that 50% of the two to three hundred students attending the introductory course in entrepreneurship each year are women, whose results are good and on par with those of the men. This phenomenon can also be observed outside of Sciences Po. For example, only 26% of the beneficiaries of National Student Entrepreneur Status (figures 2015-2016) are women. Our interest in this anomaly led us to travel to Stanford, USA, to study best practices in Silicon Valley. We returned to Sciences Po with the idea of creating a Chair, whose aim would be to lift the barriers to the development of women's entrepreneurial and professional ambitions.
Have you identified any of the specific barriers that hold women back from starting up a business?
Along with Alessandra Cocito, who founded a start-up and teaches at the Centre for Entrepreneurship, I’ve been interviewing female Sciences Po students to find out what prevents them from taking the plunge. The main obstacles that we’ve identified are a lack of self-confidence, an absence of belief in their own credibility, difficulty managing risks, less appetite for competition, scarcity of female role models, qualms about public speaking, and a sense of isolation when operating in an environment where women are very much the minority. More broadly speaking, these are also the barriers to women taking up leadership positions within companies.
How will the Chair be linked to teaching at Sciences Po?
The Chair is intended to work with the different Sciences Po entities: the Undergraduate College; the various Masters programmes; PRESAGE and the Careers Service. In particular, the Chair is intended to develop a better understanding of which competencies female students need to develop to prepare female students for the obstacles they are likely to come up against. Research shows that women tend not to develop as many of the core skills in the workplace as men, including some soft skills. To give an example that might seem a bit caricatured but is described in the research, let’s consider the so-called ‘good female student’. During her studies she’ll keep a relatively low profile, she won’t speak up a lot in class and is unlikely to advertise or promote her abilities. Social norms and conventions often value modesty among women. However, once women enter the job market, making their skills and competencies known becomes essential to progressing in their careers. Women find themselves at a disadvantage to men who are more used to speaking up, making their voices heard, and putting themselves forward.
How will your work have an impact?
Our work will have an impact through research, training, and improved dissemination of good practices. On the research side, the objective is to forge collaborations with researchers in the areas of economics, sociology and psychology, to create new teaching strategies and workshops designed to empower women. The Chair will also inform the wider public about effective ways of fostering entrepreneurship and promoting women's leadership. It is this combination that makes the programme particularly innovative: offering new teaching based upon the research and becoming a resource for all institutions wishing to establish teaching programmes. Our effectiveness in this area will have been proven by a scientific approach.
You have previously said that institutions are often misguided in their attempts to facilitate women’s access to positions of responsibility and that the effect of some initiatives is actually counterproductive.
Companies understand that it is in their interest to have more women in positions of responsibility. Their intentions are generally well-meaning and some companies go as far as establishing specific initiatives. However, the research shows that some of these initiatives can be counterproductive; they may even contribute to strained working relations between women and men, and in some cases reduce promotion opportunities for women. Furthermore, there is a notable lack of communication between researchers studying these issues and the companies themselves. This Chair is also intended to improve the information companies receive about initiatives whose impact has been evaluated scientifically.
Does the Chair aim to bring about lasting changes in attitudes?
As an economist, I don’t necessarily seek to change attitudes, but I do want to inform decision-making, for example by improving understanding of how women's career choices are shaped. Research shows that women tend to choose studies that lead to careers that are less well-paid and have inferior career development prospects. These choices are largely influenced by gender stereotypes and a lack of information. If women better understood how these stereotypes influence their choices, and if they were better informed about the consequences of their choices, they might make career decisions that are better aligned with their true ambitions. My objective is the following: to help women achieve their own individual ambitions.
The Women in Business Chair was created at the initiative of the Sciences Po Centre for Entrepreneurship, in partnership with the Sciences Po Interdisciplinary Laboratory for the Evaluation of Public Policies (LIEPP) and the Gender Research and Academic Programme (PRESAGE). It is supported by the CHANEL Foundation and Goldman Sachs.
Anne Boring is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at Erasmus University Rotterdam and associate researcher at LIEPP and PRESAGE. Her work has a particular focus on econometric analyses of gender inequalities in higher education and the world of work.
- Students at the Gala ©Sciences Po
This year's end-of-year Gala organised by the Sciences Po Student Bureau (one of the main student student associations on campus) was held at the Pavillon Cambon Capucines in Paris. Graduating students of all Master's programmes united to dine, dance and celebrate in the beautiful venue. A few students reflect on their journeys at Sciences Po and what is to come next in this video.
More about Graduate Studies at Sciences Po.
- Vanessa Topp, PSIA student ©Sciences Po
Vanessa Topp is German but grew up in the United States. She studies Human Rights and Humanitarian Action at PSIA, the Paris School of International Affairs. Alongside her Master's, she volunteers her time and engages in aiding refugees in Paris. This summer, she plans to volunteer in a refugee camp in Greece.
- Students dancing on stage ©Sciences Po
Earlier this month, Sciences Po TV and the BDE (Student Association) held the annual "Sciences Po's Got Talent" Talent Show on the Paris campus. Relive the highlights in this video.
- Astou Diouf ©Didier Pazery
Astou Diouf from Senegal is part of the first cohort of Mastercard Foundation Scholars studying at the Sciences Po campus in Reims. Astou plans one day to start a business in the agri-food industry in Africa.
You are nearing the end of your first year at Sciences Po. What were your first impressions? Did your experience change over the course of the year?
I arrived in a totally new environment and like any newcomer, I had to adapt to the social norms and take care of all the administrative procedures required to get set up here. At first, I was in that exciting phase of discovery of Reims and its beautiful buildings, and I was impressed by the cultural diversity inside and outside Sciences Po. Then as time went by, I had trouble adapting to the climate and keeping up with the coursework, what with the fairly abrupt transition from high school to university. But thanks to very effective academic support and guidance, I gained experience and maturity.
In Senegal, you took part in a summer camp focused on developing leadership and entrepreneurship skills. What qualities do you think a leader or entrepreneur needs today?
To a certain extent, the essential qualities of an entrepreneur or a leader are complementary. They centre on being able to identify the needs of your community and to respond effectively. It’s not a matter of individual action where the aim is to show off your own skills but of collective action that requires the active participation of each member of the community. I believe in service leadership and that’s the basis of my desire to help the needy through practical and impactful involvement.
You are a Mastercard Foundation Scholar and you plan one day to start a business in the agri-food industry. Can you tell us more about that?
The plan is focused on developing Senegal’s agribusiness industry through the transformation of agricultural products, which involves improving producer-consumer relations, industrial restructuring and the development of efficient strategies that suit existing social structures. On a larger scale, the plan’s objective is to promote interregional cooperation in the industry in Africa so as to facilitate economic integration. Given the global dynamics of the agriculture industry, I believe it is imperative to strengthen the sector in Africa and to be able to respond to food and environmental challenges. Thanks to the summer camp I attended, I got interested in various agri-food sectors and I had the privilege of working with students and business leaders who aspire to contribute to the continent’s development. I would like to play my part.
What have you learned at Sciences Po that will help you with your project?
In general, I’ve been able to develop my critical thinking and analytical skills on a given subject through each of the modules I’ve taken. The strong focus on political, economic and social dynamics around the world will help me to study and analyse the factors I’ll need to work on to see my plan through.
How does the Mastercard Foundation programme support you with your experience at Sciences Po and your career plans?
Being a part of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars programme and meeting other young Africans who share a love for Africa is really a golden opportunity. Thanks to the superb programme coordinators, Marie Azuelos and Lucille Amsallem, my fellow scholars and I have been able to overcome the difficulties that we’ve faced both academically and socially. With regard to our career plans, we have taken part in several activities that gave us insight into rewarding professional opportunities, such as the Forum Afrique Destination Emplois that was held in Paris. In addition, the programme gives us the chance to build a considerable network through a mentoring scheme and meetings with executives and senior civil servants.
Read more about the first cohort of Sciences Po - Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program
- L'Assault, Sciences Po's fencing team ©Sciences Po
L’Assaut, Sciences Po’s fencing team, has just returned from the latest French University championships with four medals, including two gold. Interview with team captain Adrien Dorny.
Adrien Dorny, you and your team have returned with four medals including two gold from the latest French University Fencing Championships. Is this a consecration for your fencing team?
We are very proud of these results! Four medals, it's the most we’ve won at French University championships. The two team golds make us particularly happy. For the ladies, the champion title of France is all the more rewarding because it all played out in the very last moments of the final. As for the men's, we were really eager to win the gold since we had taken home the silver last year. All our shooters leave medalists, we couldn’t imagine better!
Since when have you practiced fencing? How do you articulate the time spent studying and your passion for the sport?
Most of us started fencing very young. The sport is a really important part of our lives. We have many associated memories. It allowed us to forge friendships, face defeat, or to gain confidence. More specifically, fencing is a spectacular sport, particularly tactical, where endurance, speed, precision and risk-taking are valued. Combining studies and training in our respective clubs and university and federal competitions has been, since high school, a challenge for all of us. It’s not always easy in everyday life, it requires good organization.
Tell us about your team, L’Assault. Does one need to be a champion to join?
This year we had eight qualified members for the French championships, from the Undergraduate College (Paris and Reims campuses) and the Master's level, and from the Certificate Programme for high-level athletes of Sciences Po. A wise mix in short! In total, our team consists of about fifteen members regularly participating in university competitions. But we welcome everyone, beginners and advanced. I encourage all Sciences Po students to discover this fascinating sport through the sword initiation courses offered by the Sports Association. For those who practice or have already practiced fencing in the past, we expect to see you next year to continue to garnish our trophy cabinet!
How do you see your team’s future in the years to follow?
Our team was created in 2015, so it’s still quite young. We want to continue to develop it to make it one of Sciences Po’s main teams. This, of course, will require winning more medals at the French university championships, but also recruiting more members and having an effective communication with students. Ultimately, one of our goals would be to have fencing recognized as a "mystery" sport at the inter-IEP tournament, the "Crit"! I’m sure our fencers would greatly help Sciences Po win the competition.
At the 2018 French University Championships, Amelie Awong (épée) and Adrien Dorny (foil) each won a bronze medal in the individual event. The women’s fencing team, composed of Amelie Awong and Mailys Vignoud, and the men's foil team, composed of Gautier Merit, Victor Querton, Adrien Dorny and Audric Heurtier, each won a gold medal.
In three years of existence, L'Assaut, created in 2015, has won eight national medals, including four gold.
- Portrait of Zipporah Gakuu ©Didier Pazery / Sciences Po
Zipporah Gakuu is a first-year student and part of the first cohort of Mastercard Foundation scholars at Sciences Po. From Kenya to her first steps on campus to today, her commitment to giving back to society and defending women and children’s rights is growing everyday.
You are now in your second semester of your studies at Sciences Po. What were your first impressions when you arrived?
My first semester was initially a bit of a hurdle due to the language barrier and the different climate. Today, my French has improved drastically and I am more adjusted to the weather, considering it was my first winter experience!
What have you learned so far that has changed how you apprehend your career goals?
I have learned that anything is attainable as long as you put your all into whatever it is you want.
Have you gotten involved in any clubs, athletics or other student life activities on campus? What have these experiences brought you?
I am a member of the SASA Association on campus, which is an association that focuses on African issues. As a member of the Logistics pole, I am immersed and engaged in African issues by discussing and debating with fellow African intellects, but also by coming up with possible solutions to try and act on them. This has enlightened me on the whole scope of possibilities for the African continent to overcome its challenges through unity. I also joined the Amnesty International in Reims and AISEC. Through these associations, I have been able to express my opinion and standpoints on different issues facing humanity. I have become more aware of various human rights issues and their violations. It has encouraged me to not remain silenced whenever these violations occur, and it has made me realize that even small actions such as signing petitions can have a great ripple effect.
After high school, you volunteered at the Child Vision Support Foundation, helping disadvantaged young women access sanitary products. How did this experience shape your aspirations?
I attended a public primary school in Naivasha, Kenya. At thirteen, most of my female classmates were starting their menstrual periods. Some of them would opt for pieces of cloth or cotton as they did not have access to proper sanitary towels. Others would not come to school at all during their menstrual periods. This made me realize the challenge that young school girls faced during this time of the month. Despite the efforts of some NGOs to hand out sanitary towels to adolescent girls, they were never enough. More needed to be done, thus, during my gap year, I decided to volunteer with the organization.
This experience nurtured my passion for community service and giving back to society. It made me a believer in small efforts having huge effects on society. It empowered me and encouraged me to motivate other young girls in my society to come together to achieve the goals they set for themselves and their communities.
You've said that you would like to become further involved in defending women and children's rights in Africa with organizations such as Amnesty International. What main developments would you like to see happen?
Women and children tend to be the most vulnerable members of society. Their rights are infringed everyday despite the efforts of countless organizations that support them. I dream of a day where gender equality shall be attained, a society where half the population shall no longer be held in silence. My goal is to empower as many young women as I can, as women are the pivots of society. Once a woman’s rights are observed, children also see their rights defended. I imagine a community where no child dies of starvation, no child has to hawk in the streets, no child has to sleep out in the cold, and each and every child has access to basic needs. To achieve this, one needs to understand why these issues arose in the first place, why our societies oppress women and children. Studying social sciences at Sciences Po will give me this knowledge. It will help me understand the process of socialization and maybe then, we can be able to retrace our steps to what went wrong.
How has the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program accompanied you in your learning experience at Sciences Po?
The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I have been connected to a strong network of African scholars around the globe, all who are ambitious and true visionaries. More so, Sciences Po has enabled me to network with professionals through forums such as the Forum Afrique Destination Emplois that was held in Paris in November; an enlightening experience. The program has also provided great support for me here at Sciences Po, facilitating my smooth adjustment into the curriculum and the different aspects of life on campus.
- About the Sciences Po undergraduate College and the Europe-Africa programme
- About the MasterCard Foundation programme and scholarships at Sciences Po