- Photo 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.
- Scholarships & Financial Aid for Sciences Po students
- Dual degree between Sciences Po and UCL
- Sciences Po’s campus in Menton
- The School of Public Affairs
- Students 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 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.
- Nancy campus © Martin Argyroglo / Sciences Po
In October 2000, 42 first-year and second-year students arrived on Sciences Po’s first international campus outside of Paris, in Nancy. Inaugurated by Richard Descoings, then President of Sciences Po, the Nancy campus hosts the Undergraduate College’s European programme with a focus on Franco-German relations. In twenty years, over 2,000 students have studied at the Nancy campus.
Close to Germany and Luxembourg, and an hour and a half by high-speed train from Paris, Nancy is a student town (approximately 50,000 students live and study in the city) with a strong European identity and international dimension. Visitors to Nancy discover a rich historical legacy, featuring the renowned architectural ensemble around the Place Stanislas—a Unesco World Heritage site—and the École de Nancy, the spearhead of Art Nouveau in France. The campus itself is located in a prestigious eighteenth-century building, the Hôtel des Missions Royales.
A European Specialisation with a focus on Franco-German relations
The Nancy campus hosts 300 students on its campus, for the first two years of their undergraduate degree. Students follow Sciences Po’s multidisciplinary programme in the social sciences with a geographical focus on the political, economic and social aspects of the European Union from a comparative perspective between France and Germany—the engines of European integration and community building.
The programme is taught mainly in French with some courses in English and German. It covers major European issues such as the creation of a European political area and an integrated economic market while deepening students’ knowledge of the French and German-speaking area, particularly through the seminar run through the Alfred Grosser Chair. Students can study the languages of the region such as German, English and Italian, but also Spanish, Russian, or Swedish. Students on this campus can also choose to pursue a dual degree with University College London (UCL) or Freie Universität Berlin.
Since 2005, students of the Nancy campus take an annual study trip to a European city to visit and meet professionals of European and governmental institutions. In 2019, second-year students went to Brussels to visit the European Parliament, the European Commission, amongst others, and first-year students had the choice between Berlin or Vienna.
Campus life in Nancy also includes annual simulations of the Franco-German Council of Ministers where students take the roles of the German Chancellor and the French President. Sciences Po’s campus in Nancy is also an integral part of CIVICA, the European University of the Social Sciences.
Find out more
- Student in the library © Paul Rentler / Sciences Po
In response to the uncertainty facing universities worldwide with regards to the start of the next academic year, Sciences Po is mobilising to guarantee all its students as complete and demanding an education as ever. Sciences Po remains faithful to the university’s vocation of training free, critical and socially engaged minds, intellectually informed through research and interaction with professionals at the heart of our teaching. It is this wholesome and well-balanced education that will give you the means to act in a world more uncertain now than ever.
A new and innovative system will allow us to open the entirety of the university’s courses to all 14,000 students enrolled in them, as of the 14 September 2020.
In compliance with all new health regulations, Sciences Po will continue to promote the excellence of its courses and will base its new start to the academic year on three central principles:
- Equality of access for all students to their courses, regardless of their location.
- Hybridity of course content, which will combine remote learning and on-campus teaching.
- Adaptability, so that all courses can be adapted according to the evolution of the health situation.
A new and adapted start to the academic year, following the “dual campus” model
Throughout the entire Autumn Semester 2020, all Sciences Po students will have access to a dual campus:
- A digital campus, providing all course content in a variety of formats, adapted to each class. Any student will be able to complete their entire course remotely.
- A physical campus, in the seven cities where Sciences Po is lucky enough to be based, will be open and will focus on student activities in small groups: course sessions, tutorials, group projects, small group work, supervised community activities, etc. This physical campus will, of course, remain connected to the rest of the community in order to guarantee the participation of students unable to reach our premises.
This dual campus will combine the advantages of digital and face-to-face teaching by linking them closely. It will remain flexible, so as to offer the most complete and rewarding academic experience possible, including for those who are geographically distant and regardless of how long that distance lasts. It will give special attention to the events of all kinds that punctuate life at our institution and ensure the continuity of Sciences Po’s rich student life for all. Emphasis will be placed on personalised support, in both teaching and technical matters, so as to offer all students optimal access to the digital campus.
This system will build on experience gathered since the end of February, with measures adopted across the board as of the 23 March, during which time all Sciences Po courses have been conducted remotely.
The academic staff of the Undergraduate College and each of the Graduate Schools will provide further information by mid-June regarding the pre-back to school terms as well as the curricula and course modules to be offered for the next academic year.
Many organisations are currently seeking volunteers to care for individuals in isolation, to maintain a sense of community throughout confinement, and to help those who are most vulnerable and disadvantaged.
Simple actions to help protect your health and those around you:
- At all times, strive to maintain a safe distance of at least 1 metre between yourself and others.
- Always apply barrier gestures to protect yourself and others.
- Uphold and champion the safety measures and barrier gestures that you are recommending to beneficiaries and other volunteers.
- If you are at all concerned that you might be infected, inform the association and stay at home.
- If you suffer from an underlying illness, only engage in remote volunteer work that you can do from home, in order to best protect your health and that of others.
Volunteer or Get Involved
- jeveuxaider.gouv.fr (FR): urgent and local assignments from the reserve civique (government platform).
- benevolat.fr (FR): remote assignments, supporting organisations that have been seriously affected by the current situation, facilitated by intermediary organisations.
- Give blood with the French Blood Establishment (EFS) (FR): blood donations need to continue during the COVID-19 pandemic in order to respond to patients’ needs. You are allowed to travel to a donation centre so long as you are not experiencing any flu-like symptoms.
- Voisins solidaires (FR): the organisation is offering a free kit entitled “Coronavirus: come together as neighbours” with the objective of helping citizens to organise mutual aid (posters, leaflets, contact details and request forms for assistance to distribute between neighbours). Download the kit (FR).
- Frontline (FR): if you are young and in good health, get involved in the fight against the epidemic and help a frontline worker or a high-risk individual in your community by helping look after their child or doing their shopping.
Find out more
- #CultureChezNous, Digital cultural platform offered by the Ministry of Culture and various partners
- La Péniche, the Sciences Po student newspaper (FR)
- Ubu web: films, dance, music, and more
- Les conférences de France Culture (FR)
- Podcasts :
- Podcasts de Radio Germaine (FR)
- Billets confinés de Sciences Polémiques (FR)
- Podcloud (FR)
- Journal de confinement de Wajdi Mouawad (FR)
- Orson Welles on the Air
- Museum collections during the lockdown
Shows and concerts
- Culture Box (FR), France Télévisions have made part of their inventory public
- #LOPERACHEZSOI, The Paris Opera is offering video recordings of performances for a limited period of time
- La Philharmonie De Paris, Concerts every evening at 20:30
- The Metropolitan Opera
- Concert streaming from Arte Concert
- Concerts from France Musique (FR)
- 1150 films for free from OpenCulture
- Forum des images: an institution dedicated to cinema and images of all kinds, is offering a multitude of audiovisual and digital content on its website
- Close Up's collection Fresque & Souvenir (FR) presents a number of films based on past lives. Each one follows characters who retell their lives and their memories, transporting us to different places and times gone by.
Virtual museum Tours
- Paris Museums online: over 185 000 works accessible for free (FR)
- The Musée du Louvre’s collections
- Tours of the Musée Marmottan-Monet (FR)
- Google Arts & Culture, for visiting museums, cities, national parks, even the bottom of the oceans
- As well as many other museums whose collections are available online
Fed up of eating pasta? Join the community of student chefs at Cuisine Étudiant (FR).
Open Library Resources, eBooks and Publications
- Sciences Po Library: During confinement, the library remains by your side!
- Resources (FR): Online resources available via your Sciences Po login
- Spire (FR), the open archive for Sciences Po publications
- Acquisition of a corpus of Political Science ebooks: read and make your choice!
- The National Emergency Library from the Internet Archive: over 1.4 million books available
- Free access to texts from 90 publishers at ProQuest (PDF, 163 Ko)
- Booklist: the book review magazine by the American Library Association
Find out more
Even if rackets, balls and oars may be stowed away for some time, there is no reason why we should have to stop moving during confinement. Certain activities can be done without requiring much space or specific equipment. Classes and tips can be found all over the internet, but for quick and easy access you can also enjoy guidance from our tai chi, pilates, stretching and even yoga instructors, using the short clips that we will regularly make available here and on our Student Life Facebook page.
- Session 1 (video in French, 8 minutes)
- Session 2 (video in French, 9.30 minutes)
- Session 3 (video in French, 8.09 minutes)
The Association Sportive's Programme
Check out the Association Sportive’s Facebook page for lots of ideas and tips, including a daily programme they have put together.
Also check out...
Find out more
During this confinement period, we feel it is still extremely important for each and every student to maintain links with the Sciences Po community. Student associations - both cultural and athletic - are not limited to campus walls, and we know that very many of you are continuing to bring your projects to life online.
Find student associations’ digital programmes on the Sciences Po Student Life Facebook Page ( FR).
From 30 March to 6 April
- The Arts Bureau's Arts Week (BDA) (FR), with the theme “Creating Under Constraint”.
- La confiné 2020 (FR), the digital programme for student interactions organised by the Student Bureau (BDE).
- African Week (FR) by ASPA Reims
From 6 to 10 April
The Zoom application is the new platform for all of your classes, but it can also be used to stay in touch with your community, hold video conference calls, participate in webinars, and meet for associative or personal projects online.
Find out more: All you need to know about Zoom (FR)
Find out more
If you are alone during this confinement period, let us know
If you are spending this confinement period alone, you can notify the Student Life Services services by filling in this form. Please do not hesitate to do so: we are here to help!
Continued Support from the Sciences Po Health Centre
The Sciences Po Health Centres of each campus remain available and equipped to help you if you need.
Particular attention is being given to psychological support: the measures of confinement adopted by the government to restrict the spread of the virus can disrupt our routine, force changes upon our daily lives and create stressful situations.
Students requiring medicinal treatment will be able to receive their medication in pharmacies, even if the prescription has expired. The validity of prescriptions has been extended until the end of May.
- Paris campus: email@example.com
- Dijon campus: psychologist firstname.lastname@example.org
- Havre campus: email@example.com
- Reims campus: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Menton campus: email@example.com
- Nancy campus:
- Poitiers campus: Appointments available with firstname.lastname@example.org
Adapted support for students with disabilities
Our team is here to help you establish arrangements in regards to the changes in teaching formats, to support communication between you and your professors, and to take into account any other needs that you may have at this time.
You may be eligible for support in living conditions
Student support services are available online: contact us using this form.
We are here to support you in any procedures relating to your accommodation, with particular attention to your needs linked to the current context (confinement, presence in our residences, etc.).
Scholarships, Financial Aid, Social Assistance
Whatever your situation or question (financial difficulty linked to the loss of a student job, IT needs, basic purchases, etc.), you can contact Sciences Po’s student services office.
Our teams will offer you a telephone or Zoom appointment to discuss your request and consider the solutions best adapted to your situation.
Disbursements of your scholarships and other financial aid are maintained: log into your student space to track payments.
All Crous bursary applications for the 2020-2021 academic year must still be submitted by the deadline, 15th May.
For all questions concerning the CVEC or your DSE, you can contact the CROUS via your online area.
In addition, Crous bursary and non-bursary students, following an undergraduate or graduate programme, can request an emergency aid with the Paris Crous. Students must be under 35 years old (not including students with a disability) regardless of nationality. Requests must be made through a Crous social assistant by email: email@example.com.
Covid-19: Emergency Financial Aid for Students
Students with financial difficulties, scholarship recipients or not, can submit a request for financial assistance of 200 euros from 12th May by filling out an application form through the Crous website (FR).
This financial assistance can be combined with other financial aids and concerns:
- Students registered on an undergraduate or graduate programme in a higher education establishment, scholarship holders and non-scholarship holders, impacted financially due to the health crisis as a result of the loss of a student job (from 32 hours per month, or 8 hours per week) or a paid internship. students registered on an undergraduate or graduate programme in a higher education establishment, scholarship holders and non-scholarship holders, impacted financially due to the health crisis as a result of the loss of a student job (from 32 hours per month, or 8 hours per week) or a paid internship.
- French overseas students registered on an undergraduate or graduate programme, scholarship holders and non-scholarship holders, who have stayed in mainland France and who are experiencing financial difficulties due to the distance between mainland France and the overseas department or territory.
Residence Permits or titre de séjour
Due to the COVID-19 health crisis, residence permit applications are currently suspended in all préfectures until further notice.
If your residence permit or titre de séjour has expired between the 16 March and the 15 May 2020, please note that a 6-month validity extension has been granted for the following documents:
- Long stay student visa
- Student residence permit
- Receipt or récépissé
- Provisional residence permit (Autorisation Provisoire de séjour or APS)
- Residence certificate for Algerian nationals
Please note: students holding an expired permit eligible for an extension are advised not to leave France where possible.
Please consult the Paris police Préfecture’s FAQ (PDF in French) which will be updated on a regular basis.
For students who are find themselves curently outside of France:
- If your residence permit has been extended automatically, you will need to contact the French consular authorities to find out what steps need to be taken regarding your return to France;
- If your resience permit has expired and when it is posisble to return to France, you will be required to contact the French consulate in your country to obtain information regarding visa applications.
Important: Due to the COVID-19 health crisis, France has suspended the issuing of visas until further notice..
Given the current context, rest assured that our teams will be available to assist you in the best possible way.
Questions regarding your student administrative file
The various certificates and attestations that you may need are always available on your student space.
For other procedures (administrative situation, student card, certificates, CVEC, etc.): contact us using this form.
- Coronavirus Information: National toll-free number that answers your questions about the Coronavirus COVID-19 permanently, 24/7: 0 800 130 000
- Nightline Paris, A listening, support and information service run by student volunteers. Open Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. 01 88 32 12 32 and online chat.
- Young people's health line (FR), 0 800 235 236 (free from a landline) or 01 44 93 30 74 (from a mobile phone)
- The French Red Cross (FR), 0 800 858 858
- Allo Parents bébé (FR), Early childhood professionals available Monday through Friday: 0 800 00 3456
- Unafam Écoute-famille (FR), Clinical psychologists, for anyone living with a loved one who suffers from mental disorders: 01 42 63 03 03 (Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.)
- Drogue info service (FR): 0 800 23 13 13
- Écoute Cannabis (FR): 0 811 91 20 20
- Alcool info service (FR): 0 980 980 930
- Tobacco info service (FR) 39 89
Find out more
In times of stress, it is important to pay attention to your own needs and feelings. A few simple practices can be helpful in coping with isolation: stay in touch with loved ones, establish a routine, don’t be afraid to log out...
Staying in touch with your community
- Keep in touch with your loved ones and your close friends (via email, through social media, video calls, over the phone…) Set aside several moments every day for making these calls..
- Offer valuable assistance to those who need you. Don’t hesitate to reach out to people who you know might be isolated and who might need help.
- If you are in complete isolation, you will find that many others are in the same situation! Call them regularly, catch up with one another… It will break up your isolation as well as theirs.
Find your routine
Even astronauts say so! To best habituate ourselves in this confinement period, we need to establish a routine, consisting of regular habits as well as moments of fun and leisure. Some important practices:
- Limit time spent in bed, and if your living space allows, try to allocate a dedicated workspace.
- Get dressed in the morning as though you were going out.
- Prepare balanced meals at regular times of the day.
- Maintain physical activity at home, using the activities suggested by student societies.
- Separate your time between work and recreation (by setting out a timetable, for instance) and give yourself regular short breaks: open the window, stretch, look as far away as you are able to (to steady your eyesight).
- If you are working in a network with other people, greet them when you come online and signal to them when you finish working for the day - just like you would say “good morning” or “bye”!
- Set aside half a day, at least once a week, for rest and recuperation.
- Use an agenda, post-its, or any other tool that helps you to visualise your activities in time, and reserve windows of time in your timetable for progressing with background tasks that require more time.
And don’t forget to schedule time for fun and leisure in your agenda! An elaborate meal, a phone call, time to meditate…
Log out regularly
- An incessant stream of information can generate anxiety: stay informed by setting specific points during the day (such as one hour in the morning and another in the evening, or when health authorities make important announcements), and otherwise minimise time spent watching, reading, or listening to information that makes you feel anxious or distressed.
- Try to limit your screen time (FR), which might mean taking certain measures to reduce temptation: disabling notifications, keeping track of screen time on your devices, etc.
- Be sure to get information from reliable sources, and with the intention of organising and protecting yourself and your loved ones. Try to stick to official channels and be cautious of rumours and misinformation that frequently circulate over email and messenger services such as Whatsapp. The following two links may be helpful in this:
If you are in self-isolation
If you are alone in self-isolation, let the Student Life Services know using this form. Please do not hesitate to do so: we are here to help!
If you are taking care of children
- During this isolation period, when all routine seems to be disrupted, children can experience stress, and might express this in various ways: by being more “clingy”, anxious, elusive, irritable, agitated, or with behaviours such as beginning to wet the bed again. They also observe adults’ emotions, behaviours, and reactions, looking for cues for managing their own emotional upset during this difficult time.
- Try to respond sympathetically to these changes in behaviour. Listen to their worries, which will often be particular to their age, and give them more affection and attention than usual. Help them find constructive ways to express their emotions, and join in with creative activities (games, drawing…) that can help them to share their emotions. If they have questions, talk to your children sincerely and honestly about COVID-19, using age-appropriate vocabulary.
- For yourself as well as for them, try to keep your routine as close as possible to normal, and organise every day a rotation between “serious” time (devoted to learning and exercise, for example) and time for relaxation (naps, play, etc). If you are not able to “homeschool” as well as you would like to, or if your child is not cooperating, remember that it’s not the end of the world: sometimes exceptional circumstances require us to be more lenient than usual!
If you have specific health conditions
If you have a cognitive impairment, you may be feeling more anxiety, stress or agitation than usual, or the desire to withdraw. Allow yourself to be supported by your family and friends, if you find this support helpful and effective, or contact a professional or a specialist service.
If you suffer from a chronic illness, ensure that you have at least 15 days worth of medication. If you need help, don’t hesitate to contact people in your community or the Sciences Po Health Centre.
If you are a person at high risk, or if you are feeling anxious, plan ahead by writing a list of numbers you might need with contact details for medical services, food delivery services, and family and friends who would be able to help you.
- “Épidémie et confinement : ressources utiles pour notre santé mentale” (FR) on the Association PsyCom website
- Recommendations of 12 march 2020 (FR) on the website of the World Health Organization
Find out more
- Experience your confinement in a serene and peaceful way ©Marish / Shutterstock
With the COVID-19 pandemic and measures of confinement in effect in France and many other countries, we are navigating an unprecedented period, one for which we have had little time to prepare ourselves. While circumstances may seem different for every one of us, and although some may appear to have less difficulty adapting than others, it is important to remember that the situation is and remains disorienting for us all.
The following information aims to provide you with advice for making it calmly through the confinement period with the support of the teams at Sciences Po. You will also find below some guidelines for continuing to spend time together and stay in touch (online!), to relax, to keep learning, or to help others - depending on your wishes and your availability… Your peace of mind should be the priority!
Find out more
- Le jardin de Sciences Po © Sandrine Gaudin / Sciences Po
Frédéric Mion, Director of Sciences Po, and Olivier Duhamel, President of the FNSP, address our communities in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, in this communication sent on March 16, 2020. For the latest updates on the situation at Sciences Po and frequently asked questions, visit our Covid-19 Information page.
Dear students, faculty and colleagues,
Over the last few weeks, Sciences Po, like our entire country, has been mobilised to deal with an unprecedented phenomenon, the coronavirus COVID-19 epidemic.
Following the announcements made by the French President and Prime Minister, and in accordance with the instructions we have received from the Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, as of today, all Sciences Po sites in Paris and the regional campuses will be closed until further notice.
In these grave and exceptional circumstances, please be assured that Sciences Po, in all its constituent parts, is fully mobilised around one essential objective: ensuring the continuity of the essential activities of our institution while preserving the health of all.
You have already been informed of the various arrangements that we have made so far. The Sciences Po teams continue to develop and implement the changes necessary to ensure the smooth running of our institution.
Most importantly, we would like to thank each and every one of you for the patience, understanding, spirit of responsibility and solidarity you have shown since the beginning of this crisis. These virtues will no doubt, alas, be put to further good use in the days and weeks to come. We have no doubt that you will continue to deploy them.
We would also like to express our deepest gratitude and pay tribute to the teams at Sciences Po who have been working tirelessly with admirable dedication, to ensure that our institution can continue to fulfil its mission.
The ordeal that we are currently experiencing goes far beyond the confines of our institution and our communities. It requires us to demonstrate composure, adaptability and a sense of innovation, so that the educational, scientific and intellectual life of our institution may continue in new ways. It also demands that we rally around Sciences Po's fundamental values: knowledge, reflection, debate, exchange and sharing.
With sincere and warm regards,
Olivier Duhamel Frédéric Mion
President of the FNSP Director of Sciences Po
- © 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.
How to use ZOOM
- The remote learning guide
Download: Sciences Po backgrounds for Zoom.
Any Questions ?
- Please consult our FAQ “All you need to know about ZOOM (FR)”;
- Or, if you have any questions about:
Find out more
- CAFéS at 28 rue Saint Pères ©Sciences Po
Eco-friendly, self-managed, and militant, PAVéS is an association committed to tackling questions on climate change at Sciences Po. But it is also well known by students for CAFéS, its ethical and solidarity-focused cafeteria run by students from the Paris campus. We met to talk with two of its members, Ilytie Piroit and Clémentine Sainclair, over an organic coffee.
What is PAVéS?
Ilytie Piroit: PAVéS is a self-governed, active student association which is essentially orientated around political ecology. The association was created in 2005 in the context of the student protests over the “CPE”, or the First Employment Contract.
Clémentine Sainclair: PAVéS stands for “Plateforme Autogérée à Visée écologique et Solidaire”, or self-governing platform for ecology and solidarity. It is an association which is a springboard for creating and supporting all initiatives linked to ecology and solidarity work. It is also an association that speaks up, as we have a critical view of the productivist and liberal model and its social and ecological consequences. But we also go beyond that by proposing concrete alternatives - even if they are far from being perfect - to what we are against.
What does the association do?
IP: Our two main projects are CAFéS, our self-managed cafeteria, and Sciences Potirons, the school’s AMAP (fruit and vegetable co-operative). The cafeteria takes up a lot of our time, we have about 70 people who work there. It is a meeting place and also a space for debate; we try to forge links with people and to talk about ecology. Thanks to fundraising, we are able to fund projects every term. As for the AMAP, about 300 people benefit weekly from a basket of organic vegetables. These are our main projects, but there are also lots of initiatives which vary year to year. For example: the ethical and solidarity careers fair, orders of reusable menstrual cups, board-game evenings with the association Rolling Dice at CAFéS, and support for Sciences Po Refugee Help and Paris Solidaires.
CS: We co-organise the Semaine de l’Agriculture paysanne in partnership with several other Parisian universities - this year, with Ecole Polytechnique, the Sorbonne and AgroParisTech - and with the Amis de la Confédération paysanne. Throughout the week we aim to raise awareness surrounding the challenges faced by farmers. For example, we have a lecture on where mass retail fits into a sustainable agricultural system, and a celebratory apéro and other talks.
Are debate and discussion important for you?
CS: Yes, more than anything we try to contribute to debates about ecology and solidarity. PAVéS slogan is “moins de biens, plus de liens”, which means “fewer goods, greater ties”. As well as being a place where we sell things, our cafeteria is above all a place for discussion, where the coffee becomes a pretext for starting conversation: “We are selling you an organic, fairtrade coffee which comes from this country, why this choice? Let’s talk about it!” But we can also just talk about your day, exams, etc. At CAFéS we are all students, even those of us who are on the other side of the counter!
IP: We strongly encourage discussion and debate! Some people for example put forward their arguments for vegetarianism, whilst others question different ways to protest for climate justice etc. All of this comes out of debate, without us forcing a specific dogma. People have very different positions surrounding such things.
A self-managed association, what does that mean?
CS: The association works horizontally, we do not have a superior decision maker when it comes to group decisions and anyone is free to put forward their own ideas. Anyone who invests their time in the association has as legitimate a claim to make their voice heard and to decide freely how involved they want to be.
IP: For example, somebody who goes and gets their vegetable basket from Sciences Potirons, has as much of a right to take part in decision-making as someone who has been involved with several projects. Also, we think that all members have equal responsibility in the day-to-day working of the association. Thus, for anybody who wishes to propose a project… they just do it! PAVéS in turn will provide them with the resources to get their project started.
On a larger scale, what do you think we need to do today so that people know more about ecology and discuss it more often?
IP: At PAVéS, we turn ideas into reality. If they work, it is because people are ready to start the transition and we then offer them a space to grow their project. Nevertheless, few people at PAVéS think that this is enough. Governments and institutions, like Sciences Po, need to put real policies into action, which join together the social and the environmental in an approach where the economy and politics work in the interests of humans and nature. This is our political and ecological vision.
CS: In order for people to understand ecology, I think we need to be careful that we do not depoliticise it by making it a simple question of a way of life and individual choice. Although the changes and actions each individual takes are very important, it is the whole economic and political system that we need to rethink to create an ecological society.
What are your ambitions for the future?
IP: That all our projects grow bigger! But we keep in mind that when projects grow, you also risk losing control of the quality of things. It would be great if, above all, our projects have a bigger impact! More concretely, we are currently thinking about a second cafeteria project at Sciences Po and we have also suggested to set up a self-managed cafeteria on the future campus of Sciences Po which will open in 2022. We are also working hard to create a “CAFéS Network”; we would like to group together student initiatives like ours in one forum. The aim is to promote the model; we have created a file which describes how to easily set up a self-managed cafe in a university. We realised that people would often ask us questions and that we have developed a true expertise in this field.
- Dancing to the Beat of Sciences Po: Art'Core Sciences Po's dance association
- Student associations and initiatives
- Culture, Athletics, and Associations at Sciences Po
- Paris campus - the garden ©Martin Argyroglo/Sciences Po
In the face of a climate in crisis and a planet experiencing profound ecological disruption, Sciences Po has set itself an ambitious three-year action plan. This plan will form one part of the much wider Climate Action: Make It Work initiative, launched in 2015. It responds to the institution’s obligations as both a place of study and work and a centre for teaching and learning, in Paris and across the six regional campuses.
Putting environment at the heart of teaching and research
Sciences Po also recognises its responsibility as a site of teaching and the transmission of knowledge. Meeting regularly between April and October 2019, our research and teaching review committee, led by Bruno Latour, has produced an encouraging first report on the place of environmental concerns within our educational ecosystem. A significant and varied range of teaching and research on the environment already exists, which now needs to be expanded and rendered more visible and more accessible to a wider audience. This is the objective of the 2020-2023 roadmap (fr, pdf, 120 Kb) that the institution has set for itself with regards to teaching and research. The roadmap establishes environmental issues as a priority theme for the university, which should feed into all aspects of our teaching and research. Key measures include:
At undergraduate level
- The creation of a mandatory core course on the history/sociology of the environment
- Introduction of exploratory seminars and active educational exercises on each campus
- An ecological issues certification
- More opportunities within this field for the Civic Learning Programme
At master’s level
- A core foundational course in environmental issues for all master’s students
- Creation of a skills certificate
- New dual degrees on ecological issues
For doctoral students
- Creation of an interdisciplinary programme of doctoral research on the subject
- Creation of a summer school to introduce candidates to the challenges of social science research on the environment
- Recruitment of at least 15 academics working on issues related to environmental disruption between now and 2023.
10 Objectives for a “Sustainable Campus”
Sciences Po has also taken action as an organisation, presenting a action plan to reduce the ecological footprint of all its campuses and activities (pdf, 150 Kb). Directly inspired by our climate consultation, organised with students, teachers, and employees in November 2019, this plan takes the form of ten concrete objectives that will reduce our carbon consumption over the next three years:
- Reduce pollutant professional trips
- Reduce our water and energy consumption
- Reduce digital pollution
- Reduce single-use plastic waste
- Reduce paper consumption
- Improve recycling
- Promote reuse
- Plant new green spaces and implement sustainable management of existing ones
- Reinforce our policy on responsible purchasing
- Improve the catering offering on our campuses
This plan will build on various other initiatives launched over the course of the last few years: our eco-responsible travel policy, introduced in 2018, the establishment of environmental specifications in public tenders as of 2014, the removal of plastic bottles from our campuses in 2019, communal printer-photocopiers, recycling of waste, and so on.
These institutional commitments follow on from agreements made by Sciences Po and partner universities at the U7+ Alliance international summit, and as part of its collaboration in the European University project, CIVICA. “These plans are the result of a collaboration across the entirety of Sciences Po, with the common goal of taking firm action in response to the climate crisis and mobilising to prepare the world of tomorrow, both with and for our communities", summarised Frédéric Mion, Director of Sciences Po.
Find out more
- Portrait of Carole Meffre ©Judith Azéma / Sciences Po
Involved in the association Sciences Po Environnement (FR) since her first year at Sciences Po, Carole Meffre is the coordinator of the Paris campus chapter today, and a master’s student at the School of Public Affairs. She discusses the vision and the challenges of this flagship fixture of campus life which is celebrating its 12th year in 2020.
You joined Sciences Po Environnement during the first year of your bachelor’s degree. You are now a master’s student. What are the reasons behind this long-standing commitment? How has the association evolved over the years?
The environment was one of the main topics of my personal statement when I applied to Sciences Po: my concerns about the subject went back a few years. However, I was truly a novice back then, contrary to the students who join us today: they’re well informed, proactive, and are often deeply invested in multiple associations. They often contact us for information even before arriving at Sciences Po! In the past few years, Sciences Po Environnement has evolved greatly: it’s now a permanent and national structure which brings together more than 250 people across seven campuses. Above all, when the association was born 12 years ago, the subject was considered marginal… Today, the environment is at the heart of students’ concerns. Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean we don’t spend a lot of time trying to convince students to take action at all levels, both individually and collectively.
Today you’re the coordinator for the Paris campus, but you’ve previously occupied other positions within the association. What is Sciences Po Environnement’s role?
We have two missions: on the one side, raising awareness among the student community, and on the other, the transformation of Sciences Po into a sustainable establishment. We organise a large number of events, conferences, themed weeks - most recently, the European Week for Waste Reduction - and very diverse activities that range from thrift sales to cooking classes and DIY workshops. The sensitisation also works through student services, with very simple things like our ‘tassothèque’ (tasse = mug) which allows students to borrow mugs and avoid using disposable cups. But we’re not going to content ourselves with just this: individual actions are necessary, but are not at all sufficient in the face of climate change. We thus have another mission which focuses on eco-empowerment within Sciences Po.
What message and what actions do you undertake on this theme?
Sciences Po Environnement is one of five permanent associations: it is a particularity of Sciences Po. We rely on this strength to project a message of transformation at the level of our own university: this is the objective of our Sustainable Campus team. We have a place at the debate table, and we try to be constructive, professional and credible. We look at what is practiced elsewhere to show what works, not only in France but also in the international universities that students discover during their year abroad. It is a long-term job, not always easy to reconcile with turnover, which is the rule in a student association, but we obtain results, such as a compost, the vegetable garden or waste-sorting. However, from our point of view, these accomplishments are still too few, and we want the institution to be more ambitious, especially in terms of its carbon footprint. We now have a single contact with the new Chief Sustainability Officer at Sciences Po, which is a good sign. Overall, we are also campaigning for more environmental education in our courses - we are eagerly awaiting the report from the Latour committee which has been commissioned to present its findings on the subject. We hope that the initiatives will become a fundamental movement on practices and lessons.
Would you say that Sciences Po Environnement is a political association?
We are a political association, but not a partisan one! For us the environment is without question an issue that transcends all political parties. We try our best to unite all the different trends in political ecology, but this ecumenism is not without debate! But that's what I find fascinating. Some are also involved in other projects, in their own party, neighborhood or city. Others reconcile their commitment to the association with other modes of action, occasional mobilisations, and even civil disobedience. Sciences Po Environnement remains a gateway for students who want to get involved in ecology: it aims to remain wide open!
- Hélène Périvier and Françoise Milewski ©Thomas Arrivé
PRESAGE, Sciences Po’s Research and Educational Programme on Gender Studies, was created in 2010. With the triple aim of promoting gender-related research, developing the university’s curriculum, and disseminating knowledge within the field, PRESAGE was among the first cross-cutting, interdisciplinary research programmes dedicated to gender studies in France. Meet its founders, Hélène Périvier et Françoise Milewski, both researchers at the Paris-based Observatoire français des conjonctures économiques (OFCE).
How did PRESAGE come in to being?
Hélène Périvier: The PRESAGE programme was born out of my first encounter with Françoise Milewski. We were both economists at the French Economic Observatory (OFCE), one of Sciences Po’s research centres, and we found that we had a shared interest in issues of gender equality, inequality, discrimination, and the whole concept of gender in general.
Françoise Milewski: In 2010 there were a few people at Sciences Po working on these themes but their research was not really visible to the wider public. That’s what made us want to create a multidisciplinary programme that could incorporate both teaching and research.
Hélène Périvier: The idea was to build bridges between research and public debate. Academic research on the subject is extremely rich – conceptually but also in terms of controversy – yet it doesn’t always seem to feed into public debate. That seemed a shame to us because, while each of us may have our own view on issues of gender equality, in reality it is a subject of eminent complexity.
How are gender studies perceived and taught at Sciences Po?
Hélène Périvier: The term ‘gender studies’ is often used to describe a fairly restricted field of research, which looks at issues of sexual identity, sexuality, and socially constructed identity. At Sciences Po we use the term much more broadly to incorporate the study and better understanding of the origins of gender inequality but also of discrimination of all kinds: discrimination on the basis of sexuality, appearance, sex, ethnicity, and so on. The approach to gender here is extremely varied and the axis of the social sciences has a clear impact: Sciences Po’s five key disciplines – history, sociology, political sciences, economy and law – are all brought to bear on the wider field of gender.
Françoise Milewski: What’s really important for us at PRESAGE is the interdisciplinary, cross-cutting approach, which is a question of outlook as much as procedure. The fact of gender studies having its place amongst the body of other research centres at Sciences Po generates exchange between disciplines and reinforces the scientific nature of the work that the centre produces.
10 years on since the creation of the programme, how do you feel about how far it has come?
Hélène Périvier: We’re pretty pleased. We have always been made to feel extremely welcome and our colleagues have contributed enthusiastically to the success of the programme. I could cite Bruno Perreau, now a professor at MIT, Janine Mossuz-Lavau, who was one of the first researchers at Sciences Po to work on themes of gender, and then, of course, the members of our steering committee: Marta Dominguez Folgueras, Réjane Sénac, Elissa Mailänder and Marie Mercat-Bruns.
We have also had the warm support of the philosopher of feminist thought Geneviève Fraisse, who has only taught once over the course of her academic career and chose to do that at Sciences Po. It was a very proud moment! We are also grateful to Françoise Héritier, who supported us a great deal and whose presence on the academic landscape is sorely missed.
Françoise Milewski: Our greatest satisfaction is to have championed interdisciplinarity in research and teaching and to have been able to develop teaching which remains open to the contradictions existing in the field. PRESAGE’s researchers have contributed to academic but also popular debates in relation to current affairs.
Hélène Périvier: We have just established an Advanced Certification in Gender Studies, which will allow Sciences Po graduates with a firm grounding in the field of gender studies to highlight that for potential employers or other institutions. Going forward, we hope to develop the range of courses on offer still further. We are also planning to devise a rolling programme of training courses on gender equality for people already in employment.
- The founders of EKOTA ©EKOTA
Mas Mahmud and Leen Youssef, former refugees and alumni of Sciences Po, transformed their experiences into a mission to help displaced persons while taking action to counter climate change. Interview.
You recently launched an association called EKOTA. Can you tell us about it? What is the significance of the name EKOTA?
We are four co-founders who share the same values and ideas. A large number of actors work to address the issues of integration of displaced persons (refugees, asylum seekers, migrants, stateless persons). However, we believe displaced persons often know best what their needs are, as well as the barriers they face when addressing those needs. Their awareness of their own resilience and strengths puts them in a better position to act than external actors. Members of host societies that interact daily with displaced persons also have a deeper understanding of integration. The equal participation of these two groups in integration programmes and measures can strengthen support and social cohesion.
That is why we created EKOTA, which means 'unity' in Bengali, with the aim to facilitate and highlight collective and individual actions that address integration issues faced by displaced persons while contributing to raising awareness on climate crisis. Our ultimate objective is to ensure that refugees become actors as opposed to subjects.
Regarding your own journey as a refugee, what were the greatest challenges you had to overcome?
Leen: Starting over is never easy. The language was one of the biggest barriers, but administrative procedures and making new friends were also challenging. Finding a way to validate experiences and transform skills into a job opportunity and trying to build a new life with the weight of the old on our shoulders are not easy, but with our resilience and the support of the host community we manage to do it.
Mas: I would argue that for me there are three challenges: first, constantly being disapproved of and not taken seriously, as a form of stigmatisation and victimisation, especially by those working in the humanitarian field. Second, finding a balance between my life at home and my life here surrounded by a newly built support system is very challenging. Third, just as most displaced persons, another challenge is to be professionally integrated in the employment sector. Overall, because I work in the humanitarian and migration sector, my personal experiences of displacement and the emotions derived from them could also hinder my professional input in some ways.
Are there certain issues that impact the lives of displaced persons that are overlooked in the mainstream discussion on the subject of migration?
Leen: All policies and efforts go towards fulfilling basic needs and because we are still struggling with the basics, many problems are overlooked, such as psychological health: there are problems like isolation, depression, post-traumatic stress disorders, the challenges of adapting to a new culture, dealing with grief and loss; these problems affect employment and integration and they are seen as secondary problems and sometimes not even acknowledged or considered. That's why it's important to include persons concerned in all aspects of policy and programming, letting them speak and taking into consideration their views. And in addition to this, the fulfilment is based on the needs of the host society who receive them directly, not just displaced persons - and we need to take both points of view into consideration.
Your goal with EKOTA is to link the fields of migration and sustainability. Can you tell us more about how and why these issues are intertwined?
Mas: The climate crisis will lead to more displacement in the decades to come. It will be necessary to be prepared and anticipate responding to a large number of displaced persons who are likely to have different needs. We aim to link migration and sustainability by working with displaced persons and members of host societies to reduce their individual environmental footprint and raise awareness on the issue. Drawing on the lessons learned, we aim to provide our understanding of the root causes of displacement, the different needs of displaced persons due to the climate crisis and provide support to actors to better respond to these needs.
Do you feel that the media treats the subject of migration fairly?
Leen: I feel migration is often associated with threats to the host society. As a carrier and facilitator of news, the media plays a role in contributing to creating fear, in a sense of losing cultural identity due to migration influx, and by using terms such as ‘crisis’. It also plays a role in creating and spreading negative connotations around migration issues, mainly by portraying displaced persons as a mass of people who are primarily vulnerable and in need, and not distinguishing between migration and forced displacement. Migrants are also instrumentalised, especially around election periods.
EKOTA is hosting its first event on 23 December. Can you tell us about it; what is the purpose of this event?
Mas: It is important to come together and share the spirit of Christmas. Many among us, including refugees, are not able to do so. Traditional actors tend to be absent during the festive period. Therefore, we are organising a festive dinner event to create social bonds and promote social cohesion. This event aims at bringing marginalised displaced individuals and Parisians together in the hope that people from different backgrounds can celebrate the end of year festive activities together. We are also asking for people to support us in organising this event by contributing to our crowdfunding campaign.
What are your hopes for the association in one, two, five years from now?
Mas: During the first couple of years, we aim to facilitate the roles of displaced persons with any and all actors that work with them and addressing the issue of climate crisis by:
- organising workshops on reducing individual carbon footprints;
- organising awareness raising campaigns on issues faced by displaced persons;
- strengthening the capacities and resilience of displaced individuals and accompanying them in becoming self-sufficient.
Our goals for the association in five years’ time are broader. We aim to ensure that displaced persons possess the ability to influence each decision that affects their well-being, and that these decisions are bolstered through their equal and meaningful participation - while also contributing to the shift towards a sustainable and carbon-neutral society.
If you could change something immediately, from today, what would it be?
Leen: I would enact strict legislation against smugglers who endanger the lives of displaced persons and threaten their families, forcing them to work illegally during their displacement, and often in host societies, to pay off huge debts.
- Mas Mahmud: “I challenge each of us to think of humanity”
- A Different View
- The Exorbitant Cost of Climate Procrastination
- 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 20 to 25 January 2020 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 9 December 2019, 10am.
Please note that this programme is optional and costs 250 euros.
Student Exchange Team: firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out more
- Current Mastercard scholars ©Sciences Po
The Mastercard Foundation, partnered with Sciences Po, provides full scholarships to students from Sub-Saharan Africa who have great academic potential but limited financial resources. Over six years (from 2017 to 2023), this programme will support a total of 126 students admitted to its undergraduate, graduate and summer programmes. This exceptional scholarship programme aims to recruit talented students who aspire to shape the future of the African continent and help them develop their full potential.
In 2020, 5 scholarships at the Bachelor’s level, 15 scholarships at the Master’s level and 12 scholarships for the Summer School will be awarded to students from Sub-Saharan African countries with an outstanding academic record and strong leadership potential, but who face financial and other barriers to higher education.
Mastercard Foundation scholarships are awarded in collaboration with a network of partner institutions authorised to nominate candidates.
Deadlines to apply are December 5, 2019 for the Master's scholarship, January 29, 2020 for the Bachelor's scholarship and January 19, 2020 for the Summer School scholarship.
- J.P. Fitoussi, J. Stiglitz, V. Zelizer and J. Lazarus ©Alexis Lecomte
During a moving ceremony on 13 November 2019, Sciences Po awarded the sociologist Viviana Zelizer and the economist Joseph Stiglitz the titles of Docteur honoris causa. This distinction was given to Dr. Zelizer for her work as the founder of a new school of economic sociology, and to Dr. Stiglitz as the figure of the new Keynesian economy. The invaluable contributions made to their respective disciplines were highlighted in the praises of Jeanne Lazarus and Jean-Paul Fitoussi, respectively.
Created in 1918, the title of Doctor honoris causa is one of the most prestigious distinctions awarded by French higher education institutions to honour "people of foreign nationalities because of outstanding services to science, literature or the arts, to France or to the higher education institution that awards the title."
Source: Sorbonne Université
- An online consultation is open from 4 to 15 November 2019
How can Sciences Po become a more sustainable university and workplace? An online consultation, "Sustainable Campus", is open now until 15 November in order to gather your ideas, proposals and votes to help us become a more ecologically responsible university. This consultation is one of the pillars of our Climate Action: Make it Work initiative and concerns all of the Sciences Po campuses.
To participate, visit the Climate Action: Make It Work collaborative platform and log in using your Sciences Po address.
You can suggest one or more ideas and/or vote on other ideas amongst any of the six themes of the consultation:
- Waste Management
- Transport & Food
- Suppliers & Partners
- Energy Consumption
- Green Spaces
- Events & Debates
Following the consultation, the ideas with the most votes under each theme will be subject to a comprehensive review. These ideas along with a summary of all contributions will be presented to the governing entities of Sciences Po. This consultation will nourish the institutional action plan on sustainability and our ecological transition, which will be presented early 2020 by our sustainability officer.
We're counting on you !
- The Reims campus library, renamed in honor of Peter J. Awn ©Martin Argyroglo
Energetic. Supportive. Eccentric. Intellectual. Non-traditional. Witty. Brilliant. Passionate. When colleagues and alumni are asked to describe the late Dean Emeritus Peter J. Awn of the Columbia University School of General Studies, adjectives begin to flow. As of September 2019, his name will adorn the state-of-the-art library of our Reims campus.
On September 4th, 2019, current Dean of General Studies of Columbia University, Lisa Rosen-Metsch, the President of Sciences Po, Frédéric Mion, former Vice-President of International Affairs, Francis Verillaud, the Dean of the Undergraduate College, Stéphanie Balme, campus director, Tilman Turpin, family, friends, alumni and current students, gathered on the Reims campus for a dedication ceremony that would name the campus library after the late Dean Awn.
Dean of the School of General Studies from 1997 to 2017, Peter Awn, together with Francis Verrillaud, was the co-founder of the dual BA program between Columbia University and Sciences Po. Their shared vision of a world-class, international and multicultural education resulted in the creation of a program that would allow students to study two years at Sciences Po (in Reims, Le Havre or Menton), and two years at Columbia University in the city of New York.
According to students and colleagues, both past and present, Peter J. Awn was more than just a professor or a Dean - he was an inimitable institution of the Morningside campus. His fame was not limited to Columbia, however, as he was well-loved and respected by all who had the privilege of meeting him. He possessed an inexhaustible desire to improve the lives of students, and it was this shared desire that helped Columbia University and Sciences Po make the dual BA program between Columbia University and Sciences Po the success it is today. But his role did not end there: Dean Awn visited the three participating campuses twice a year, meeting students from the incoming cohorts and ensuring that they already felt part of Columbia University. President Mion described him as a francophile, and Vice-Dean Curtis Rodgers recounted how much he cherished meeting students during his bi-annual visits to France.
Dean Awn was part of the School of General Studies for four decades, and it is not difficult to understand why he became almost synonymous with the institution. “GS” (as it is informally known) was created in 1947 with the purpose of allowing WWII veterans to return to university and rebuild their lives. A former Jesuit priest-turned-scholar of Islam, Dean Awn believed in second chances, and so he took this vision and expanded it to all 'non-traditional' students (be it veterans, performers, entrepreneurs, career-changers, or clergymen) who had had to interrupt their higher education or start at a later age due to various circumstances. The dual BA, launched in 2010, was perhaps the most innovative extension of these values.
Awn, who had since retired from the position of Dean but continued to teach at Columbia University, kept a close relationship with students and alumni of the dual BA until his death in February 2019. Sciences Po chose to honour its colleague and friend through the naming of the recently created Reims campus library, a place of intellectual reflection and curiosity.
The dedication ceremony was conducted in the former refectory, where campus director Tilman Turpin, President Mion, Vice-Dean Curtis Rodgers, Francis Verillaud, Dean Rosen-Metsch, Elif Naz Coker, an alumna of the program, as well as Norman Laurila, a lifelong friend of Dean Awn, addressed the gathering. In a poignant series of tributes, speakers recounted memories, told anecdotes, and paid their respects to a figure who dedicated his life to the pursuit of excellence in education, but most importantly, to education that is accessible to all. To close the ceremony, President Mion and Dean Rosen-Metsch unveiled the plaque honouring Dean Awn that will henceforth adorn the entrance of the bibliothèque, a sacred space that symbolizes knowledge and education and where students spend countless hours during their studies.
- "Sciences Po Dedicates Reims Campus Library to Late Dean Emeritus Peter J. Awn", Columbia School of General Studies
- ©Caroline Maufroid / Sciences Po
At Sciences Po, we firmly believe that financial barriers should not get in the way of education. That is why each year we dedicate 10.5 million euros in scholarships and financial aid. Thanks to this proactive social policy, every year we help 4 in 10 students (figures from 2017-2018).
1 in 3 students studies for free
Sciences Po’s first engagement in its social policy is carried out in its tuition fees. In 2005, Sciences Po devised an innovative system for students of the European Economic Area: tuition fees are determined according to household income, on a sliding scale with 14 different rates of tuition. The first of these 14 ranks, is the zero fee level. This fee waiver is not just applicable to CROUS scholarship holders, but also to non-scholarship holders from low income backgrounds, and to all students with a disability. The result: 1 in 3 students were exempt of tuition fees in 2017-2018.
What is a CROUS scholarship?
European students who have studied in France for at least one year are eligible to apply for the CROUS need-based scholarship. These need-based scholarships are awarded by the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research to students under 28 years of age depending on family situation and household income. In 2016, 26% of Sciences Po students were CROUS scholarship fellows.
Living cost loans for hassle-free study
For students from a low-income background, studying for free may not be enough: living costs can be just as expensive. That is why all European students benefiting from the CROUS scholarship – 26% of our students in the 2017/2018 academic year – are also entitled to additional financial aid from Sciences Po, as a top-up to fee exoneration. Any Sciences Po student falling within the lowest CROUS percentile receives 971 euros a month, as opposed to 555 euros a month at any other French institution (2017 figures). In the 2017/2018 academic year, these grants allowed 2,400 European students to complete their studies free of financial constraints.
Faithful to its European commitments, Sciences Po makes additional efforts to help European scholarship students. Although European students aren’t eligible for a CROUS scholarship until their second year in France, Sciences Po substitutes the CROUS scholarship during their first year, a supplementary support which is unique amongst French higher education institutions.
Over 30 scholarships and financial aid opportunities exist for non-European students too, particularly the Emile Boutmy scholarship, named after the university’s founder. Awarded according to both academic and social criteria, there were 281 Boutmy scholars in 2017-2018. Boutmy scholarships can amount to 19,000 euros a year. Other programmes are also available, such as the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Programme, specifically designed to aid gifted African students.
Finally, many Sciences Po students benefit from public or private scholarship programmes.
On the whole, Sciences Po helps nearly 4 in 10 students: 36% of students are exempt (totally or partially) from paying tuition fees or receive financial aid.
- See the full list of scholarships available for European students
- See the full list of scholarships available for Non-European students
Mobiliy Grants for the Year Abroad
At Sciences Po, a mandatory part of the degree is the 3rd year abroad. This is an unforgettable experience for students but not everybody has the financial means to cover living costs in a foreign country. In order for all students to choose the country of their choice, our mobility grants provide students with financial difficulties the means to pay for the extra costs of a year abroad, or, to make the necessary arrangements in the case of a handicap.
Emergency hardship: tailor-made support
Beyond these financial aid initiatives, Sciences Po’s welfare services are available to support all students so that daily living costs, administrative costs, or any unforeseen challenges they may face do not add excess pressure on their studies.
- The housing service collects adverts and postings, supports students in their search for accommodation whilst proposing housing options in student residences, and can also provide financial aid.
- To help overcome unforeseen financial difficulties or a delayed loan payment, our student welfare and support service adapts to each individual case, even giving out emergency help.
- We also provide help for non-European students with administrative procedures involved in obtaining visas and residence permits or renewing them.
- Finally, to help students make ends meet, we offer more than 600 student jobs each year.
And for concerns that are not uniquely financial, our Health Centre is available to provide further support.
Source: Financial aid policy and student services, admissions report 2017-2018
- Students listening to inaugural lecture in amphitheatre @Judith Azema
On your marks, get set… the start of the new academic year is upon us! Some students will be taking their first steps at Sciences Po as freshmen, others will be returning to familiar ground. Like every year, a back-to-school ceremony is held on each Undergraduate College campus and for each of the seven graduate schools. This year, the central theme of these ceremonies is the future of our planet. See details below.
The beginning of each new academic year is a formal occasion which celebrates the values and ambition of Sciences Po's educational programme. This is highlighted by the inaugural lectures given by a special guest of honour. It is often the first time that new students meet our director, Frédéric Mion, and the pedagogical teams that will monitor their progress throughout the year.