How to form responsible leaders today in a globalized world?
This was the theme of the conference-debate organized by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry France-Belgium, at BNP Paribas Fortis headquarters in the center of Brussels, last evening on September 17. Enhanced by the presence of the Ambassador of France in Belgium, Claude-France Arnould and presented by Rénaud Bentégeat, President of CCI Belgium France, this conference brought together more than 100 people from the French-Belgian economic world, alumni and prospective students.
Nearly 150 years old, Science Po Paris was founded at the end of the 19th century during the post-war-period crisis. Frédéric Mion, Director of Science Po Paris, first put forward the main foundations of Science Po Paris: starting with the challenge of multi-disciplinarity. Training men and women in a complex world, as we know it today, requires positioning the institution at a crossroad of different disciplines, ranging from law, social sciences to international relations.
Science Po has managed to break down geographical and cultural boundaries, as such these traits have become synonymous with the geographic and social diversity it represents through its students.
A third value for these men and women is not only the importance of theory’s contribution but also the action during the course. In the pedagogical relationship, the main role is given to the student. They put into action “the real” via case studies or experiments. Finally, according to F. Mion, “We do not train super-technicians, but we train women and men to become who they are. We teach them pedagogical methods, tools and values.”
Science Po Paris is also its research and its 220 teachers/researchers who irrigate the teaching. One of the challenges for today’s responsible leaders is to be able to speak in the current debates, be it international politics, finance or sustainable development.
Concretely, Science Po Paris is comprised of 13,000 students, 4,500 professors and 2000 graduates per year. These graduates start working for both, the private and the public sector, and 40% of them are employed abroad. According to Marc de Fleurieu, Co-President of the Alumni, “nearly 1,000 former Science Po Paris alumni work in Brussels as Expats in European Affairs and in large, in Belgian or Franco-Belgian, or international companies.”
For those who are interested, there is a specific procedure to follow, including a selective test for foreign student applicants. Moreover, these prospective students -whether American, Chinese, Belgian or other- can follow the curriculum in another language. As such, they are not penalized for not being acquainted with the Franco-French curriculum or not knowing French.
The new campus, Campus 2022, with an area of 14,000 m2 will bring together at the heart of Paris its current 23 locations. Besides its quality of teaching and research, remaining in Paris was a strategic choice but also an attractive element for students. Especially young Belgians and the Bruxellois.
“We are delighted to welcome this initiative in Brussels with more than 1000 Science Po alumni working in Brussels, or anywhere in Belgium, in the Institutional and Corporate world,” said Salvatore Orlando, Head of Expatriates Department at BNP Paribas Fortis. “Besides, it shows our important link with France, as well as with International students and professionals from all around the world. BNP Paribas Fortis supports the international professional mobility and working exchanges between the two countries.”
Science Po Paris will be returning to Brussels on November 27, 2018 for a fundraising event to ensure that it reaches its ambitions and the future of Science Po Paris.