April 17, 2015
The University of New England signed a partnership agreement with the Institut des Études Politiques (IPE) at Saint-Germain-en-Laye, near Paris, on April 10, 2015 to promote student exchange between the two institutions. Known as “Sciences Po,” the Saint-Germain-en-Laye institution is the tenth in a series of similar elite institutions around France.
The partnership involves a reciprocal exchange of students: Sciences Po Saint-Germain-en-Laye will send 10 students to UNE’s campuses in Maine and Morocco, and a similar number of UNE students will be able to study at Sciences Po near Paris. Courses available at both institutions will be in English, but UNE students can also take a course in the French language.
The agreement was signed on the margins of the official dedication of Sciences Po Saint-Germain-en-Laye by France’s Minister of Education, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem; Morocco’s ambassador to France, Chakib Benmoussa; university presidents; Science Po directors and many other dignitaries. The UNE-Sciences Po Saint-Germain-en-Laye was singled out as a special partnership because it covers two institutions and three continents. Ambassador Benmoussa expressed enthusiastic support for this project.
UNE President Danielle Ripich said that for UNE to be present and mentioned at such a high-level French event is a testament to how much progress the University has made in globalizing its institution. Ripich remarked, “What we have done in less than five years is, actually, quite staggering and reflects our steady commitment to making our students world citizens and competitive in the global job market. To partner with such a prestigious French institution speaks volumes about the work that is being done at UNE.”
Anouar Majid, vice president for Global Affairs and Communications, said that his French colleagues were delighted to partner with UNE. “They visited a few Ivy League schools in the US, but found UNE to be especially dynamic and open to creative solutions. This partnership will enhance our standing around the world. Like with our programs in Seville and Tangier, our students will now be able to spend a semester or a year in a small elite college in an upscale suburb of Paris at no additional cost.”
This agreement opens the door to further collaboration with the Sciences Po’s parent institutions in the Parisian region – the universities of Cergy-Pontoise (UCP) and Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (UVSQ).
The student exchange agreement is expected to go in effect in fall 2016.