In the departmental council of Seine-Saint-Denis and later in the city of Saint-Denis, you have held positions related to the promotion of social equality, an action that you continue as President of the 21e Siècle Club for Diversity. What is the connection with the fact of taking the direction of HEIP (Higher International and Political Studies)?
After studying I did choice of public service, as I felt the need to be of service. When I was offered this position, it seemed to me that it corresponded to my experience. With my senior civil servant and operational profile, I had the skills to strategize and spearhead it from an equal opportunity perspective under a Republican lens.
Higher education, whether public or private, produces enlightened citizens who are aware of their openness to others and to knowledge. The common thread of all this is the public good. Private education has the advantage of: I have a lot of freedom of actionwhich allows us to act quickly, which is necessary in our field.
How does this dynamic of social openness play out within HEIP?
As far as the origins of our students are concerned, we are much more socially open than Science po. This is one of our strengths because it creates more creativity and imitation. And I prefer obtain state recognition of the institutionso that our students can benefit from Crous Scholarships.
Private education has the advantage of: I have a lot of freedom of actionwhich allows you to act quickly.
But the first hurdle to equal opportunity is not financial: the best way to get access is to take courses. Therefore, we are launching a mentoring project at the beginning of the 2022 school year. HEIP students will accompany students from Saint-Saint-Denis High School. who study history-geography, geopolitics and political science (HGGSP) – a very selective specialty, depending on the background.
It is also a specialty that has had some success…
Yes ! And so much the better if we can do something other than learning very general basics.
We see what it creates increasing demand for admission to our school. So we will answer this, and since we want to be present on more sites in order to ensure territorial equality, we open our training in Bordeaux at the beginning of the 2022 academic year. Next year, the course will open in Rennes and Aix-Marseille at the start of the 2024 academic year.
Other campus projects are on the table. In Paris, the school will move to La Défense along with the other schools of the Omnes group at the start of the 2022 academic year… The school has already grown from 450 students in 2018 to 1200 today. Do you have other projects?
Yes, we plan to open campus in Abidjan (Ivory Coast) by the start of the 2023 academic year which will offer initial and continuing education. The African continent is a place where the demand for training will skyrocket. That the notion of public utility is not limited to France.
We also strive develop short executive training. For example, we could come up with a format for training elected officials with no political experience.
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You mentioned the speed of action in the private sector: the school will review the content of the undergraduate and graduate cycle programs from the beginning of the 2022 academic year. How is this being implemented?
Yes, we are revisiting educational models. Thus, in undergraduate studies, the student will be able to choose a specialty in the 3rd year, based on one of our pillars: political science or international relations. We will create three new master’s programs : digital and digital transformation of the state; diplomacy and soft power (in English), as well as international relations and sustainable development.
That the aspect of professionalization will be strengthened, from the first year of undergraduate studies. As far as possible, we will ensure that the student is active in immersive pedagogy. We will strengthen our partnerships with companies to offer internships as well as invite speakers.
Where our graduates work is not only political science. They need to understand what the engineer is saying.
We will also rely on hybridizationwhich is allowed in other schools in the Omnes group so that students have mixed courses. The goal here is also to make learning more professional.
Where our graduates work is not only political science. They need to understand what the engineer is saying. At times, political graduates can appear abstract and perhaps arrogant. You must be open to other professional ways of thinking. And we want attract more international studentswhich today account for 20%.
You mentioned Science in Paris. Is it an unsurpassed benchmark when it comes to higher education in political science?
Our school is also very old, as it was founded in 1899. But it is true that today we do not have the recognition that Sciences Po has. This is also an advantage because we stay with the staff on a human scale, which allows us to maintain a close relationship with the students.
We have an exceptional teaching staff and we are much more professional than Sciences Po and IEP.
We have an exceptional teaching staff and we are much more professional than Sciences Po and IEP. From the undergraduate cycle, we offer fundamental and professional lessons (training in account management, project management) with incentives for internships.
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2022 is marked by politics, presidential and legislative elections. How do you reflect this in your establishment?
Our establishment civic life school. It must be the beating heart of democracy. A series of debates will be organized. In Lyon, they run a simulation around the presidential election: students put themselves in the place of candidates, build programs and put themselves in the conditions of the election.
Do you want to involve them more in political life? Do you find them less interested?
We should not refuse to involve them in this debate, that would be a mistake. With the entertainment we offer, our institution is committed to the fact that young people can inspire other young people. This is a very good bet!
Some young people don’t vote but are very committed to fighting.. Other young people feel more politically powerful because of the way they consume by boycotting food. We might regret this. Or we can rejoice that there is a duplication of political expressions.
To these questions, the school must provide elements of perspective so that everyone can form an opinion. It would be troubling if we could no longer have these debates.
You are talking about the motivation of social utility, you are in charge of a political science institute… Are you planning to go into politics?
(Laughs) Not ! Except that I’m already doing it because I contribute to the life of society. I am very satisfied with all my projects. This school, which I have been running for a year now, still has a lot of potential. The issue I am working on is to know how to be a pioneer and how to be useful to society and students.
Find a biography of Letizia Elue on EducPros