Joining Forces For the Start To a Unique Academic Year


A message from Université PSL President Alain Fuchs to the entire PSL community.

Etudiantes PSL dans les rues de Paris

Dear students and colleagues,

Over the past several months, our University’s entire faculty and administrative staff have been taking steps to ensure that the new academic year gets off to the smoothest possible start despite the pandemic. They have done their utmost to guarantee your safety and provide for the in-person teaching that is a hallmark of our educational brand, while focusing special attention on new arrivals at PSL, international students and students facing difficult circumstances. I’d like to thank them for responding so effectively and investing their time and energy.

By drawing on the collaborative efforts of our component schools and the findings from a survey conducted last spring among 1,000 PSL faculty members, we have developed plans for the new academic year tailored to the circumstances at each institution, while building or enhancing our resources for teaching and pedagogical support. Since the spring, our in-house training facility has been assisting PSL’s teaching staff with a training program that is set to be expanded in September. The registration procedure is described on our website.

We will start the new academic year with a combination of in-person and remote teaching. Compliance with public health guidelines will be strictly enforced. Courses conducted in person will make up a larger share of the total for first- and second-year students and new arrivals at PSL, to help them integrate into the community more effectively. We have collectively prepared for any teaching conditions that may become necessary, depending on the course of the pandemic over the months to come.

In July, PSL established an emergency assistance fund offering both social and digital support. A new campaign inviting students to apply was launched on September 1.

PSL’s Welcome Desk team will be working closely with our international students throughout the year to provide all the support they need (help with government formalities, the Buddy Program, etc.). Remote coursework will be arranged for students who are unable to travel to France.

As you can see, we are doing everything possible in these exceptional times to provide the best possible conditions for work and life.

We invite you to visit our website to learn more about all of the University’s activities (athletics, music, etc.) and services (medical, housing, Welcome Desk) as well as the schedule for our traditional fall lecture series. We also invite students enrolled in a Master’s or Doctoral program to learn about both our 18 graduate programs, which encompass the full range of graduate degree opportunities we offer, and all of our PSL laboratories. Our graduate programs — an outgrowth of the PSL educational model rooted in emerging knowledge — make it easier for students to design a customized course of study and move effortlessly among PSL member schools and disciplines.

In conclusion, I would like all of us to celebrate PSL’s 36th-place finish in the Shanghai Ranking of international universities. It’s yet more proof, following the Times Higher Education, QS, CWUR and Leiden rankings, that PSL is now firmly established in the international academic landscape. What’s more, we have joined the very exclusive group of the world’s top 50 universities, all rankings combined. That recognition is the reward for our dedicated efforts over nearly a decade. For you, our students, it represents a hugely valuable passport to the world.

With my very best wishes for a successful academic year,

Alain Fuchs, President of PSL