Looking Ahead to the 2020-2021 Academic Year
In anticipation of the 2020-2021 academic year, Université PSL President Alain Fuchs introduces a special taskforce as part of his message to the PSL community.
With our operations gradually returning to normal, I’d like to pay tribute to our scientific, educational and administrative teams, our technical personnel and all of PSL’s students. They all showed impressive determination and creativity, both in keeping our courses, examinations, dissertation defenses, departments and organizations running smoothly in a way that ensured everyone’s health and general well-being, but also in helping to resolve the crisis at both the national and international level.
Collectively, PSL laboratories in every discipline developed some fifty research initiatives in areas ranging from data modeling and analysis to therapeutic developments, medical protocols, testing procedures, surveys, theses and much more. The Institut Curie Hospital made beds available, while our schools distributed masks, sanitizer, hairnets and more to hospitals and nursing homes.
For their part, the chief operating officers were quick to coordinate with each organization to share their action plans and implement continuity plans, followed by recovery plans, in conjunction with those affected. The University offered support to every component school that requested it, while student services continued to operate at full strength. The student newsletter offered a wealth of tips and advice.
Under these exceptional and trying conditions, our University operated quite well overall. For the upcoming academic year, we will need to contend with the government-mandated distancing regulations and the partial closure of France’s borders, which has been so detrimental to our international students. Our pedagogical practices will need to be adapted accordingly, with a combination of in-person and remote teaching.
That hybrid approach will offer an opportunity to capitalize on our experience over the past few months. It does not mean that PSL intends to follow the path of other institutions by switching to all-remote education. The model we promote at PSL is, and will remain, that of in-person, small-group and research-based learning.
At the Directorate’s request, we have appointed a taskforce with members from each PSL school and institute, led by Isabelle Catto, Vice President for Undergraduate Education and Academic Affairs. Drawing on feedback from faculty and students alike, the taskforce will share ideas on best practices and develop a comprehensive action plan for the 2020-2021 academic year, with attention to our teaching methods, information systems, international students, student services and campus life, teacher training in our staff training program, and internships. That plan will be aligned with our efforts to converge the information systems at our component schools, and will be mindful of each school’s specific needs and academic calendar.
We will keep you updated about the results of the taskforce’s work.
In conclusion, on behalf of the entire scientific, educational and administrative community, I want to convey to our students at PSL that we are doing everything possible to ensure they enjoy the best possible conditions for academic study during the upcoming semester.
Yours in PSL
Alain Fuchs, President of Université PSL