Excellence and Equal Opportunity

PSL is a public university that promotes a diverse student body, welcoming students without regard to their socioeconomic background, gender or geographical origin. The university is committed to hosting, educating and supporting students and researchers in a spirit of equity and open-mindedness at every stage of their academic path, both before, during and after their time at PSL.

Supporting access to premium education

With rich diversity in individual backgrounds, the collective reaps a wealth of cross-pollinating ideas and approaches, rich in exchange and sources of inspiration. PSL is committed to offering equal access to premium education regardless of individual backgrounds, financial resources, and geographical location. This is our focus as we strive to marshal all of the necessary means for providing equal access to our schools and to support the advancement of a diverse pool of talent throughout full paths of education and research.

We implement this commitment through initiatives to inform future students of our education programs, provide the keys to achieving our demanding requirements, and support future applicants as they prepare for entry into our education programs. Likewise, we forge partnerships with schools and put extensive thought into creating the best possible conditions for future students to join PSL.

Les Cordées de la Réussite

Les Cordées de la Réussite (Roped together for success) is a program launched in 2008 by France’s Ministry of Higher Education to promote academic success by encouraging partnerships between institutions of higher education and middle and secondary schools in high-priority areas. At PSL, our participation in these programs and daylong events highlights our commitment to expanding access to a top-quality education.

Promoting gender equality

More than half of the doctoral students in Europe are women, but their proportion is clearly decreasing in research laboratories, and especially in management positions.

 PSL University is proud to count among its illustrious figures Marie Curie, a scientific pioneer in many fields and a two timetwice a winner of the prestigious Nobel Prize, and among its institutions precursors such as the École nationale supérieure de Chimie de Paris - PSL which, in 1916, admitted the first woman engineer. PSL University remains particularly attentive to the representation of female students, doctoral candidates and researchers within its programmes and bodies.

 More than 50% of female baccalaureate students join the scientific stream of the CPES (Cycle Pluridisciplinaire d'Etudes Supérieures) and nearly 50% of young female engineers join the École nationale supérieure de Chimie de Paris - PSL. Each year, encouraged by their laboratories or their thesis directors, more and more female doctoral and post-doctoral students apply for and succeed in prestigious calls for projects, as shown by the many winners of the L'Oréal-Unesco Fellowships for Women in Science. Finally, among our governance bodies, in accordance with our statutes, parity is strictly respected in our Board of Directors and our Academic Senate. On the executive board, three of our components are headed by women and our executive committee has three female vice-presidents out of five.


Equal opportunity as educational commitment

Each and every PSL school takes active measures to promote opportunities for student mobility, building bridges to excellence and fostering links that allow students to surpass social and cultural barriers throughout their full academic career. In 2018, Université PSL will implement an Equal Opportunity Committee comprised of representatives from all of our schools and institutes, to further deepen our commitments in this realm.

Paris-Dauphine - PSL and its 30 partnerships with secondary schools

Université Paris-Dauphine - PSL has forged active partnerships with nearly 30 secondary schools in the Greater Paris region with a single aim: to recruit a more diverse pool of candidates for its first-year enrollment. More than 137 instructors have signed up for booster classes in key academic subjects so as to assist secondary school students in meeting admissions requirements. One in ten students we accept is a product of that booster program, which continues with personalized support during the student’s second year at university.

Moreover, in 2014 IPJ Dauphine became the first school of journalism to be awarded the Diversity Label by AFNOR, France’s certification body, for its commitment to promoting equal opportunity.

ENS - PSL and its PESU unit show their commitment to equal opportunity

Since 2011, ENS - PSL has been reflecting and acting on ways to promote equality in the educational system through its PESU unit (Programs for Equality in Schools and Universities), and particularly its Talens and Perspectives programs.

MINES Paris - PSL opening the door to careers in engineering

Each year at MINES Paris - PSL, secondary school students are invited to become student engineers for a morning. In addition to the opportunity to learn more the challenges of the future alongside instructor-researchers from a variety of engineering schools, the students get to take part in an orientation forum. Meanwhile, Cahier Vert organizes numerous activities designed to bring secondary school pupils from modest backgrounds in contact with MINES Paris - PSL students, and publishes an annual report to monitor its compliance with that commitment.

The Conservatoire (CNSAD - PSL): creating educational opportunities

The Conservatoire - PSL has undertaken an ambitious campaign to make the institution more open and accessible to underserved communities, and is stepping up its efforts within school systems to help students learn more about schools for the arts.

Under the aegis of the Conservatoire and in partnership with the MC93 theater and the Conservatory in Bobigny, a preparatory class was established in 2015 for students competing for admission to France’s schools of dramatic arts. The class is specifically targeted to students who, for economic, social or cultural reasons, feel shut out from cultural venues or believe the Conservatoire is not intended for them, and provides free preparatory training for the competitive entrance examinations conducted by national drama schools. Thirteen students were recruited and received intensive training beginning in January 2016, under the direction of Razerka Ben Sadia-Lavant.

One graduate of the training course entered the Conservatoire in September 2016, while two others are now students at the Ecole du Théâtre National de Strasbourg.

Additional parterships are being developed with an array of institutions with the aim of promoting arts education at the secondary level and creating opportunities and pathways to the Conservatoire.

A socially-conscious student body

Innovative teaching, knowledge dissemination, social responsibility, dialogue with society’s actors and decision-makers... These are all areas in which PSL invests and provides financial support, as well as areas in which our more than 100 student organizations provide active leadership.

We highlight a few of these associations here. To read more about the initiatives that PSL supports, take a look at our Campus Life section. For a full list, visit the website of the PSL Student Union, PSL’s umbrella organization for all student organizations. To learn more about upcoming calls for proposals of student initiatives, visit our applications platform.

Université PSL marshals the necessary resources to actively support socially-conscious initiatives, ideas and projects that will strengthen bonds and build our future. We are proud of our students’ initiatives, proud of all that they do.

Take a look at how they are taking full advantage of involvement in PSL student organizations: