NUS College strengthens partnership with Parisian universities

NUS College has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Sciences Po, Université Paris Cité and Inalco, signalling its continued cooperation with the Parisian universities in fostering interdisciplinarity, as well as greater collaboration in teaching and research projects. The MOU was signed by NUS College Dean Professor Simon Chesterman, President of Sciences Po Mr Mathias Vicherat, and President of Université Paris Cité Professor Christine Clerici on 5 July.

The MOU strengthens NUS’ longstanding partnership with the institutions which began through the former Sorbonne Paris Cité Alliance. The agreement will also support the launch of Global Experience Paris (GExParis) as part of NUS College’s flagship Global Pathways Programme.

Another MOU signed on the same day saw NUS College and Sciences Po’s continued collaboration on the NUS-Sciences Po Double Degree Programme, which was previously hosted by NUS’ University Scholars Programme. First established in 2016, the four-year programme allows students to attain a Bachelor of Arts/Social Sciences (Honours) from NUS, and a Bachelor of Arts from Sciences Po. Students spend two years at each university, starting first at Sciences Po in France on the Le Havre, Menton or Reims Campus, focusing on the social sciences. At NUS, students can major in Economics, History, Political Science, or Sociology in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and read multidisciplinary modules in NUS College.

The prestigious programme admits up to 10 students each year. Fifteen students have graduated from the NUS-Sciences Po Double Degree Programme to date.

"NUS College is working to deepen the collaboration with Sciences Po. We are exploring the expansion of the double degree programme to admit more candidates per year and increase the majors available," said Professor Daniel Goh, Vice Dean (Special Programmes) of NUS College.

A stepping stone to multidisciplinary learning and diverse careers 

For NUS-Sciences Po alumnus Jean-Philippe Hicke, the double degree programme (DDP) was a unique, challenging and mind-opening experience. “[It was the] best four years in my entire life,” he quipped.

In addition to being a multidisciplinary programme offered by two world-class institutions, the NUS-Sciences Po DDP gave Jean-Philippe the opportunity to live in France and Singapore.

“My best memory of NUS was joining USP’s tchoukball team during Orientation. I had never heard of this sport before, and thought I would try it out,” said Jean-Philippe. He ended up loving the sport, and counts participating in NUS’ Inter Faculty Games and Inter College Games among the highlights of his two-year study in Singapore.

After graduating in 2018, Jean-Philippe pursued a Master’s Degree in Economics, Data Analytics and Corporate Finance at École Polytechnique in France. He also gained professional experience in management consulting, private equity and investment banking. Currently, Jean-Philippe is studying a Masters of Finance at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“[The DDP] opened a lot of doors, both academically [in my graduate studies] and professionally, especially in Europe, Southeast Asia and East Asia,” Jean-Philippe said.

He added, “If you feel ready to get out of your comfort zone, open yourself to people from all around the world, [and] learn about a variety of new topics…the DDP is clearly an amazing programme.”

This is a sentiment echoed by fellow alumnus Sara Loo, who summed up her NUS-Sciences Po DDP experience as one which provided “dimensions of diversity”.

“[Each place] exposed me to different ways of thinking and living that challenged whatever the norm had been. I found this recurrent ‘discomfort’ particularly valuable as it constantly pushed me to re-consider my worldview, realise the multitude of undiscovered possibilities, and make unexpected connections,” she said.   

After graduating in 2021, Sara pursued a career in tech where she is currently working as an investigations and intelligence analyst. She credits the multicultural and interdisciplinary experiences at NUS and Sciences Po for helping her understand and better connect with colleagues across the globe. Sara added that learning how to transition between different academic systems and living environments helped her adapt to a fast-paced working environment and process such changes in a systemic way.

She opined, “I think people who are comfortable with ambiguity, and open to change and challenge, as well as self-starters, would benefit most from the programme…Normalising these instances of unfamiliarity, disconnections, and uncertainties has been a huge part of my growth journey.”

Find out more about the NUS-Sciences Po Double Degree Programme here.