Sciences Po Aix
|Sciences Po Aix|
|Institut d’Études Politiques d'Aix-en-Provence|
|Budget||14 million Euros|
The Institut d'études politiques d'Aix-en-Provence (French pronunciation: [ɛ̃stity detyd pɔlitik ˈdɛks]; English: Aix-en-Provence Institute of Political Studies), simply referred to as Sciences Po Aix (French pronunciation: [sjɑ̃sˈpo ɛks]), is a grande école in Aix-en-Provence, France. This prestigious and highly selective institute is modelled on the former Paris "École Libre des Sciences Politiques" (ELSP). Like the other Instituts d'Etudes Politiques in France (Bordeaux, Grenoble, Lille, Lyon, Paris, Rennes, Strasbourg and Toulouse.), Sciences Po Aix is a member of the "Grandes Écoles" group of higher education schools of academic excellence and great renown.
It is housed in the Palais de l'université, a Monument historique designed by architect Georges Vallon in 1734. The building is located on the Place de l'université ("town square of the university"), opposite Cathédrale Saint-Sauveur on the rue Gaston de Saporta in Aix-en-Provence. This building previously housed the Faculty of Law of Aix-Marseille University.
As a grande école, its admissions process is selective. Sciences Po Aix specializes in political sciences. It also offers courses in economics, history, law, international relations, and business. It is associated with Aix-Marseille University and is part of a network of nine Institut d'études politiques, known as IEP.
The IEP provides students with a general training in law, economics, general knowledge and history. Its students are selected through a competitive entrance examination. Some of its students have become company directors or government officials. Many students move on to careers in journalism, finance, diplomacy or communications.
It was established in 1956.
In 2006, "Sciences Po Aix" celebrated its 50th anniversary. It hosted and won the annual Critérium inter-IEP competition.
In September 2007, Philippe Séguin (1943–2010), then President of the Court of Audit (in French Cour des comptes), was elected President of the Administration Council, succeeding Jean-Paul Proust (1940–2010), Minister of the Principality of Monaco. In July 2010, the former French minister of economy and current managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde, member of the Administration Council since 2008 and graduated from the IEP of Aix-en-Provence in 1977, was elected President.
Ranking and reputation
Contrary to general beliefs, there is as well no official ranking amongst the various IEPs in France. Sciences Po Paris has been willing to inherit from the prestige of the former ELSP. As such, the commonly held idea is that it is the best IEP. Otherwise, its image as one of the best colleges in international and public affairs has been severely dented by a 2012 report from the French Court of Audit. The latter has reported “a wide range of irregularities, conflicts of interest, financial mismanagement and co-optation amongst friends”, criticizing the overall management by its controversial and former director Richard Descoings. The current acceptance/selection rate for students willing to enter in the first year of the standard curriculum for the IEP of Lyon, Aix, Lille, Rennes, Toulouse, Strasbourg, is now less than 10% while it reached 18.7% in 2010 and 14.17% in 2013 for the IEP of Paris (additionally, the rate of the so-called international procedure for foreign students or French students with a foreign degree was up to 31% in 2012). That makes the selection process for these six IEPs more competitive than for Paris.
- 1956-1974 : Paul de Geouffre de la Pradelle
- 1974-1979 : Charles Cadoux
- 1979-1984 : Yves Daudet
- 1984-1996 : Jacques Bourdon
- 1996-2006 : Jean-Claude Ricci
- 2006–present: Christian Duval
- Christine Lagarde, the current managing director of the International Monetary Fund.
- Philippe Séguin, a French politician.
- Elisabeth Guigou, a French politician.
- Roger Karoutchi, a French politician.
- Federica Mogherini, the current High representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, spent a year at the Institute as an International student.
- Camille Stromboni (31 October 2012). "Sciences po : le premier banc d’essai des IEP de région". L'Etudiant.fr (in French).
- Sciences Po Aix (2012). "La taxe professionnelle... une ressource pour votre entreprise !". sciencespo-aix.fr (in French).
- French Ministry of Culture: Faculté de Droit
- Dominique Auzias, Aix-en-Provence, Le Petit Futé, 2008, p. 142
- (French)Communiqué de presse de l'IEP d'Aix-en-Provence, « Christine Lagarde succède à Philippe Séguin à la tête du CA de Sciences Po Aix» 
- Sciences Po Aix website's "Who is who"