Undergraduate studies at Université Paris-Saclay: engaging, stimulating and innovative training courses! (L'Edition 13 - June 2020)
(Article from L'Edition N.13 - june 2020)
An undergraduate programme with strong student support
Part of the Université ParisSaclay programme is reserved for undergraduate degrees. An integral part of the academic, scientific and economic environment of the University, it is a dynamic education programme designed around students’ personal goals and aspirations. The programme features high-quality courses, educational innovation and personalised coaching.
The objective of the Université Paris-Saclay undergraduate programme? Help each student to find their place in the academic community, and support and ensure their success. The teaching team had to question themselves first, because the University’s undergraduate programme has a global objective. As well as acquiring skills and knowledge in their discipline, the University guides students to become responsible citizens, open to the world.
Courses in tune with students’ambitions
The undergraduate programme consists of classical and professional degrees, two-year technical degrees (DUT) and scientific and technical university diplomas (DEUST). It is also open to students wanting to study health. There is a wide choice of disciplines. Next year, the programme will include just over 13,000 students. “They will be divided into 76 different courses. The challenge for the programme is to provide dynamic education programmes and opportunities so that each student can follow their ambition,” explains Isabelle Demachy, Vice-President for educational innovation and student life at Université Paris-Saclay.
Teaching is provided by professors and academic staff from Université Paris-Saclay and external speakers. “Discipline-specific knowledge and skills in courses delivered by academic staff is fundamental to provide students with a solid foundation. Professionals in the sectors related to the course provide more cross-cutting aspects, such as how to use skills in professional situations, with the acquisition of soft-skills,” explains Isabelle Demachy.
Student support is the priority
Student support is the core ambition of the undergraduate programme with several measures in place. The priority: give students what they need to develop a successful programme. Support systems help them to realise their first year of studies in a chosen discipline, from several reinforcement sessions to personalised programmes. The PPEI is a personalised study and career programme. It is a three-year module during which students develop eloquence, acquire knowledge about business and professions, and learn to lead a project. There are also many educational innovations including online resources, inverted teaching and projects. Finally, the programme develops students’ capacity to analyse current scientific challenges: “Each undergraduate student takes an interactive course designed by international experts about ecological transition and science in society, through notions of truth and untruth,” explains Pascal Aubert, project leader for Paris-Saclay’s undergraduate programme.
Graduates finish their undergraduate programme with all the skills required to either pursue a master’s degree or join professional life thanks to the rich contribution by industrial and socio-economic partners.
An undergraduate programme with strong student support
The curriculums of Université Paris-Saclay’s honours bachelor’s degrees feature dual or multiple disciplines and promote learning via early and visible research into scientific challenges and issues.
Divided into 14 courses, honours bachelor’s degrees (LDD) at Université Paris-Saclay offer a variety of educational options. They can combine scientific subjects like the Chemistry and Life Sciences degree, or scientific, social and humanities subjects such as the Economics and Mathematics degree. Students follow two disciplines or specialise in one while exposing themselves to a wide range of complementary disciplines.
Not all the University’s honours bachelor’s degrees have two disciplines. “For example, the honours bachelor’s degree ’Law, Science, Innovation’ aims to educate lawyers while reinforcing their scientific knowledge. The aim is to improve their understanding of scientific issues and their quality of exchange about innovation, giving them the means to contribute to change in laws and regulations in these areas,” explains Isabelle Demachy, Vice-President for educational innovation and student life at Université Paris-Saclay. “The honours bachelor’s degrees reflect the philosophy of the Paris-Saclay undergraduate programme: support students who have chosen a multidisciplinary course to realise their ambition,” says Pascal Aubert, project leader for Paris- Saclay’s undergraduate programme (see article opposite).
The honours bachelor’s degree programme is intensive. Studying several disciplines, early introduction to research and handling scientific challenges...the programme is demanding and students must be very committed. “They aren’t all necessarily ready for it,” warns Isabelle Demachy. “However, honours bachelor’s degrees and other undergraduate degrees have courses in common, so it is possible to switch. Students can switch to a classical degree from an honour’s degree, or vice versa, apply to switch to an honour’s degree from a classical degree.”
A range of master’s opportunities
The honours bachelor’s degrees are designed to ensure continuity with master’s degrees, both at Université de Paris Saclay and in international institutions. Students with an honours bachelor’s degree can pursue a master’s degree with a single or double discipline that corresponds to their acquired skills.