“The recent success of PSL demonstrates the soundness of our vision” Vincent Laflèche, Director of Mines Paris - PSL
On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Université Paris Sciences & Lettres, Vincent Laflèche, Director of Mines Paris - PSL, and Frédéric Fontane, Director of Education, look back on the major scientific and academic achievements of the past ten years and share their opinions of the major challenges of the decade ahead.
PSL: Ten years ago, the École Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris joined PSL. How do you remember this founding moment?
Vincent Laflèche: Ten years ago, the idea of creating a university that would meet common criteria of excellence became an obvious choice. We wanted to come together without losing our soul. Our goal was to join the top international rankings within 10 years, to bolster our attractiveness and the employability of our students. PSL's recent success in the Times Higher Education Young University rankings (1st in the world) and QS rankings (26th in the world in the 2023 edition) demonstrate the soundness of our vision.
Fréderic Fontane: There were close ties between us and we wanted our students to benefit from collaborations between our research centers on a larger scale, and across our schools. Over the past ten years, we have developed student services (health, mobility, etc.); each school has contributed to this. We are delighted with this growing success.
Vincent Laflèche: I would add that our students now fully benefit from dual degrees and truly cross-disciplinary programs. Mines Paris - PSL has been able to share with everyone its in-depth knowledge of relations with companies and its strong ties with industry. We must remember that 75% to 80% of the activity of Mines Paris is devoted to research, and more particularly to research partnerships. The result is a guarantee of excellence in teaching and passing on cutting-edge knowledge to students.
Frédéric Fontane: Regular monitoring of the professional integration of our graduates allows us to measure this accurately.
PSL: What are the main scientific and academic achievements that have marked these first ten years for Mines Paris as part of PSL?
Vincent Laflèche: On the scientific front, the emergence of the PRAIRIE Institute (PaRis Artificial Intelligence Research InstitutE), a 3 AI certified center in 2019, is incomparably one of our greatest success stories of the last few years, in which Mines Paris has played an essential role. The Azencott and Walter chairs have been created within the school since its launch. They both deal with the defining issues of the coming years.
On the academic level, the creation of the PSL Doctorate was a first founding act. Once again, this is a green light for us, with recognition of the excellence of the Mines Paris - PSL degree internationally. Finally, I cannot forget the awarding of the Idex in 2019, for which I was fortunate to personally compete in several capacities.
A MINES Paris - PSL graduate speaking at the 2017 PSL doctoral ceremony
Frédéric Fontane: In recent years, Mines Paris has played a key role in the structuring and development of the 18 PSL Graduate Programs. This was an ambitious project. These are educational programs where the Master's degree and the Doctorate really belong to a continuum. Mines Paris - PSL runs the Engineering Graduate Program in close collaboration with the other PSL engineering schools, and contributes to other Graduate Programs.
PSL: What challenges and major issues do you think PSL will face in the next ten years?
Vincent Laflèche: The first challenge will be to support the development of the PariSanté Campus project, which is perfectly in line with our strategic plan and the university's general plan. This project was inaugurated last December in the presence of the Prime Minister, and embodies both a teaching and research space and a place for innovation and entrepreneurship. Our CBIO researchers will play a major role in this.
Frédéric Fontane: On the academic level, three major challenges lie ahead: the internationalization of our programs, the development of undergraduate programs such as CPES which facilitate the development of our classes while promoting diversity in our recruitment and, last but not least, the development of the PSL School of Engineering.
PSL - 10 years on
PSL celebrates its tenth anniversary. To mark the occasion, we invite you to take a look back at some of our highlights over the last ten years - big science projects, new courses, an increased and diversified range of services, and international visibility - by emphasizing the strengths of our schools.