For over 45 years, the American University of Paris (AUP - www.aup.edu) has brought a US-style approach to higher education to the heart of Paris. Appointed in 2009, President Celeste Schenck is already overseeing something of a revolution in Paris - steering the AUP through the current economic crisis whilst maintaining an international environment at the crossroads of Europe, and all the while attracting a growing number of undergraduate and graduate students from diverse backgrounds.
Located in one of the most prestigious districts or arrondissements of Paris, AUP could be described as an intimate international university. With barely 1,000 students from more than 100 countries, the opportunities to develop unique personal and academic relationships with staff and other students is at the heart of the AUP experience.
President Schenck's tenure as head of the university is a reason for the positivity that pervades the atmosphere at AUP. An academic member of staff since 1991, she believes that the next few years will be among the most dynamic in the university's history, particularly in light of recent changes in the international education environment. We will need to reach out to increasing numbers of international students, providing them with the support programs in English for academic purposes that will enable strong students to step into our fully anglophone curriculum. Students around the globe are increasingly mobile, and increasingly interested in a private, American-style education. We proudly maintain that gold standard of regionally accredited American degree programs here at AUP.
That 'campus' is unbeatable, and it makes us unique among American-accredited universities outside the US
For international students coming to AUP, there is no doubt that much of the attraction is the city of Paris itself. Blessed with a wonderful location, international students are able to access the city's great intellectual and cultural treasures from the doorstep of the university. President Schenck believes this to be a feature that sets the institution apart. AUP has a very precious endowment, and that is our location in the historical and global city that is Paris. That 'campus' is unbeatable, and it makes us unique among American-accredited universities outside the US. We have become increasingly visible on the cultural and academic horizons of Paris itself in recent years and our next five years will be marked by new integrated, interdisciplinary undergraduate and graduate programs in sustainable development practice that will draw upon our existing, graduate curricula.
In recent years, AUP has made a significant investment in new graduate programs, attracting applications from all over the world, including students from top universities like Harvard, Sciences Po and Oxford. Graduate teaching is characterised by an innovative curriculum, small class sizes, and close relationships between students and teaching staff. The nine graduate programs offered by AUP present a range of opportunities for international students, including the Masters in Public Policy and International Law, taught in association with the University of Oxford. President Schenck sees the growth in graduate programs, and the popularity of these programs amongst international students, as critical to the future of AUP. We are constantly aligning our curriculum and research program with the social, political, economic, technological and creative needs of 21st century society. The newest addition to our portfolio is an MA in Cross-Cultural and Sustainable Business Management that draws on faculty strengths such as the natural diversity of the AUP classroom and student body, and our location in Paris alongside important international institutions.
Adopting a needs-blind approach, AUP plans to invest over US$2.6 million in its scholarship schemes in 2010
A further aspect that makes AUP different is its focus on providing scholarships and other forms of financial aid to international students. Adopting a needs-blind approach, AUP plans to invest over US$2.6 million in its scholarship schemes in 2010, including awards equivalent to a maximum of half of the tuition fees for graduate students. President Schenck believes this to be an essential part of the mission of AUP: We are in the very fortunate position of being able to offer high-quality international students financial aid and support to attend AUP, based both on need and merit. By attracting students from diverse economic backgrounds, we are able to foster a genuinely international and unique environment that students find both stimulating and rewarding.