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Board of Directors Breakfast with Alessia Lefébure
Alessia Lefébure, 2014 Partnership of Excellence Gala Honoree and Director of the Alliance Program at Columbia University, discussed the benefits of the Alliance Program, a joint educational network that includes Columbia University and three prestigious French universities - the École Polytechnique, Sciences Po, and Panthéon-Sorbonne University. Founded in 2002, the Alliance Program draws upon the strengths and resources of these top French and American universities to promote innovation and serve as a platform for transatlantic exchange on various global issues. Lefébure discussed the current promises and challenges of higher-education systems in both France and the United States and touched on why global partnership will be more and more important in the future.
Video interview with Alessia Lefébure
Following the breakfast on June 12, Alessia Lefébure joined the French-American Foundation for a brief interview about the Alliance Program and global opportunities in higher education
1. Tell us a little bit about the Alliance Program, of which you are the director.
2. The Alliance Program is simultaneously a collaborative effort between multiple universities and between two nations? What are some of the benefits you’ve seen of having joint pursuits both internationally and between institutions?
3. What is unique about the Alliance Program? What makes this sort of program possible and successful?
4. You have worked and lived for a number of years in China. We often talk about China and Asia as an emerging force and competitor, economically and educationally. What are the benefits of having a joint effort between French and American universities, as opposed to other parts of the world?
5. How many students are currently studying in the other country? Do students view this experience as an opportunity to pursue professional lives in the other country?
6. How does tuition work, considering the huge gap between the student costs of higher education in France and the United States?
7. We were delighted to honor you and the Alliance Program at the 2014 Annual Gala Dinner with the French-American Partnership of Excellence Award. What did winning this award mean to you?
Mrs. Alessia Lefébure is the Director of the Alliance Program since the spring 2011. Prior to that, she has served as the Director of the Centre for Asia and the Pacific at Sciences Po, from 2006 to 2011. In this position, she has been responsible for the definition, implementation and development of the school’s institutional policies towards the countries of the Asia-Pacific region. She managed a seven-member staff in Paris and coordinated a network of representative offices in China and India. She has been in charge of developing relationships with universities and research institutes as well as governments, NGOs, press, alumni, and students in the Asia-Pacific region.
Between 2001 and 2006 she was based in Beijing, at Tsinghua University, where she served as Sciences Po’s permanent representative for Greater China. She acquired an in-depth understanding of China and was able to strengthen academic ties with Chinese institutions.
Within Sciences Po, she was the head of Career services, from 1999 to 2001, and served as Executive Training Programme Manager for Economics and Finance. Her previous professional experience includes Communication Manager for the French State owned bank Caisse des Dépots et Consignations, and International Programme Coordinator for a French research centre on European Criminal Law (ARPE).
She holds a Masters in Comparative Law at LUISS (Rome, Italy) and a Masters in Communication and Journalism at Sciences Po. Her experience in a series of international positions within academic and research institutions has provided her with the background and knowledge necessary to pursue her PhD in Sociology at Sciences Po on higher education models in China.
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