@Mines ParisTech, Jean Duong

Publication date : 22/11/2021
International cooperation

ATHENS is back in Paris

After two long years, the ATHENS programme is back in Paris – and in 9 other European capitals. Almost 300 international students came to the French capital to follow an intensive short-duration course at one of the Parisian partner institutions. In total, the Parisian schools welcome almost 1000 students in one of their 44 courses.


It has been a long time that the amphitheatre of Mines ParisTech buzzed with so many different languages – On Saturday 13th of November, at every corner you could hear English, Romanian, Turkish, Italian, French, German, Spanish, … The ATHENS programme is back in Paris, and with it almost 300 international students that came from all over Europe to the French capital. Their aim? To follow one of the 44 courses given by the Parisian partners, to mingle with French students, and to discover Paris and the French culture.

They have been welcomed at Mines ParisTech by Florence Lelait, General delegate of ParisTech, Laura Tierling, General Coordinator of the ATHENS programme, and several students of the French schools. After an introduction about the history of ParisTech and the ATHENS programme, coordinated by Mines ParisTech on behalf of ParisTech, the international students had the opportunity to enjoy a well-known part of French culture: While they discovered some cheese and wine, the brass band of Mines ParisTech provided the musical accompaniment. Afterwards they had the rest of the weekend to discover Paris, either on their own, or by participating in some activities organized by French students.

For one week, all ATHENS participants are following one of the 71 courses given by 9 European and 7 French programme members. The applicants had to choose between high quality intensive courses proposed by:

  • Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME) in Hungary,
  • Czech Technical University (CTU) in Czech Republic,
  • Instituto Superior Técnico (IST) in Portugal,
  • Istanbul Technical University (ITU) in Turkey,
  • Politecnico di Milano (POLIMI) in Italy,
  • Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) in Spain,
  • Technische Universität München (TUM) in Germany,
  • Technische Universität Wien (TUW) in Austria,
  • University Politehnica of Bucharest (UPB) in Romania,
  • Warsaw University of Technology (WUT) in Poland,


and the following Parisian schools:

  • AgroParisTech,
  • Arts et Métiers,
  • Chimie ParisTech,
  • Ecole des Ponts ParisTech,
  • Institut d’Optique Graduate School,
  • Mines ParisTech, and
  • Télécom Paris.


The courses cover a great variety of contents, from 3D Measuring Methods in Transportation to Circular Economy and Eco-design : "Urban mine" case.

ParisTech is in charge of the coordination of the ATHENS network, and is delighted that so many partners participate in the November session. The interest of the students proves them right: More than 1.600 applications were handed in, a clear signal that the European Higher Education Area wasn’t harmed by the pandemic. Florence Lelait, the representative of ParisTech, shares her point of view: “It was clear that our students and the ones of the ATHENS partners were in the starting blocks to live again the ATHENS experience, even under these circumstances. It sheds a light on their desire to receive an international high quality education, provided by European universities of excellence. We are happy that the ATHENS network overcame this difficult period and stands together as always.”

The ATHENS network managed to adapt to the challenging situation caused by the pandemic. Some sessions were cancelled in order to reorganize, and to protect the health both of students and staff. However, the partners managed to keep the network alive by proposing online or hybrid formats, and by offering even some social activities online, for example a virtual city tour through Madrid. This November, for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, students have again the possibility to travel.

In the meantime, the ATHENS network doesn’t stand still: The partners are working on new formats for their courses: hybrid lectures as well as the implementation of Blended Intensive Programmes are in the making. To be continued!


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