The Ecole CentraleSupélec, located on the Saclay plateau since the start of the 2017 academic year, welcomes 4,500 students. In order to enable them to live as close as possible to their school, the Foundation has set up several projects, notably the construction and acquisition of residences. CESAL, a non-profit association, manages this rental park, intended for CentraleSupélec students and more generally for those of the Université Paris-Saclay, of which the School is a part.
Student housing, a historical priority of the Foundation in the service of the School and its students
Student housing is one of the priorities of the CentraleSupélec Foundation, which has been involved in this issue for a century, first in Paris, then in Châtenay-Malabry and finally in Gif-sur-Yvette.
Supporting students in all aspects of their daily life and schooling, through scholarships and other assistance to students, but also through the provision of housing, is one of the priorities of the Foundation.
The last few years have been marked by the construction of the new campus. Wishing to offer them the best possible conditions for their training, in 2015 the Foundation acquired a plot of land with a construction lease opposite the future school by tying up part of its endowment. Through a partnership with social landlords, it built 1,100 housing units there, which were delivered at the inauguration of the new campus in 2017, in addition to the 800 or so units already on campus.
“Perpetuating intergenerational solidarity is a historical and founding value of our community. Investing in student housing allows us to both contribute to equal opportunity by providing housing for all, and also to build a legacy for future generations.
Jérôme Moitry, Treasurer of the CentraleSupélec Foundation
“For 10 years, we have capitalized in the endowment 10% of the donations received by the Foundation. This contribution was essential to acquire the land for the new residences. We would like to thank our donors who have made it possible for us to make a lasting investment
in the service of students.”
Nathalie Bousseau, Director of the CentraleSupélec Foundation
A growing need for housing
The development of the Université Paris Saclay has led to a sharp increase in the demand for student housing. In 2018 and 2019, the Foundation therefore had two new residences built on the Saclay campus.
As the 2020 school year begins, a brand new residence hall, The Mall, has just opened on campus. It can accommodate nearly 300 students in fully-equipped housing, making it possible to enrich the offer with more shared accommodation.
In total, more than 2,500 students can now live on campus. This success would not have been possible without the mobilization of many partners:
“In a context of shortage, in order to rapidly develop a large number of quality, accessible housing units offering services to students, the Foundation was able to federate partners (Vilogia, France Habitation, Sogemac, Linkcity and Bouygues Habitat Social, Kaufmann et Broad) and collaborate closely with local players (the city of Gif-sur-
Yvette and the agglomeration community, EPA-Paris-Saclay) ».
Nicolas Andreatta, Real Estate Advisor of the CentraleSupélec Foundation
However, since demand is always much higher than the supply of housing, CESAL,
which operates the residence, has had to set allocation criteria, giving priority to new students, for example.
An attractive place, favouring inter-student exchanges
Student housing is a strategic issue for higher education, particularly in the context of international development, where the attractiveness of institutions also depends on their ability to house students, ideally on site. And the Saclay plateau
has not finished attracting new tenants since the University of Paris-Saclay has just been ranked 14th in the world in the Shanghai 2020 ranking.
Student residences are intended to become real places of exchange, thanks to their diversity and their common spaces. In addition to accommodation, students have the opportunity to live in an exchange space with students from different institutions and of all nationalities!
In the long term, this type of project also allows the Foundation to build up a real estate heritage. In the coming years, the Foundation will continue to invest in order to ensure that the campus has the capacity to meet its needs and respond to the housing shortage on the Saclay plateau. This may involve the rehabilitation of some residences and the construction of new housing.
“Student housing is a major element of attractiveness for the School and the University of Paris Saclay in France and internationally.”
Romain Soubeyran, Director General of CentraleSupélec