A welcome day is organized by the QAP-Polytech unit during the week preceding the beginning of the academic year. Students are welcomed by the Dean of the Faculty,then take an English test for group-building purposes. They receive information they need to be operational immediately on the computer infrastructure. After this they attend a seminar
on the “job” of being a student about the “job” of being a student.
During welcome day and after each important partial assessment, newly registered students can have lunch with a scientist or member of the teaching staff member who will then become their academic mentor. The role of the academic mentor is that of a negotiator who is always available, ready to advise students during the first year of their university studies and to help them when difficulties crop up in their studies.
The student to faculty ratio in first Bachelor is increased, in particular by the presence of pedagogical assistants whose assignment is primarily to coach students of first Bachelor, in the main technical courses (maths, physics, chemistry, etc).
It appeared after consulting students of previous years that a levelling was wished in Chemistry lectures as the training level of students leaving secondary schools was very uneven. A revision of the principal fundamentals of chemistry at secondary school level is therefore organized by the Service of General Chemistry at the beginning of lectures on the timetable.
Among other assignments, the Quality-Pedagogical-Accompaniment Unit (QAP-Polytech) is attentive to the needs of students on any matter that is not related to course contents (adaptation, integration, work methods and the like.
The academic year is organized in 4 blocks of 7 weeks. In the first year, in order to ensure the transition with secondary schools, classes are held only during the first 6 weeks of the block and Wednesdays afternoon are off in order to allow students to benefit from teaching workshops. Halfway through each block, a test (E-test) is held in order to stimulate sustained studying. Teaching workshops are on schedule every Wednesday afternoon to allow students to ask their questions about the main matters (mathematics, physics, chemistry, mechanics, etc). The 7th week is called “remedial course week ” and is devoted exclusively to the assimilation of subject matters (summaries, synthesis writing, questions and answers sessions). Series of tests follow suit after remedial courses allowing students to evaluate their knowledge. These tests offer the occasion to students to reorganize their working method, at an early point in the year.
The Faculty of Engineering has adopted for several years a series of measures aiming at improving the transition betwwen secondary school and university and at facilitating the integration of new students. These measures relate in particular to a more intensive teaching accompaniment, to adjustments of course time-tables and the practice of formative assessments, the implementation of e-learning, as well as the organization of enquiries to assess the course quality.
The stereotyped image of the trade of engineer, as it is propagated in the media, remains that of a typically masculine work. The studies of engineer are too rarely chosen by women. However, the trade evolved and added functions often dedicated to design, research, services and commercial management. Facing the multiplicity and the abundance of careers, sometimes more "humane” or “social” fields (biomedical engineering, management of the environment, etc) woman engineers can easily find their place in today's world.