INSA Lyon was a founded in 1957 as a specialist engineering school and a grandes écoles. It is a member of the INSA Network, which is the largest organisation for engineering faculties in France. INSA Lyon is also an affiliate of the University of Lyon, the second largest university in the nation.
In the first two years of undergraduate study students will enter a first cycle in which they will study courses across five subjects: Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Sciences and Mathematics. In the second cycle students will choose which specialty they will study on a three year course, at the end of which they will receive a Masters of Engineering qualification. Courses will be taught in French, German or English. Of the first cycle of courses, 80% will be in English. INSA Lyon also has an established China programme at Jiao Tong University de Shanghai which is taught to students during the second semester of a school year, between February and September, also in English.
INSA Lyon is partnered with three other tertiary learning facilities in the city, and is able to provide for its students 22 laboratories in which to conduct scientific research. A part of this research the university is in the design and development of industrial tools for associate company INSAVALOR SA, presenting work experience and job opportunities for students.
On the cultural side of the university there are two major events held annually. The ‘24hours’ is in fact a three day fair which hosts over 60 separate events and concerts and is free for students. Every ShroveTuesday a Mardi-Gras style Karnaval is put on show, with a student party in the evening.