A rapid construction
The 90 hectares of land covered by the park of "La Doua" were initially shared by the army, the "Société hippique de Lyon" (Horse racing) and the PTT (Mail and Telecommunications) who had installed their wireless telecommunication relays on the site. These organisations liberated the premises to make place for the major programme that was to mark the advent of a new concept in the training of engineers. For the very first academic term in 1957 it was necessary to build the whole university or at least those buildings required to welcome the 300 students admitted for this first year. Therefore the buildings were constructed in a record time with building plans being drawn up virtually on the site. The architect was M. Perrin-Fayolle, Winner of the Roma Grand Prix.
Thus, on November 12th 1957 the premises were ready to welcome their first students on a tract of land that was still marshland including even a few vegetable gardens. The INSA was initially created to train engineers and technicians. However, it soon specialised in the training of highly qualified engineers only.
A new type of engineering establishment
The specificity of INSA lay in its unique approach to recruiting students: upon diploma after graduation from high school (secondary education). Such a system contributed to the democratisation of engineering training by permitting admission to all students for whom several years of preparatory classes was dissuasive in terms of cost and risk.
Moreover, INSA forged its very own identity in offering courses and programmes that were completely innovative. The boarding life soon resulted in a flourishing associative and community life.
Created during the industrial boom
INSA Lyon came into existence in a France in full industrial expansion, confronted with a lack of engineers and technicians: in 1955, France delivered 4 500 Engineering degrees, the United States graduated 29 000 engineers over the same period.
A unanimous motivation existed in Lyon to create a large scientific and training centre. The local authorities and economic players of the Lyon area were convinced that there existed a clear relationship between the availability of quality training for executive personnel and the future economic development of the region. At the time the newspaper "Le Progrès" was heading: "INSA will place Lyon at the head of University Facilities".
The bill concerning the creation of INSA was debated and voted by the "Assemblée Nationale" on February 5th 1957. On February 15th 1957, the future establishment was officially established in Lyon and the Director of Education Mr Capelle was is appointed to assume its direction.
2007: INSA Lyon celebrates its fiftieth anniversary
INSA Lyon celebrates the 50 years of its model under the label “technological imagination”
The school made profitable the celebrations of its fiftieth anniversary to report progress on the roots of its model and its values, as well as its strategy and its ambitions: a better integration Training / Research, a response to expectations of students and Society, a mobilization of new resources of financing, an innovative scientific approach.