2023 - 2024: The Year of Inclusion and Innovation

After the year of ‘Sciences & Humanities’ in 2022-2023, the 2023-2024 academic year will see the next stage of our journey through the history of UCLy, as we focus on "Inclusion and Innovation".

News of the school


Two schools have important anniversaries during the academic year; the Society and Family Institute (ISF) and the School of Quality, Health, Safety and Environment in Business (ESQESE).

ESQESE: Technology for the benefit of humanity

In the 1990s, companies became aware of their social and environmental role. The emergence of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) and QHSE (Quality, Health, Safety and Environment) redefined their function within society and necessitated new kinds of professionals. It was this observation that led to the creation of ESQESE in 1994. Its mission was to train professionals who would have the technical and scientific skills to design a QHSE policy and knowledge of the relevant standards required to implement it.

Over the last 30 years, QHSE issues have evolved, and ESQESE has evolved with them. In the face of climate change, businesses must play an increasingly large role, understand their impact on the environment (carbon footprint, soil and water pollution, etc.) and find ways to remedy it. Today, ecology and the environment are at the heart of ESQESE’s teaching.

Innovation in teaching

ESQESE is characterised by a taste for innovation, both in the science it teaches and in its methods! Outside the classroom, ESQESE also teaches through educational games, crisis and audit simulations, case studies provided by companies and escape games. This approach benefits the students’ development and their ability to adapt and reach their full potential.

Society and Family Institute : The family, the first place of inclusion

Whether we are born into it or create it, family is, for all of us, our very first social circle, the space where we come into the world and define ourselves. The family is a space of creation and inclusion, and it is important that we understand its role and its evolution. That is the aim of the research carried out by the Society & Family Institute. Since its creation in 1974, it has been the only multidisciplinary research institute devoted to the family.

Founded by Emma Gounot, it was initially called the ‘Institut des Sciences Familiales’ (Institute of Family Sciences). The ISF became the first organisation open to ‘adults’ and to continuing education. It trained social workers, psychologists, etc. The launch of the ISF marked UCLy’s transition to a modern university, open to students of all ages and conscious of its social role. The choice of family as UCLy’s first research topic was hardly surprising. Family is at the heart of the tradition of social Catholicism. The theologians, thinkers, doctors and lawyers who attended UCLy were interested in this topic before the ISF was even created.

Back in 1948, Emma Gounot’s father, Emmanuel, presented a series of talks at UCLy: ‘The Family in the Face of
Contemporary Science.’ The stage had already been set for multidisciplinary work combining human and physical sciences. In the words of Emma Gounot herself: “It’s no coincidence that an Institute of Family Sciences was able to germinate and flourish in Lyon; the ground had been prepared.”

Emma Gounot: Heritage and innovation

Emma Gounot is inextricably linked to UCLy and its evolution. The eldest of the 11 children of Emmanuel Gounot, Dean of the Faculty of Law, she quickly continued and then surpassed her father’s work. A talented lawyer, she became a professor at the Faculty of Law at the age of 22, and continued her legal career at the same time. Driven by a profound sense of justice, she was the first to step up and defend the most difficult of causes; both the Resistance during the Second World War and collaborators during the subsequent purge, and FLN militants during the Algerian War. A curious soul, a believer and a feminist, she represented a Catholicism which was receptive to societal changes. Emma Gounot became Dean of the Faculty of Law and founded the ISF, leaving an indelible mark on UCLy’s teaching and values.

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