Lumiere University Lyon 2 – Lyon, France

Lumiere University Lyon 2 has a programme, established in 2000, titled “Genre, Education, Mixite” (Gender, Education, Diversity) which was the University’s response to a state proposition. The broader context was the signing of an inter-ministerial agreement for equality between men and women in national education. Set up within teacher training faculties, the program implements theoretical and practical training on the fight against gender discrimination. A research dynamic is also set up by the organization of seminars. Finally, a documentary collection – the Aspasie collection – rich in more than 5000 volumes and reviews in all languages ​​and devoted to gender and education issues has been set up. The programme focuses on gender equality. These equity groups were identified based on a national plan/legislation. The institution does not have targets for access for specific equity groups.

In the last two years the program has carried out the following activities with regard to equal access/inclusion/diversity:

  • Support and counselling for students and university staff, 
  • Lectures, workshops, seminars for students, faculty and non-teaching staff. 

In addition to activities to support inclusion, the program implements binding policy (legislation), recommendations/guidelines and preventive programmes to counter exclusionary and discriminatory practices at the University.

The program also implements innovative practices/tools such as forwarding a multidisciplinary approach and addressing new themes such as transphobia.

The programme was set up as a response to a state level agreement on gender equality. Institutional leadership decided to establish such an office out of a concern for a central finding that girls and boys within the French educational system have gendered educational orientations. The programme has enabled better visibility of gender issues and gender discrimination within the education system.
The programme is defined by an inter-ministerial agreement and is renewed every six years.
Please describe the organisational structure of this programme/office/service. Diversity, inclusion, and equality are explicitly mentioned in the programme and in the University’s strategies, policies and work plans. Programme activities are developed by teachers and researchers at the teacher training faculties. The programme is part of a national network. This is valuable since it enables the exchange of experiences within the framework of conferences and study days.
The main challenge that had to be overcome to establish a successful programme was to find staff with the skills to address these issues. The funding of the programme is stable and satisfactory and provided by the Ministry of National Education. An obstacle to ensuring the long-term sustainability of the programme is political and societal resistance to teaching gender issues.
There is no formal evaluation process of the programme. However, during field visits to schools it has been observed that the lessons given to those attending teaching faculties find their expression in the classroom.

Gender, Education, Diversity

Lyon, France