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creating a major world-ranking university

«The Université de Lyon was awarded the IDEX label in February 2017. This distinction recognizes the University as an academic site of excellence with an international scope; it means we will benefit from additional resources for innovative projects and new actions with high added value.

While this recognition is highly satisfying, it comes with the duty to set an example and to demonstrate our capacity for innovation, to increase our visibility and to evolve towards a relevant and innovative organizational model.

The project is part of a goal of shared excellence; an IDEX to benefit everyone. Relevance and academic quality, the impact of these actions for our future students and researchers, and carving out our place on the international scene are just some of the aspects at the heart of the project, and our goal to become a major integrated university by 2020.»

Khaled Bouabdallah, President of the Université de Lyon


The first wave of IDEX labelling took place in February 2012. On this occasion, the Lyon Saint-Étienne site was recognized by the French government as being eligible for special support. This was when the Université de Lyon began its Programme Avenir Lyon Saint-Etienne (PALSE).

This program enabled us to set ambitious policies, and to increase the reputation and influence of the Université de Lyon by rolling out a common brand, launching crosswise actions in areas of training, research, international development, and to open dialogue between Science and society, etc.

The Université de Lyon is now recognized as a major player in the development of the Lyon Saint-Étienne region and unites local forces via the IDEXLYON project.

After pre-selection and selection phases, performed by an international jury, the Université de Lyon obtained the "Initiative of Excellence" label February 2017. This label boosted the Lyon Saint-Etienne dynamic of excellence. The total allocation for the IDEXLYON project is 800 million euros, representing 25 million euros per year.

This project is driven by a powerful and collective drive that demonstrates the Université de Lyon’s strengths: attractive courses, high academic potential, and quality of governance. In 2020, IDEXLYON will initiate the creation of an integrated university that will include current universities and prestigious higher education teaching institutions, as well as and strong partnerships with research organizations.


The ‘Initiatives of Excellence’ call for projects, or ‘IDEX’, were launched in 2011 by the French National Research Agency (ANR) and the General Investment Commission (CGI), under the French government’s ‘Investments for the Future’ Program (PIA).

Promoting the development of new cross-curricular clusters of higher education and research, the IDEX call for projects (evaluated by an independent international jury) aims to identify approximately ten French leading universities that represent international clusters of excellence and contribute to France’s international appeal and scientific influence around the world.