Inclusive and socially
La vie sur nos campus
EPF has always valued diversity as a source of wealth at the heart of student life, long before it became a societal issue.
Founded in 1925, the Polytechnic School for Women (EPF) was for a long time one of the few grandes écoles to train women in engineering, and the only one to have graduated so many: over 7,000! The EPF has been a recognised non-profit foundation since 1991 and became co-educational in 1994. Despite no longer using its acronym, today almost 36% of its students are female, compared to an average of 17% in other engineering schools. The school continues to promote the engineering profession among women by working specifically with female high school and university students, and through various partnerships, including with the Elles bougent association.
The school is also committed to:
- Geographical openness: with three campuses spread across France (Paris-Cachan, Troyes, Montpellier), EPF is open to students from all over the country. Although deeply attached to its local roots, the school is continuing its development with the forthcoming opening of a new campus in Saint-Nazaire, which will be the first campus in the west of France. Overseas, EPF opened its first campus in Africa in January 2022, in Dakar, Senegal.
- Diversity of courses and admissions: EPF is committed to providing access to engineering schools to as many people as possible. The school is opening its doors to STI2D baccalaureate students and now also offers apprenticeships. Students can also join the school as part of a parallel admissions process - for example, after two or three years of university studies.
- Personalised and adapted support for students with disabilities: provision of educational facilities and/or materials and support for students throughout their degree, provided by disability advisers on each campus.
This open-mindedness is part of the school’s DNA, which is also committed to a sustainable development and social responsibility initiative (as the first engineering school to have joined the United Nations Global Compact). We pass on these values to our students, while also providing them with a solid scientific and technical background.
EPF training ensures that students are taught a culture of commitment and responsibility, with the aim of producing cultured engineers who are open to the world and able to understand the changes and challenges in our society, in their cultural, educational, and behavioural differences.
To fast track its educational innovation and sustainable development initiative, EPF has added ‘civic engagement’ to its competency framework, and is working with Impact Campus to develop its civic engagement pathway.
All second-year students take discovery modules concerning Social Entrepreneurship, Sustainable Development Goals or the Ecological and Inclusive Transition. There is a mandatory civic engagement work placement (volunteering, aid, CSR department) between the second and third year. The aim of this placement is to develop the questioning mind of a committed citizen that EPF engineers must demonstrate.
EPF entered into the United Nations Global Compact in favour of respecting the fundamental values in its operation. Every signatory must commit to upholding ten principles concerning human rights, labour standards, the environment, and the fight against corruption. The EPF is therefore committed to applying these principles in its strategy and its work.
A commitment to humanity and the environment
The EPF is dedicated to raising awareness and working towards sustainable development and social responsibility. A sustainable development unit involving all EPF stakeholders implements actions and engages with projects, with the goal of achieving ecological and responsible campuses. The EPF has in fact been recognised for its environmental initiatives, and has been awarded the ‘AGIR ENSEMBLE’ label (WORK TOGETHER), which seeks to promote local actions contributing to the development of sustainable campuses within sustainable territories.
The EPF lists more than 50 student organisations on its three campuses and is proud to count among them EPF Partage, Helphi, Egaliphi, EcoloPhi, EcoTrip and 1 Pour Tous, six humanitarian, solidarity, ecological and campaign associations.
Students living with disabilities can benefit from adapted teaching materials to make them as comfortable as possible during their studies. A ‘disability adviser’ will support them throughout the year according to their needs. An adapted vehicle, provided by the Banque Populaire, will enable them to get around campus easily.
The Disability Committee works closely with organisations, businesses and authorities who work towards the integration of students with disabilities in higher education, in order to pool their experiences together and share good practices.
Educating staff and students on the issue of disability is also part of the school’s mission to train responsible and committed engineers. The disability committee is continuing its communication initiatives such as the Challenge Innov’Handicap, its educational initiatives, research initiatives and projects designed through disability.
The school has zero tolerance for any form of discrimination or harassment on its campuses, and advisers (harassment, LGBTQIA+) are present to respond to all students’ needs.
A system for combatting sexist and sexual violence has been put in place to raise awareness among all staff and students. At the same time, there are trained advisers available on every campus to lend an ear to victims and witnesses.