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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Higher education


7.Higher education

Last update: 27 November 2023

Higher education policy objectives

The main policy objectives are set out in the explanatory statement (exposé des motifs) for the relevant laws as well as in the annual National reform programmes relating to the Europe 2020 strategy. Important elements are also to be found in the guiding principles of the University of Luxembourg.

  • Europe 2020: in its national reform programme, Luxembourg's government is committed to striving towards a share of 66 % of the 30-to-34 year-olds having completed higher education. Luxembourg therefore undertakes particular efforts to increase educational attainment among its local population
  • Policy objectives relating to the legislation covering higher education and training: the University of Luxembourg was founded in the year 2003 with a view to contributing to the development of the country’s society and national identity, to its economic development and regional development and planning. The University is expected to play a role in the European innovation process while taking into account the national particularities, such as the importance attributed to mobility and multilingualism.
    • In 2009, the organisation of higher education in Luxembourg was reformed in order to create a framework for vocational short-cycle programmes leading to an Advanced technician diploma (BTS; brevet de technicien supérieur), which thus completes the provision of higher education programmes provided by the University. Based on a strong implication of the economic sector concerned, BTS programmes are clearly oriented towards working life, allowing students to develop higher professional, technological and general skills.
  • Fundamental principles of the University of Luxembourg: the principles set out in article 3 of the University’s founding law show the political importance given to following aspects of higher education:
    • From an ethical and methodological point of view, the University has to ensure:
      • Scientific description and research on natural, social and human phenomena
      • Objective account of the main schools of thought
      • Use of rigorous and critical methods in the statement of scientific, social, political, philosophical or religious knowledge
      • Respect for other people’s thinking.
    • From an organisational point of view, the University is based on:
      • Interdisciplinarity
      • Symbiosis of education and research
      • International character, and cooperation with other universities
      • Mobility of students, teachers and researchers
      • Multilingual teaching and learning
      • Support of students through tutorship.

A more comprehensive description of the University’s principles is available online in its mission statement.

Types of institutions and programmes

Three types of higher education in Luxembourg may be distinguished:

  1. Higher education provided by the University of Luxembourg: the University’s offer comprises bachelor programmes, master programmes and a range of other provisions, such as secondary school teacher training
  2. Short cycle provision (BTS programmes): secondary schools (lycées) propose vocational short cycle programmes leading to an Advanced technician diploma (BTS; brevet de technicien supérieur)
  3. Private and crossborder provisions: a number of private or foreign institutions have been accredited to provide higher education in Luxembourg; some programmes are organised via crossborder partnerships, e. g. between foreign universities and Luxembourgish research institutes or professional chambers.

Structure of the academic year

The academic year runs from mid-September to June/July. It is subdivided into two terms of equal length: the winter term goes from mid-September until the end of January and the summer term goes from February to the end of June or the beginning of July.

Details on the academic calendar at the University of Luxembourg are available on its website.