Two types of mobility have to be distinguished with regard to student mobility in Luxembourg:
- Degree mobility, i.e. long-term mobility aimed at acquiring a degree or certificate in the country of destination
- Short-term mobility, such as mobility periods from one semester to one year carried out in the framework of studies undertaken in Luxembourg.
The University of Luxembourg was founded rather recently (in 2003). For a small country such as Luxembourg, it is still impossible to provide a complete offer of study programmes in all possible fields of education. Therefore, studying abroad has been very popular among Luxembourg’s students and it is still an option chosen by a large share of students.
This form of mobility is supported by the financial aid for higher education(aide financière pour études supérieures), which is available for studies in Luxembourg and studies abroad alike (for further details see article 3.2 Higher Education Funding).
The Centre for Documentation and Information on Higher Education(CEDIES; Centre de documentation et d'information sur l'enseignement supérieur) provides information on studying abroad and coordinates the financial aid for Higher Education.
The graph below shows the repartition of the most popular countries of destination of students who have received financial aid in 2014/15.
2014/2015: Countries of destination
Source: Ministry of Higher Education and Research (MESR; ministère de l’Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche) 2015, Aides financières 2014-2015.
The law on the creation of the University of Luxembourg stipulates that 'a bachelor degree may be conferred only if a student enrolled in the University has attended, for a required period, another university or any other institution of higher education abroad.'
However, there are no national programmes on student mobility: mobility is mainly funded via the European Erasmus+ programme.
Moreover, in the framework of the bilateral arrangements concluded within the University’s global exchange programme, students have the possibility to enrol at a partner university without paying any registration fees. These 'free movers' may demand an adaptation of their financial aid for higher education.
As for doctoral students, the University further offers the possibility to establish a dissertation under joint supervision at the University of Luxembourg and a foreign institution (see article 7.5 Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes).
The authority responsible for organising and coordinating students’ mobility periods is the University of Luxembourg.
Due to the important numbers of Luxembourg nationals and residents who have completed their studies abroad, the recognition and validation of foreign higher education degrees is well established.
Academic staff mobility
As with student mobility, two types of staff mobility should be considered:
- Short-term staff mobility of staff employed by the University of Luxembourg who goes abroad for a learning experience of a few days, weeks or months within the frame of his/her working contract
- Long-term staff mobility of residents working at foreign universities, respectively foreign higher education staff employed by the University of Luxembourg.
Short-term staff mobility
There are no national policy goals with regard to short-term staff mobility in higher education nor are there any national mobility programmes. Participation in staff mobility and its impact are not monitored at public level.
Staff mobility of the University of Luxembourg is coordinated by the university itself. Staff members who have been working for the university for at least seven years or who have been serving as Rector or as Dean, may demand a scientific leave which is described in article 9.6 Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education. This scheme allows them to be detached from their duties at the university for six months in order to conduct research abroad, while continuing to draw their salary and being covered by Luxembourg’s social security system.
There are no recompensation schemes for participants in staff mobility.
Long-term staff mobility
This relatively low number of measures for short-term mobility is explained by the importance of long-term mobility at the University of Luxembourg: the University has a high percentage of foreign teachers and researchers (about 75 % of the academic staff) and it actively seeks to attract outstanding personalities in its fields of research. For a lot of teachers, a research and teaching period in Luxembourg thus constitutes an experience of mobility in itself.