University of Luxembourg
|Rector||Prof. Dr. Stéphane Pallage|
|Students||6,200 (04. 2017)|
|Colors||Red, white and light blue|
The University of Luxembourg (Luxembourgish: Universitéit vu Lëtzebuerg; French: Université du Luxembourg) is a public research university with an international, multilingual and interdisciplinary character, situated on Belval Campus and in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg.
Founded in 2003, the university has already built a reputation as being among the best young universities in the world. It was ranked 11th in the Times Higher Young University Rankings 2017, and 178th in the Times Higher World University Rankings 2016.
The University offers many bilingual and multilingual study programmes in French, English and German, as well as several master courses and doctoral schools entirely taught in English. With 6,200 students from 120 countries and 250 academics from all over the globe, the university provides a cosmopolitan learning experience. Moreover, all Bachelor’s students have to spend a mandatory semester abroad, reflecting the importance attached to mobility. The University therefore cooperates with nearly 90 partner universities worldwide.
The University of Luxembourg has three faculties, including the Faculty of Science, Technology and Communication, the Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance, the Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education, as well as three interdisciplinary research centres: the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB), the Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT) as well as the Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History (C2DH). Current research priorities are computational sciences and ICT, systems biomedicine, European law, international finance and educational sciences.
As one of the most international universities in Europe, the University of Luxembourg maintains close relations with EU institutions and participates in the debate on Europe’s future. As a motor of the national research and innovation system, the University also gives strong support to entrepreneurial activities and is closely connected to Luxembourg’s industry and the country’s multicultural community, with an aim to support the creation of a knowledge-based society.
The University of Luxembourg or Universität Luxemburg, was officially founded in 2003 with the passing of the Higher Education Act. Four separate institutions are combined into the "Université du Luxembourg/Universität Luxemburg". The establishment of the country’s first and only public university was a response to calls for an economic reorientation of the Grand Duchy.
Luxembourg moved from being a steel producer to become a globally significant financial centre in the 1980s and today it is an international innovation hub. The Government strategy put research, development and higher education as the cornerstone of economic diversification, competitiveness and creating a knowledge-based society. Therefore, the Government agreed to encourage the establishment of scientific and technological centres of excellence, concentrating efforts on a limited number of state-of-the-art sectors with an international dimension and a benefit to the country at large.
While Luxembourg’s students traditionally went to study abroad, the new university offers now the opportunity to access higher education at home. Furthermore, the University of Luxembourg attracts foreign students, researchers and intellectual potential to the country.
The first rector of the University of Luxembourg, the Canadian Prof. François Tavenas, passed away in February 2004, only a few weeks after he assumed the post. In 2005, the physicist Rolf Tarrach takes over the young university and presents the institution’s first strategic framework for the next four years. Several new Bachelor programmes start in autumn. End of 2005, the government decides about the future site of the University: the administration, the Science Faculty and the Humanities Faculty shall find a new home on the Belval brownfield site in the future "Cité des Sciences".
2009 is another turning point for the University, as the Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT) and the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) are founded. The House of Biomedicine – the first building of the University in Esch-Belval housing the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) – is inaugurated in 2011. In 2015, the University management, central administration and the Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education move to the brand new Belval Campus, the new headquarters of the University - a symbol of the country’s vision to invest in high-quality public research as a major contribution to Luxembourg's economic future. In 2016, the University launches its third interdisciplinary research centre, the Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History (C2DH).
As a research-oriented university, the University of Luxembourg focuses on a select number of research areas of international importance, which also reflect the realities of Luxembourg's society and economy. Current strategic research priorities (2014-2017) are computational sciences and ICT, systems biomedicine, European law, international finance and educational sciences.
The international research teams and about 640 PhD students work in three faculties and three interdisciplinary centres:
- Faculty of Science, Technology and Communication
- Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance
- Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education
- Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT)
- Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB)
- Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History (C2DH)
1,096 scientific publications, of which 566 in refereed journals, were published in 2015. Corporate supporters have endowed nine academic chairs since 2006. Examples include the SES Chair in Satellite Communications and Media Law, the ArcelorMittal Chair in Steel and Façade Engineering, and the Deutsche Bank Chair of Finance. In 2015, total third party funding amounted to 41.4 million euros.
31 approved Horizon 2020 grants since 2014 (success rate: 16%) as well as four grants from the European Research Council (ERC) and are further milestones.
University of Luxembourg ERC fellows:
- Prof. Stéphane Bordas (FP7), an expert in computational mechanics
- Prof. Björn Ottersten (H2020), Director of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT) - ERC Advanced Grant, an expert in security and trust, reliable wireless communications, and statistical signal processing
- Prof. Lionel Briand (H2020), FNR PEARL Chair, Vice Director of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT) and expert in the field of software reliability and security receives an ERC Advanced Grant
- Prof. Massimiliano Esposito (H2020), an expert in nanosystems thermodynamics receives an ERC Consolidator Grant
- Prof. Jan Lagerwall (H2020), an expert in liquid crystal phase phenomena and its interactions with other soft matter structures receives an ERC Consolidator Grant
- Prof. Alexandre Tkatchenko (H2020), an expert in the chemical physics governing the interactions of molecules that influence material properties receives an ERC Consolidator Grant
- Prof. Josip Glaurdic (H2020) - an expert at the crossroads of comparative politics, international relations, and political economy, with a strong grounding in historical research
In the framework of the University’s third external evaluation, evaluators have awarded the University of Luxembourg excellent marks for its research and for the institution's development phase. The four-year-cycle procedure stipulated in the university law has been conducted for the third time in 2016 and its results have been presented in February 2017 by the government.
The research evaluation represents the first comprehensive quantitative and qualitative examination of the University's overall research performance from 2012 to 2015. The evaluators confirmed that nine out of the 13 research units and interdisciplinary research centres ”enjoy a leading international role". Those are the Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT) and the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB), as well as the Research Centres for Physics and Material Sciences, Computer Science and Communications, Mathematics and Law and the Centre for Research in Economics and Management (CREA) as well as the Identités, Politiques, Sociétés, Espaces (IPSE) research unit and the Integrative Research Unit on Social and Individual Development (INSIDE).
According to the experts, seven of the 13 research units have acquired significant third-party funding, primarily from the National Research Fund (FNR) and the EU Commission. In particular, the evaluators emphasised the University's international character and its contribution to Luxembourg’s society. The report also highlights the first-class working conditions at the University, the highly motivated and eminently qualified researchers, the strategic focus on a few core research fields as well as the outstanding national and international networking and cooperation.
Admission and financial aid
All applications must be submitted online via the University’s Website.
The enrolment fee is generally 400 euros in semesters 1 and 2 and 200 euros for all other semesters. (Special tuition fees for some Master programmes). The University has no additional tuition fees for foreign students.
European Investment Fund Guarantee for Students
In cooperation with the European Investment Fund and under the auspices of the European Commission, the University of Luxembourg has put in place a special scheme to support students for specific programs; this scheme includes some of the following:
Faculty of Science, Technology and Communication (FSTC)
- Master Professionnel en Sciences de l’Ingénieur - Efficacité Énergétique et Économique 
- Master in Information and Computer Sciences
- Master of Science in Engineering - Sustainable Product Creation 
Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance (FDEF)
- Master in Logistics and Supply Chain Management
- Master in Wealth Management
- Master in Entrepreneurship and Innovation
- Master of Science in Banking and Finance
Within this supporting scheme, the University enables students to defer payment of some aspects of tuition fees or student housing during their master studies. This scheme is reserved to incoming master students at the University of Luxembourg who obtained a bachelor in a foreign university.
The University is located on different campuses in Luxembourg, including Belval Campus, Kirchberg Campus and Limpertsberg Campus.
The new headquarter of the University of Luxembourg, called Belval Campus, is built on industrial wasteland in the south of the country. The “Cité des Sciences” (City of Science) is Belval’s lead project. Its first phase has had a budget of 960 million euros for the construction and fitting of more than a dozen new buildings on the grounds of the former blast furnace site. It is the location of the main University campus since the summer of 2015, hosting currently approximately 3000 students and 1000 employees (April 2017). Eventually, around 7,000 students and 3,000 teaching staff and researchers will be at work there.
As Belval Campus is a melting pot of different academic subjects, there are plenty of new opportunities for interdisciplinary partnerships, not only within the University but also with the public research institutes the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) and the Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER), both of which are located in the immediate neighbourhood.
Campus Limpertsberg lies in a residential district of the capital in a historic building built in 1903 on behalf of the Franciscan Order and it was used as a college for Catholic priests from 1926 to 1972. Currently the building partially hosts the Faculty of Law, the Faculty of Economics and Finance and the Faculty of Science.
Campus Kirchberg is situated in a building complex formerly known as the “Institut Supérieur de Technologie” of the European Union in Kirchberg’s banking district and it accommodates partially the Faculty of Science and Technology and the Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust.
Bâtiment K2, situated near Campus Kirchberg hosts the “Luxembourg School Finance” and the “Luxembourg Business Academy”.
The Weicker Building situated at Rue Alphonse Weicker in Luxembourg-Kirchberg, accommodates the “Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust”, and partially the Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance.
A new campus will be built on the Kirchberg plateau in Luxembourg City in the coming years, including parts of the Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance, together with the Max Planck Institute Luxembourg for International, European and Regulatory Procedural Law.
Programmes and courses
The university currently offers twelve Bachelor’s programmes, 42 Master’s programmes, seven Doctoral schools as well as 13 vocational training and lifelong learning courses (April 2017). PhDs can also be done in cooperation with industry. Joint supervision of dissertations with other institutions of higher education abroad is also possible.
About 860 financial experts, EU officials, managers, engineers, lawyers and other practitioners assist our 250 professors and senior lecturers in their teaching. Morevover, students benefit from the personal atmosphere at the University. Tutoring is offered to the majority of 1st year Bachelor’s students and teaching in small groups gives lecturers the opportunity and time to give individual guidance.
End of 2016, about 6200 students were enroled (3,000 Bachelor, 1,500 Master, 640 PhD, 1,000 others). The University entails a Student department (Service des Études et de la Vie Étudiante – SEVE) helping applicants and students with all the necessary steps, from orientation and registration to mobility, graduation, career service and beyond.
All Bachelor’s students have to spend a mandatory semester abroad. The University therefore cooperates with nearly 90 partner universities in Europe and worldwide. Outgoing students must enrol and earn at least 30 ECTS. The ECTS earned abroad are recognized by the course director on the basis of the previously signed learning agreement.
Moreover, the University offers a special global exchange programme dedicated to Bachelor’s and Master’s students. As the available spots are limited, students are selected on the basis of their application file and a personal interview.
Students from foreign universities wishing to study for a semester or two at the University of Luxembourg are more than welcome. Incoming exchange students can spend either one or two semesters under an Erasmus exchange programme, with an inter-university agreement or as a fee paying student (freemover).
The University has 35 student residences with more than 1000 rooms and studios in several towns, including the City of Luxembourg, Esch-sur-Alzette, Noertzange, Obercorn, Mondercange and Dudelange. The average monthly rent for a furnished single room with common kitchen and bathroom is 360 euros, charges included (April 2017).
The University of Luxembourg has gained a recognition for its multilingual teaching as one of the distinguishing features with the majority of the courses given in at least two languages; French and English or French and German. The University’s Language Centre supports students who need to acquire the necessary language skills. It also offers good conditions for the students, like equipped laboratories and common study areas with affordable tuition fees.
Campus art and campus sport
The University offers a series of art workshops as well as a broad range of sport activities for students and staff. All courses are free of charge.
For students in their final semester and graduates, the University’s Careers service “Campus Carrières” offers job application workshops, CV checks, a skills assessment, and a student job web portal. Furthermore, the career service provides students with individual advice on transitioning from studies to professional life and organises the annual recruitment fair ”unicareers.lu”.
Cultural activities in Luxembourg
Luxembourg, one of the founding states of the European Union, is one of the most intercultural and international societies in the world, with over 170 nationalities living together. Almost 70% of the residents of the cosmopolitan capital are non-Luxembourgers and, nearly half of the entire population (46.7%) are non-locals. Multilingualism is an integral part of Luxembourgish culture. There are plenty of leisure activities in the country, including cinemas, bike trails, excursion trails and a wide range of cultural activities, like jazz concerts, contemporary art expositions at MUDAM, theater in many languages or classical music concerts in one of the most beautiful buildings of Luxembourg City, the Philharmonie. All this is set in the romantic backdrop of the medieval city centre of Luxembourg (UNESCO world heritage site since 1994). There is a lively scene around the fashionable bars of Hollerich, Grund and Calusen in the capital, or the Rockhal and the Kulturfabrik in Esch-Alzette.
The University organises various public conference series and round-table debates designed for a wide public, including, for example, the inaugural lectures series or the scientific series “Les Jeudis des Sciences”.
The university library, which can also be used free of charge by external readers, offers more than 220,000 books and nearly 1000 periodicals for teaching and research. These collections are completed by a wide range of electronic documentation consisting of databases, scientific articles and e-books. The www.a-z.lu catalogue provides access to all paper and electronic collections. The university library cooperates closely with the National Library and is a member of the BiBnet.lu network.
Senior Guest Auditors
More and more senior citizens use their time to continue studies and maintain intellectual capacities. A selection of lectures is geared towards this group, organised by the University of Luxembourg in consultation with the “RBS Center fir Altersfroen”. These lectures cover fields ranging from philosophy to psychology, and from Latin to history. Persons interested to register as a senior guest auditor, should follow admission instructions on the website of the university (www.uni.lu > Students/Application).
- "Faculty of Science, Technology and Communication".
- "Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance".
- "Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education".
- "Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine".
- "Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust".
- "Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History".
- "About the University".
- "University of Luxembourg".
- Volker Zotz: Université du Luxembourg: Wohin geht die Reise? (forum Nr. 215, 2002).
- Michel Pauly und Volker Zotz: Universität Luxemburg (forum Nr. 227, June 2003).
- Michel Pauly: uni.lu nach dem Sommergewitter (forum Nr. 239, September 2004).
- Christian Wille: Raumfahrt. Die Standorte der Universität. In: Margue, Michel (Ed.): Université du Luxembourg 2003-2013, Luxemburg, 2013, p. 174-179.
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