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The Luxembourg constitution confers the State the right to organize and regulate education. As a result, most schools are public and non-fee-paying. There are some private schools that teach the same subjects, but they are fee paying. Each child over six years of age on 1 September of the current year must attend school for nine years, i.e. until the age of 15.
The linguistic situation in Luxembourg is characterized by the practice and recognition of three official languages –Luxembourgish, French and German. German is taught from the very first school year, while French is taught the following years. Moreover, German is the main language for primary education, as well as for the first few
years of secondary classical and secondary technical education. French, however, is used predominantly in secondary classical education. The number of hours devoted to language teaching accounts for 50% of the total of subjects taught during the entire schooling. During these years, Luxembourgish remains the main teaching language.
Religious studies and moral and social education are compulsory in primary and secondary school.
The School System
Early education is aimed at children from the age of three. It helps children to socialize and immigrant children to integrate properly. This project was introduced for the start of the new school year 2000-2001. Early education is not
compulsory. Preschool education is compulsory for children over four years of age on 1 September of the current year, in accordance with the grand-ducal regulation of 2 September 1992. Primary education takes six years and is intended for children having reached the age of six by 1 September of the current year.
Post-primary education takes six or seven years depending on the orientation chosen and is split into two sections - secondary education, which concentrates on classical subjects and prepares students for university, and technical secondary education, which offers practical and vocational training.
One of the special features of the Luxembourg education system is, for the moment, the absence of a complete university course. Luxembourg students normally continue their studies in the neighbouring countries of France, Germany or Belgium. However, Luxembourg does offer some opportunities to pursue higher education :
- The “Centre universitaire de Luxembourg” offers university courses ranging from the first year to the DEUG (university diploma after two years’ study).
- The “Institut universitaire international”, which is part of the “Centre universitaire de Luxembourg”, offers specialized courses in the form of study sessions lasting three to four weeks, or in the form of seminaries. Since the beginning of the school year 1999-2000, it is possible to take up a first post-university training course recognized by means of a specialized university diploma, the DESS, in the field of Community litigation.
- The “Institut supérieur de technologie” (IST) offers a four-year training course and leads to a degree in industrial engineering.
- The “Institut supérieur d’études et de recherches pédagogiques” (ISERP) offers a three-year higher education course for the training of primary and pre-school teachers.
- The “Institut d’études éducatives et sociales” (IEES) trains graduate educators (éducateur gradué).
University of Luxembourg
The University of Luxembourg, founded in 2003, is a multilingual, international research university with 6,200 students and staff from across the globe. The mandatory semester abroad for bachelor’s students reflects the importance this University attaches to mobility. To this end, exchange agreements exist with 60 universities in 20 countries around the world. The priorities for research at the University of Luxembourg are international finance, ICT security, systems biomedicine, European law, business law and educational sciences. International research teams and 550 PhD students work within three faculties as well as the University’s Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT) and the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) .