Luxembourg:Overview

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Overview Luxembourg

Contents

Luxembourg:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Luxembourg:Historical Development

Luxembourg:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Luxembourg:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Luxembourg:Political and Economic Situation

Luxembourg:Organisation and Governance

Luxembourg:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Luxembourg:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Luxembourg:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Luxembourg:Organisation of Private Education

Luxembourg:National Qualifications Framework

Luxembourg:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Luxembourg:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Luxembourg:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Luxembourg:Funding in Education

Luxembourg:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Luxembourg:Higher Education Funding

Luxembourg:Adult Education and Training Funding

Luxembourg:Early Childhood Education and Care

Luxembourg:Organisation of Programmes for Children under 3 years

Luxembourg:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children under 3 years

Luxembourg:Assessment in Programmes for Children under 3 years

Luxembourg:Organisation of Programmes for Children over 3 years

Luxembourg:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children over 3 years

Luxembourg:Assessment in Programmes for Children over 3 years

Luxembourg:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Luxembourg:Primary Education

Luxembourg:Organisation of Primary Education

Luxembourg:Teaching and Learning in Primary Education

Luxembourg:Assessment in Primary Education

Luxembourg:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Primary Education

Luxembourg:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Luxembourg:Organisation of General Secondary Education

Luxembourg:Teaching and Learning in General Secondary Education

Luxembourg:Assessment in General Secondary Education

Luxembourg:Organisation of Vocational Secondary Education

Luxembourg:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Secondary Education

Luxembourg:Assessment in Vocational Secondary Education

Luxembourg:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Luxembourg:Teaching and Learning in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Luxembourg:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Luxembourg:Higher Education

Luxembourg:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Luxembourg:First Cycle Programmes

Luxembourg:Bachelor

Luxembourg:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Luxembourg:Second Cycle Programmes

Luxembourg:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Luxembourg:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Luxembourg:Adult Education and Training

Luxembourg:Distribution of Responsibilities

Luxembourg:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Luxembourg:Main Providers

Luxembourg:Main Types of Provision

Luxembourg:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Luxembourg:Teachers and Education Staff

Luxembourg:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Luxembourg:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Luxembourg:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Luxembourg:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Luxembourg:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Luxembourg:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Luxembourg:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Luxembourg:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Luxembourg:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Luxembourg:Management and Other Education Staff

Luxembourg:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Luxembourg:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Luxembourg:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Luxembourg:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Luxembourg:Management Staff for Higher Education

Luxembourg:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Luxembourg:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Luxembourg:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Luxembourg:Quality Assurance

Luxembourg:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Luxembourg:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Luxembourg:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Luxembourg:Educational Support and Guidance

Luxembourg:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Luxembourg:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Luxembourg:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Luxembourg:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Luxembourg:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Luxembourg:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Luxembourg:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Luxembourg:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Luxembourg:Mobility and Internationalisation

Luxembourg:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Luxembourg:Mobility in Higher Education

Luxembourg:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Luxembourg:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Luxembourg:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Luxembourg:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Luxembourg:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Luxembourg:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Luxembourg:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Luxembourg:National Reforms in School Education

Luxembourg:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Luxembourg:National Reforms in Higher Education

Luxembourg:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Luxembourg:European Perspective

Luxembourg:Legislation

Luxembourg:Institutions

Luxembourg:Bibliography

Luxembourg:Glossary

 

Key features

Two ministries bear the main responsibility for Luxembourg’s educational system:

In some fields of education and training, governance is ensured by other authorities. For example:

  • The Ministry of Family Affairs and Integration (MFI – ministère de la Famille et de l’Intégration) is in charge of educational provision for senior citizens and educational measures related to the integration of adult foreign citizens;
  • The Ministry for Labour and Employment (MTE – ministère du Travail et de l’Emploi), through its Agency for the Development of Employment (ADEM - Agence pour le développement de l'emploi) cooperates with the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth to implement measures and training programmes for unemployed people;
  • Municipalities play an important role in the field of elementary education. Since the 2009 reform of elementary education, teachers are appointed by the State, while municipalities are competent for the organisation of elementary education, for the approval of school success plans, for school evaluation as well as for the setup of Plans for Extracurricular Childcare (PEP - Plan d'encadrement périscolaire – see article 14.2.4). Moreover, municipalities have to provide the infrastructure and educational facilities for elementary schools.

Luxembourg’s education system is shaped by the country’s political, economic, demographic and linguistic particularities, such as:

  • Small territory: with a surface of 2˙586km2, Luxembourg is one of the smallest EU Member States. Despite a population growth of 68% in the course of the past 50 years (see article 1.3 Population), the number of residents is still relatively low compared to other countries (576˙249 residents according to the 2016 census). This feature has huge repercussions on the country’s educational provision. The number of courses and programmes has to be limited to those that will attract a critical mass of learners. For this reason, Luxembourg has also developed a range of measures allowing residents to enrol in education and training in the Greater Region or in other countries abroad. A tradition of educational mobility has thus strongly established itself, especially in the field of higher education;
  • Multinational population and workforce: Luxembourg’s demographic situation is characterised by high immigration rates and a strong presence of foreigners. In 2016, 47% of Luxembourg’s inhabitants, that is 269˙175 people, hold a foreign nationality. The most important groups of foreign residents are Portuguese (93˙100), French (41˙700) and Italian (20˙300).
    In addition to this, 178˙000 cross-border wage earners are employed on Luxembourg’s labour market, commuting from the neighbouring regions of France, Belgium and Germany.
    The growing cultural heterogeneity of Luxembourg’s pupil population is well illustrated by the first language spoken at home by pupils enrolled in elementary education: In 2004/2005, pupils speaking Luxembourgish at home made up the majority. By 2012/2013, the situation had reversed: 60,2% of pupils speak other languages as their first language at home.
    As far as educational success is concerned, foreign pupils do not enjoy equal chances: Although 44,1% of all pupils entering Luxembourg’s school system are foreign nationals, they are not equally represented throughout the different types of education. In 2014/15, foreigners only made up 21,6% of all pupils enrolled in general secondary education, whereas they were strongly represented (45,7%) in technical secondary schools. This gap has been widening through the past decades;
  • Multilingualism: Luxembourg is a trilingual country. The national language is Luxembourgish, the legislative language is French and the official administrative and judicial languages are French, German and Luxembourgish. Moreover, the languages spoken by immigrants (such as Portuguese and Italian) as well as English are gaining importance.
    This plurality of languages is reflected in the education system. While German is the main language of instruction in elementary school and lower secondary education, most subjects in higher secondary education are taught in French.
    As a consequence, Luxembourg has the highest share of students who do not speak the language of instruction at home. It also has the highest number of foreign languages learnt per student. The annual instruction time for foreign languages exceeds that of all other countries. Language learning therefore plays a crucial role in school as well as in adult education. Likewise, the choice of the working language of an educational activity can be vital for its accessibility and for the learner’s educational success;
  • Implication of social partners: Social dialogue between the Government, professional chambers and trade unions traditionally plays an important role in Luxembourg. This is also true in the field of education. Throughout the education system, representatives of different interest groups (professional chambers, parents associations) are part of various bodies and commissions.


Stages of the education system

School attendance is compulsory between the ages of 4 and 16 years. Pupils have to attend school for at least 12 years. This period involves elementary school (école fondamentale) and secondary education (enseignement post-primaire).

Elementary school comprises four learning cycles (cycles d'apprentissage):

  • Cycle 1 for children from 3 to 5 years of age, including a first, optional year of early childhood education (éducation précoce) and two years of preschool education (éducation préscolaire);
  • Cycle 2 for children between 6 and 7 years of age;
  • Cycle 3 for children between 8 and 9 years of age;
  • Cycle 4 for children between 10 and 11 years of age.

Secondary education comprises two branches of education (ordres d’enseignement):

  • General secondary education (enseignement secondaire). With a standard duration of seven years, this branch prepares pupils for post-secondary education and leads to a Secondary school leaving diploma (Diplôme de fin d’études secondaires);
  • Technical secondary education (enseignement secondaire technique). Technical secondary education is divided in three regimes (régime)
    • Technical regime (régime technique) has a standard duration of eight years and leads to a Technical secondary school leaving diploma (Diplôme de fin d’études secondaires techniques) providing general access to higher education;
    • Technician’s regime (régime de la formation de technicien) lasts seven years and leads to a Technician’s Diploma (DT - Diplôme de technicien) providing access to higher technical studies;
    • Vocational regime (régime professionnel) lasts six years and either leads to a Vocational Aptitude Diploma (DAP - Diplôme d’aptitude profesionnelle) granting job market access as qualified worker or to a Certificate of Vocational Ability (CCP - Certificat de capacité professionnelle).

Each type of education proposes special welcome lessons (elementary school) or welcome classes (secondary schools) for foreign pupils (see section 14.3, Integrating foreign pupils).

Pupils with special needs are either integrated in mainstream education or benefit from special education (éducation différenciée) (see section 14.3, Integrating and supporting pupils with special needs).

While the great majority of pupils attend public schools (84,7% in 2014/2015), a part of them are enrolled in private schools applying Luxembourg’s official curricula (3,8%) or in private or international schools that do not apply Luxembourg’s curricula (11,3%). International schools are particularly popular in general secondary education. In 2014/2015, pupils in international schools accounted for 29,9% of the total population enrolled in general secondary education.

Higher education involves a range of bachelor and master programmes as well as doctoral studies offered by the University of Luxembourg. In addition, 17 short-cycle programmes leading to Advanced Technicians Diplomas (BTS – Brevet de technicien supérieur) are proposed by secondary schools. The offer is completed by other institutions providing higher education, such as professional associations, foreign universities or public research centres. A part of these institutions work together with foreign education providers in order to make programmes from other countries accessible for students based in Luxembourg.

Post-secondary non-tertiary education mainly consists of preparatory courses for a Master Craftsman’s Diploma (Brevet de maîtrise). Organised by the Chamber of Trades (Chambre des métiers), these courses are targeted at artisans holding a Vocational Aptitude Diploma or another recognised qualification. The Master Craftsman’s Diploma allows them to work as independent artisans and to train apprentices.

In the field of adult education, various programmes for adult learners are provided. The offer comprises continuing vocational training that allows adults to adapt and enlarge their qualifications according to skills needs; preparation classes for national diplomas and certificates; courses of general interest. Due to Luxembourg’s multilingual tradition, language courses are an important part of the offer.



Structure of the national education system

2016 diagram LU.png(source: Eurydice 2016)



Useful links

For further information, please consult the introduction articles of Organisation and Governance and of each educational level: Early Childhood EducationPrimary EducationSecondary Education and Post Secondary Non Tertiary EducationHigher Education and Adult Education and Training.
For a brief description of other main topics regarding the national education system, please read the introduction article of Funding educationTeachers and education staffManagement and other educational staffEducational support and guidanceQuality assuranceMobility and internationalisation.
For information on recently adopted or planned reforms and policy measures, please consult topic Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments.

While Eurydice provides comprehensive and comparable information, further information may also be found on the websites of the Ministry of Education, as well as the Ministry for Higher Education and Research, the Centre for Documentation and Information on Higher Education (CEDIES -'Centre de Documentation et d'Information sur l'Enseignement Supérieur) and the platform www.lifelong-learning.lu.