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Higher Education Systems and Institutions, Luxembourg
Harmsen, Robert; Powell, Justin J W
2018In Shin, J.C.; Teixeira, P. (Eds.) Encyclopedia of International Higher Education Systems and Institutions
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Keywords :
higher education; Luxembourg
Abstract :
[en] Bordered by Belgium, France, and Germany, Luxembourg is one of the three main seats of the European Union’s institutions. The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg sits at the crossroads between Europe’s Germanic and Francophone language communities. The country has experienced remarkable migratory flows, resulting in an ethnically hyper-diverse and multilingual population. Reflecting this cultural diversity, the educational system at all levels emphasizes language learning. Historically an agrarian society, a century ago it developed a very strong steelmaking industry and over the past decades has witnessed extraordinary growth in its financial services sector. Established to broaden the economic bases of the country, thus reducing overreliance on the steel and banking industries, yet against considerable pecuniary and ideological resistance, the national flagship University of Luxembourg (UL) was founded in 2003 upon initiative of a small group of elite decisionmakers. As a private, government-dependent institution (établissement public) directed by a Board of Governors (Conseil de Gouvernance), the university’s major funding is provided by the state, although its third-party funding has increased rapidly and substantially. Ironically, while spatial mobility is everywhere supported, Luxembourg has invested considerable capital and strategic planning in establishing its own national university. It aims to compete globally by concentrating its intellectual and financial resources and by building on the country’s strengths and priorities. The state took this ambitious step in scientific capacity-building in founding a research-oriented university, in so doing also providing a stay-at-home alternative for Luxembourg’s youth, traditionally educated abroad. The long-standing custom of educating elites in other countries was ostensibly justified by the establishment of cosmopolitan, Europe-wide networks. Today, rising international competition and supranational coordination have increased pressure on Luxembourg to grow its higher education system and thus also foster educational and scientific innovation. The University provides a means to diversify the economy and to integrate citizens from diverse cultural background, while the polity remains dominated by local elites. Oriented towards the Grand Duchy’s unique context—small size, but simultaneously flourishing center of European governance and international business—the University was founded upon the principles of internationality, multilingualism, and interdisciplinarity.
Research center :
- Education, Culture, Cognition & Society (ECCS) > Institute of Education & Society (InES)
Institute of Political Science
Disciplines :
Education & instruction
Sociology & social sciences
Author, co-author :
Harmsen, Robert ;  University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Identités, Politiques, Sociétés, Espaces (IPSE)
Powell, Justin J W  ;  University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Education, Culture, Cognition and Society (ECCS)
External co-authors :
Language :
Title :
Higher Education Systems and Institutions, Luxembourg
Publication date :
Main work title :
Encyclopedia of International Higher Education Systems and Institutions
Author, co-author :
Shin, J.C.
Teixeira, P.
Publisher :
Springer, Dordrecht, Unknown/unspecified
Pages :
Peer reviewed :
Peer reviewed
Focus Area :
Educational Sciences
Name of the research project :
R-AGR-0330 - Global-Uni (20130401-20160331) - HARMSEN Robert
Funders :
University of Luxembourg - UL
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