More than 3,500 students are to start a new academic year at the modern Belval campus of University of Luxembourg on Monday 18 September
Photo: University of Luxembourg
The University of Luxembourg kicked off a new academic year on Friday, 15 September, with a welcome day for the 600 new registered students.
In the year 2017/18, the University of Luxembourg not only starts off with a refurbished campus: one more bachelor curriculum and four more master courses have been added to the programme of University of Luxembourg, as vice-rector Prof Romain Martin told Delano on 15 September.
Computer science with a more academic-oriented career is the new bachelor course, in addition to the other, work-oriented one already in place.
The first new master course is cross-border studies, which targets issues in the greater region. Logistics and supply chain management is the second new master, for which the grand duchy is the perfect location as a significant centre for logistics, in Martin’s view. The other two new courses are a bachelor’s in social sciences for working adults and a master’s degree in architecture.
Martin also announced the launch of an entrepreneurship and start-up project, which aims to prepare students for work life with a set of transversal skills they can apply in a constantly evolving work environment:
“As an entrepreneur, you have to be creative, you need an idea, you need to know how to sell this idea, you need a business plan, an idea needs to be implemented, you have to solve problems, you cannot work by yourself, you need a team,” Martin explained to Delano.
He also stressed that a final start-up isn’t the ultimate goal of the project, rather it aims to teach students transversal skills for later on. The project is open to bachelor, master and PhD students from every course and who are signed up with University of Luxembourg.
As to the location of Belval, Martin emphasised that it is beneficial for the university to be located on the doorstep of a range of businesses. Martin told Delano that he perceived the mix of business and academia as an exciting hybrid in which “university is at the core of an ecosystem.” A mentoring programme to help students with their start-ups is in discussion for the future, Martin added.
An international selling point
According to 2018 Times Higher Education ranking, which was issued on 5 September in London, the University of Luxembourg is among the top 200 universities world-wide, mainly due to its high number of international students. As in the previous year, the university also welcomed refugees. As to why the university represents an international selling point, Martin stressed the country’s high multilingualism, but also the fact that “it is not a university for the masses, rather than a small university of increasing popularity.”
The smaller classes, in particular at graduate level, help to build more intimate and individually adapted lessons. Martin said that this scheme “hones on their image, which would help to stand out as a university with a unique and specific profile,” and with focus on students, he added: “we don’t want to be defined by the number of students, but our goal is to attract the best out there.”
Nirmeen, from Egypt, starts her master in computer science at the University of Luxembourg this year and told Delano that she chose the master because of its programme: “The master over here has artificial intelligence, which I’m really interested in and Luxembourg as a city is intriguing in itself.”
Anne-Sixtine decided to start her bachelor in law at the University of Luxembourg because the programme focuses on the European context of law and she added, “since I have to stay here for 5 years, Luxembourg allows me to move around in Europe.” Unlike Nirmeen and Anne-Sixtine, Jia Da and Eric are about to start their second, respectively fourth year at the University of Luxembourg. As university troupers, both gave the same advice to new students: “join events after your class because that’s where you get to meet and connect with other students.”
To foster social events and the still missing night life, a “mini Rockhal” and other leisure infrastructures are being planned, as Martin revealed to Delano. Yet, overall, the vice-rector characterised Friday's welcome day as a “good start into the new year.”
Update: An earlier version of this article misidentified the name of a bachelor’s and a master’s degree programme. This was corrected on 19 September 2017.