Education: Monday saw the first day of the academic year at the University of Luxembourg at its recently built Esch-Belval campus. What did this new start bring?
Photo: LaLa La Photo
At 8 a.m. on Monday the lobby of the Maison du Savoir Auditorium was already buzzing with excited students. They were avidly exploring the grounds of the University of Luxembourg’s new Esch-Belval campus. In the foyer, students mingled amidst the smell of fresh coffee and pastries.
The lobby itself was somewhat of an “organised market”, different stands lined the walls of the atrium as representatives from sponsoring companies handed out flyers and chatted away enthusiastically to the students. Students were showered with free Nespresso capsules, coffee flasks, USBs, along with other paraphernalia about the university’s goings-on.
The student associations were also there to showcase the different extracurricular options. Booths such as Junior Enterprise, Engineers Without Borders and Chinese Students Association were dotted around the atrium, as students hopped from stand to stand to find out more about how they can further themselves outside of their academic studies. The point was to show them that they will not just get an education here but there is also a vibrant student life at the University of Luxembourg.
With 28% (229 rooms) of the total student accommodation based in Belval, the city of Esch is welcoming student life with open arms. The Belval Plaza stand handed out cultural agendas and maps of the town--a representative explained: “we’re making a big effort to welcome the new students and we hope that we can accommodate and interest those who live here at the Belval campus but also those who don’t.” One can imagine that the influx of student living will breathe a youthful and vivacious atmosphere into the neighbourhood.
By 10 a.m. everyone had poured into the auditorium for the welcome speeches, delivered in French, German and English. First to address the students was Rainer Klump, the university’s president. “We are unique because since 2003 we have been providing research based education. Studying here is different to studying anywhere else. The university develops your spirit of knowledge and of new learning. Here we don’t just educate you, we educate you to become pioneers in your fields.”
Next to speak was Vera Spautz, mayor of Esch, who wished the students “an inspiring and successful academic year”. She was followed by Georges Engel, mayor of Sanem, who said: “As a student, life will be hard work but it is also a time for your own personal and professional development. Enjoy this time and we hope that you can profit from all the opportunities you have here.”
Last but not least, the student body heard from the Office of Student Life. Maria Rodriguez said they were striving to help international students overcome any difficulties they may face in Luxembourg.
The move to Esch is a dynamic change not just to the neighbourhood but also for Luxembourg, according to the university. Klump told Delano exclusively: “it is extremely exciting because now with world-class lecture rooms, teaching facilities and students the University of Luxembourg can now become a world-class university.”