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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

Compulsory full-time education Phases

 Spillschoul (pre-primary schools)  4-6 years of age
 Primary education  6-12 years of age
 Secondary educationGeneral secondary
 educationTechnical secondary education
 12-15 years of age

Education is compulsory between the ages of 4 and 15.

Pre-primary education

The first public pre-school establishments were set up in the 1860s. The first legal text to mention pre-school education was an act of 20 April 1881, authorizing the government “to set up nursery schools with the consent of the municipal council and the schools board”. The act of 5 August 1963 then introduced a general system of pre-school education with the “requirement to set up schools known as “kindergardens”. Then followed three important regulations: on 23 September 1964, the regulation governed the financial participation of the State, on 22 October 1974, it made pre-school attendance compulsory for “all children above the age of five at 1st September and not yet subject to compulsory school attendance”. From then on, five-year-olds were legally obliged to enter the second year of pre-school education. That was then extended to “all children above the age of four at 1st September and not yet subject to compulsory school attendance” under the regulation of 2 September 1992. Thus the attendance at the “Spillschoul” (pre-primary schools) is now compulsory for children aged 4 on September 1st of the year they enrol.

Primary education

The principle of compulsory education is enshrined in the act of 10 August 1912 on the organization of primary education: “all children above the age of six at 1 September shall, for nine consecutive years, receive instruction in the subjects provided for in Article 23 of this act” (Article 1).

Secondary education

The main distinction at this level is between general secondary education (enseignement secondaire) and technical secondary education (enseignement secondaire technique). Post-compulsory general secondary education continues in “lycées” and is organized in two stages: general upper secondary education during the fourth and fifth years of secondary school (15-17 years of age), and the period of specialization in the sixth and seventh years of secondary education (17-19 years of age). Technical secondary education is offered in technical “lycées” and is sub-divided into an intermediate and upper stage. Some technical “lycées” also offer post –secondary vocational training (especially in the tertiary sector).

Upper secondary and post-secondary education

 Lycée général (general secondary school)  15-19 years of age
 Lycée technique
   (technical secondary school)
 Intermediate stage/upper stage (2+2 years)
 Intermediate stage (3 years)
 15-19 years of age 15-18 years of age

Higher Education

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).

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