Living and working conditions

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Living conditions

The education system


Early education, which is optional, is aimed for children aged three. It allows foreign children to become familiar with the Luxembourgish language and culture. This is essential since literacy in Luxembourg is in German, it is facilitated by contact with Luxembourgish. Early education is not a substitute for a crèche or childcare facility, and working parents must provide childcare outside of school hours. Most municipalities have a "maison relais" (childcare centre), which takes care of school children outside school hours, at an attractive price, unlike nurseries which are often very expensive.

Compulsory education in Luxembourg lasts 11 years, and is divided into:

  1. Pre-school education (‘Spillschoul’ or kindergarten) is compulsory for children who are already aged 4 on 1 September and lasts two years.
  2. Primary education (six years) is for children between the ages of six (at the start of term in September) and 12. Children are taught to read and write in German. They begin to learn French in the second year of primary school and then learn Luxembourgish grammar. Children are obliged to attend school for nine consecutive years from primary education onwards.
    The laws governing the organisation of basic education, teaching staff in basic education and compulsory school attendance came into force in September 2009. All pre-primary and primary schools, known as écoles fondamentales, are organised into four learning cycles. Cycle 1 covers early education (optional) and pre-school. Cycles 2, 3 and 4 correspond to primary schooling and last for two years each.
  3. Post-primary or secondary education (generally lasting 7 years) concerns pupils aged 12 to 18 or 19, The education provided is either general or technical and leads to a secondary school-leaving examination. 
  4. Secondary school offers general education which serves as preparation for higher education. It lasts seven years and is subdivided into a lower and an upper level (specialisation cycle).
  5. Technical education is divided into three cycles. Once a child has completed the lower cycle (year 9) he or she has completed obligatory schooling and can learn a trade. The middle cycle leads to a professional aptitude diploma (DAP) in year 12. The upper cycle includes, inter alia, a technical system that prepares students for university courses.

Distinguishing features of the Luxembourg education system: languages are a major benefit of receiving an education in Luxembourg. Classes are taught in German, French and Luxembourgish. Pupils also learn English during secondary education, and may take additional foreign-language classes (Italian, Spanish, Russian, etc.).

There are two European Schools in Luxembourg as well as a French high school (Lycée Vauban) and several international high schools.

The Ecole de la deuxième chance (Second Chance School, or E2C) seeks to address the issue of young people dropping out of school early and to help them obtain a qualification which allows them to reintegrate into society:

Higher education / university:

The University of Luxembourg was established in 2003 and has currently three faculties: the Faculty of Science, Technology and Communication, the Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance and the Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education

There are other options for higher education:

The competence center for university continuing and professional training at Luxembourg ( ) aims to support the main development axes of the Luxembourg economy by developing and managing university continuing vocational training programs. The Competence Center works by skill centers, notably health, law and finance and digital learning. In addition, the Sacred Heart University ( ) offers several MBA programs.

The Lycée Technique des Arts et Métiers (Technical School for Arts and Crafts) ( offers a BTS (brevet de technicien supérieur – advanced vocational training certificate) in cinema and audiovisual media, animation, automation engineering, technical engineering, information technology and graphic design.

The Ecole de Commerce et de Gestion (School of Commerce and Management) ( offers a BTS course for executive assistants, commercial and marketing managers, and accounting and tax managers.


Text last edited on: 09/2020

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