The children in Luxembourg have a compulsory schooling for twelve years, which includes two years of preschool. Luxembourgish is the dominant language in preschool. The teaching is then conducted in German from the first class but already in the second class is also introduced French.
Most children attend state schools that are free, but there are also some fee-charged private schools.
One year of preschool is optional for three year olds. Children who have reached the age of four before September 1 will start compulsory schooling that year. After the preschool follows six basic school years. The total eight years are divided into four two-year cycles. After each cycle, students must achieve set goals in order to proceed to the next level.
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The basic level is followed by six or seven school years, which correspond to high school and high school. Students are guided via written exams either to schools (lycée) that provide a broad base for university studies, or to more technically oriented schools (lycée techniques) with more vocational orientation. The latter include professions that require college studies, such as medicine and architecture. Around 40 percent of children go into what is also called the “classic system” and for them become French teaching languages in recent years. The roughly 60 per cent who walk the professional track continue mainly with the German. All also read English and many more also a foreign language.
Before the University of Luxembourg was founded in 2003, Luxembourgers who wanted to pursue university studies were referred abroad. The university has over 6,000 students, many of them from other countries. Previously, there were only a few colleges that offered shorter courses.
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FACTS – EDUCATION
Proportion of children starting primary school
95.5 percent (2016)
Number of pupils per teacher in primary school
Public expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP
9.4 percent (2015)
Public expenditure on education as a percentage of the state budget
9.4 percent (2015)
The Constitution is amended
Parliament adopts a constitutional change, due to the euthanasia issue (see February 2008). The approval of the head of state shall no longer be required for new laws to apply.
Euthanasia causes crisis
Parliament votes for a law on active euthanasia, with 30 votes in favor and 26 against. Grand Duke Henri, who must sign the law for it to come into force, refuses – he believes it is contrary to his Catholic faith. The country is in a constitutional crisis.