University and research: developing the Luxembourgish innovation hub
Luxembourg is a country of talent, with a thirst for knowledge and innovation. This potential should be explored more in the future. The knowledge progress and knowledge transfer will not only significantly contribute to the economic competitiveness of our country in the years to come but will also be essential to consolidate our social prosperity. The DP will promote the enormous potential of our students, professors and researchers, to meet these future challenges and better position our country as a first-class university and research centre.
The recently adopted university law will pave the way. The University of Luxembourg were granted greater financial and organizational freedom over its decisions, thus making it possible to develop in an even more autonomous and targeted manner. In addition, the management and the administrative decision-making processes have been made more participatory. Since the reform, chairmen/chairwomen of student and staff representations have now the right to vote on the Governing Council, the university’s supreme body.
Since the Ministry of Higher Education and Research is under the direction of the DP, state investments in research and development have significantly increased. Increased financial resources are also planned for the coming years. Last year, the government pledged to invest 1,5 billion euros – roughly 205 million euros more – for universities and research until 2021. The innovation hub in Luxembourg will therefore be considerably strengthened and the promotion of innovations will gain new momentum. Thanks to the commitment of the DP, the Belval campus has finally been inaugurated. We will continue to commit ourselves to ensuring that university and the research departments have the necessary infrastructure and resources.
The DP will develop the Luxembourg innovation hub. We will create the framework conditions to further promote scientific work and improve the translation of results into innovative products. In addition, we continue to commit ourselves to offer quality trainings at the University of Luxembourg and we will provide the financial means and organizational requirements. The DP continues to commit itself to the law on scholarships, which is consistent, differentiated and socially equitable.
The DP will continue to support student mobility and will allow all young people to study. In our eyes, student housing and a busy student life outside the lecture halls is part of the studies. The DP will create more student housing, promote an active student life on campus and will support additional cultural and leisure activities for students.
The University of Luxembourg has ambitious goals and excellent forecasts. The university has in recent years forged a reputation far beyond our borders and it does not have to fear international comparison in several fields of research. The recent university reform granted the University of Luxembourg greater autonomy so that it can develop its optimal potential and establish its place. The DP will continue to support this development with the necessary financial and organizational means. Quality and excellence must be the main motives for the transfer of knowledge and research. The DP is also in favour of the university examining more relevant research topics on national level, such as the field of research on our education system or teacher training. In the future, priority could be given to in particular fields of materials sciences, biomedicine, finance, digital technologies and contemporary history.
The university and state research centres must remain subject to external controls. Regular assessment not only creates transparency, but also ensures quality assurance and quality development.
Society and the economy are constantly changing. The DP believes that the university and the research institutes should adapt to this dynamic environment and focus more on the research areas of the future. This approach will bring added value to direct socioeconomic and will increase the competitiveness of our economy. This targeted promotion should not, however, affect the autonomy of the university.
The funding of the University of Luxembourg and the research institutes must remain mostly public. Multi-year budget pledges provide security planning and allow for long-term goals. In addition, we are committed to performance and results oriented finance system that allocates public funds according to clear quality criteria. Such performance contracts between the State and institutes make it possible to promote quality in a more targeted manner and to adapt research and the university to the needs of the Luxembourg economy.
The DP will be committed to ensuring that the high-quality research results of the institutes and researcher teams receive financial rewards based on transparent criteria and performance. These rewards are meant to be additional incentives to carry out quality research. In addition, it is expected that the state subsidizes research projects which are also receiving support at the European and international level.
In the Luxembourg research landscape, there is still potential for well-judged collaborations. We will continue to promote the exchange of knowledge and information between various institutes of the Luxembourg research community. Such an exchange does not allow only to use public funds more efficiently, but also increases the quality and the exchange of knowledge.
The DP will give companies the opportunity to develop quick and efficient solutions, such as product development or customer orders that require intensive research, through public-private partnerships between the university and public research institutes. This collaboration must be regulated in a transparent manner.
The DP will introduce the principle of the “Matching Fund”. Where a certain amount is donated from private donors to the university or to public research institutes, the State will make an additional contribution. The aim is to support funding from private sources.
See the Education policy: fair future chances for our children.
See the Education policy: fair future chances for our children.
The training of medical doctors in Luxembourg will be extended. In the years to come, the University from Luxembourg will offer a bachelor’s degree in medicine, so that students can study in Luxembourg for three years instead of just one as it is now. It is also expected to create training courses for specialized medical doctors. The DP sees this enlargement to be a positive step froward. Where appropriate, the next steps should be developed in collaboration with all the relevant people involved and their usefulness must then be assessed.
See the chapter Tax policy: reduce tax burden of citizens and encourage entrepreneurship.
In the years to come, the DP will invest heavily in the infrastructure of the development and research hubs in Luxembourg-Ville and Belval, in order to create optimal development for the university and research centres.
The DP believes that the discoveries, publications and research results from
publicly funded projects should be made available free of charge online to the public, taking into account the right of first use (open access policy). This will allow the large public to have access to the most recent research results.
The DP will ensure that the lectures are made available online. We believe that students should be able to use the technical means of the 21st century to access course content in a flexible and autonomous way.
As the number of students increases, the demand for affordable student housing is also increasing. The DP is aware of this situation and will increase the offer for affordable student housing close to campuses. DP also encourages private initiatives for the construction of student housing.