Nestled between Germany, France and Belgium, Luxembourg is an idyllic location for immigrants and tourists alike. With 500,000 inhabitants, this is one of the world’s smallest countries. Indians generally relate Luxembourg to the steel giant Arcelor Mittal. Little is known about this land that has produced persons of notable fame such as Henri Owen Tudor, inventor/engineer, and Gabriel Lippmann, Nobel Laureate in physics.
Apart from being at the centre of international finance, recent years have seen Luxembourg emerge as a hub of innovative research. Luxembourg is home to several independent research institutes such as Centre for the study of Population, Poverty and Socio-economic Policies (CEPS) and Centres for Public Research (CRP); Santé, Gabriel Lippmann, Henri Tudor. These public institutions focus on specific areas like biomedical sciences, material sciences, societal challenges, and environmental green practice. Since 1999, development on the research front has been particularly active with the creation of FNR (Fonds National de la Recherche) that funds public research. The public university, founded in 2003, has further augmented research in a select number of well-defined domains such as International Finance, European Law, ICT-Security, Systems Biomedicine and Education in multilingual contexts.
The University of Luxembourg, being one of the youngest universities in Europe and the only university of the country, offers master’s as well as five doctoral schools. Presently, there are around 6,300 students, including 1,100 master’s students and 430 PhD students. You can pursue master’s in condensed matter physics, information and computer science, mathematics, integrated systems biology, accounting, banking and finance, entrepreneurship, wealth management, geography and spatial planning, European law, humanities and languages.
Reasonable fees, convenient accommodation, an opportunity to experience cultural diversity and technically sound staff to impart quality education are some of the major draws of the university. Fees for a master degree is €200 (approx `16,200) per semester. Students are spared the hassle of searching for accommodation as the university rents out furnished student housing in various parts of the country, reserved on a first-come-first-serve basis. The campus has a lot of students of German and French origin along with students from other nationalities. Fourty-eight students are from Luxembourg. This gives the university a multicultural and multilingual atmosphere. “In today’s world, a graduate cannot survive with knowledge of a singular field because each of them use technologies from another and the University of Luxembourg makes this very clear. The courses are so well structured so that students can identify interrelationships between the different subjects they study,” says Tanya Ajith, one of the exchange students from PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore, who landed here to complete a part of her master’s at University of Luxembourg in September 2012.
For Indians, there is much more to look forward to. Ambi Venkatraman, the Honorary Consul General of India in Luxembourg, who been residing in Luxembourg for 29 years, has spearheaded a lot of initiatives. On April 13, 2011, an MoU was signed between University of Luxembourg and PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore. This MoU facilitates faculty and student exchange and research collaborations. Students from PSG are offered scholarships to pursue the second-year of their master’s degree in University of Luxembourg. Four students have already benefitted from this scheme and began their studies in September 2012. Three students from Luxembourg have also been to India for a four-month course work. This MoU is for a period of three years with the possibility of an extension. A similar agreement has been signed with the National Law School of India University, Bangalore, after initial round of talks and visits by André Prüm (former dean, Faculty of Economics, law and business studies at University of Luxembourg). If the road to a formal degree is taking you places, Luxembourg’s definitely worth travelling that path.