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EACEA National Policies Platform


6. Education and Training

6.5 Cross-border learning mobility

Last update: 27 March 2024
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  1. Policy framework
  2. Main cross-border mobility programmes for students in formal education
  3. Promoting mobility in the context of non-formal learning, and of youth work
  4. Quality assurance

Policy framework

Cross-border learning mobility is regulated by the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth, the Ministry of Research and Higher Education and its affiliated administrations. The mobility programmes encompass mainly higher education or vocational educational training (VET) and also programmes in the context of non-formal learning.

Two types of mobility have to be distinguished with regard to student mobility in Luxembourg:

  1. Degree mobility, that is, long-term mobility aimed at the acquisition of a degree or certificate in the country of destination
  2. Short-term mobility, such as mobility periods of one semester or one year which are undertaken in the context of studies in Luxembourg.

For Luxembourg, the percentage of outward mobility, i.e. the outflow of students for study purposes, is very high (over 70%) (European Commission, EACEA, & Eurydice, 2020). This high proportion is related to Luxembourg's longstanding lack of a tertiary education institution (the University of Luxembourg was only created in 2003) and also the lack of specific bachelor or master programmes.

Student mobility is supported by the financial aid for higher education (aide financière pour études supérieures, AideFi), which is available for both studies in Luxembourg and abroad (for further details, see: Eurydice article 3.2 Higher Education Funding). The website, a website of the Ministry of Research and Higher Education provides information on studying in Luxembourg and abroad along with information on the financial aid for higher education. Article 2 paragraphe (1) of the amended law of 24 July 2014 on state financial aid for higher education (loi modifiée du 24 juillet 2014 concernant l’aide financière de l’État pour études supérieures) lists the criteria that must be met in order to receive AideFi :

  • It must be a higher education study programme (1st cycle, 2nd cycle, research programme);
  • The study programme must award a higher education diploma, qualification or degree;
  • The study programme must fall under the higher education system of the country in which the qualification is awarded.

Secondary school students who wish to pursue vocational training abroad can also apply for AideFi under certain conditions.

Initial vocational education and training (IVET) mobility policy is defined at national level by the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth and can be differentiated into mobility via traineeship or mandatory mobility:

  • Mobility via traineeship means that students in secondary schools or institutions that have applied for an Erasmus+ project can plan traineeships abroad during their training (duration between 2 weeks and one year)
  • Mandatory mobility means that certain training programmes/courses require a placement abroad, which is particularly the case for specific training programmes in the agricultural and health sectors. 

Furthermore, a cross-border apprenticeship is an apprenticeship where the work-based learning part is carried out in a training institution located in Luxembourg and the school-based part is provided by an institution/secondary school in a neighbouring country (for further details, see: INFPC, 2020).

Main cross-border mobility programmes for students in formal education

The EU-funded Erasmus+ programme is the main cross-border mobility programme for students in formal education. Different types of mobility projects are supported under key action 1 'Learning mobility of individuals'. In the field of education and training, mobility projects focus on:

  1. Higher education students and staff
  2. VET learners and staff
  3. School pupils and staff 
  4. Adult education learners and staff (for further details, see: Erasmus+ Programme Guide).

In the framework of the bilateral arrangements concluded within the university’s 'Global exchange programme', students have the possibility to enroll at a partner university outside Europe without paying any registration fees. With a few exceptions, participation in this programme is only possible in the 5th semester. For students who wish to spend a mobility semester at a non-partner institution abroad, the University of Luxembourg offers the opportunity to go as a ‘free-mover student’. As such, they receive the support of the Outgoing Mobility Office. For doctoral students, the university also offers the possibility to prepare a dissertation under joint supervision of the University of Luxembourg and a foreign institution.

Promoting mobility in the context of non-formal learning, and of youth work

Projects by high-level authorities to support the mobility of young learners working in non-formal education or youth work are funded exclusively by EU funds and can be submitted through the Erasmus+ initiative. These public funds are managed by the national agency Anefore.

Quality assurance

Cross-border mobility programmes in the field of education and training are evaluated on a regular basis according to the criteria defined by the European Commission, within the framework of the Luxembourgish participation in the 'research-based analysis of youth in action' (RAY) network. Standardised online surveys are carried out at regular intervals as part of the 'Scientific Monitoring' (Research-based Analysis and Monitoring of Erasmus+ Youth in Action, RAY-MON).