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A welcome budget extension to allow for new initiatives

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Published on Tuesday, 25 February 2020

The Rector of the University, Stéphane Pallage, on the mid-term review of the institution's contrat d’établissement.

Q: The government has revisited the national research priorities; what does this imply for the University’s research activities?

Stéphane Pallage: The University welcomes the publication of the national research priorities. They include many of the University's fields of activity and many projects which are currently underway. Of course, the University has a broader mission and will continue to define its priorities and strategy.

Q: The University’s contrat d’établissement has been subject to a mid-term review; is the result positive?

SP: Yes, very positive! The mid-term review occurred in a constructive and pragmatic manner. Things can change very quickly, and it is wise not to define a university's funding plans and its activities four years in advance, especially if this university is still in rapid development. Therefore, it is good to be able to adjust the contract at mid-term, based on the achieved objectives and transparent criteria.

In financial terms, the mid-term review results in a budget increase for the University of about 10 million euros over two financial years. This is a testimony to the excellent work that has been done since the start of the contract in 2018, as well as the relevance of the proposed projects. This will allow us to launch new initiatives to strengthen the University's missions and to better respond to the country's needs.

Q: What will the additional funds for the University be used for?

SP: Some of the additional money will be channelled towards the implementation of the University’s digital strategy and associated projects. The effects of digitisation extend far beyond technical innovation; they will impact our professional lives and raise social, legal, ecological and ethical issues. We are planning to set up a centre for digital ethics; we want to fuel and stimulate public debate and support responsible digitisation – with the critical, independent and holistic vision of a research university.

Part of the additional funds will also be used to finance the extension of the opening hours of the Luxembourg Learning Centre, our library which offers so much more than a simple library; another part will be used to set up a music didactics programme within the framework of the Bachelor of Education Sciences.

We will also intensify our collaboration with the research institutes LIH, LISER and LIST through the creation of inter-institutional research groups. We will also invest more in promoting inclusion and diversity – something that is essential for an institution that insists on its multilingual and multicultural character and where half of the students and a significant proportion of the staff are of international origin. This is also why we plan to implement a more active version of multilingualism, which further supports the multilingual efforts of our students and staff.

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