the milestones 2003-2013


  • 12 August 2003 marks the beginning of a new era in the history of Luxembourg's educational policy. The passing of the Higher Education Act makes the dream of a university come true.

    Four separate institutions are combined into the one and only "Université du Luxembourg". The academic life will remain devided across three sites: Campus Limpertsberg, Campus Kirchberg and Campus Walferdange.

    The University is a response to calls for an economic reorientation of the Grand Duchy. The new institution wants to attract intellectual potential back to the country as well as to offer an education at home to anyone who can't study abroad. The idea is to create a research-centred, international and multilingual university.


  • The first rector of the University of Luxembourg, the Canadian Prof. François Tavenas, passes away in February 2004, only a few weeks after he assumed the post.
  • The Government agrees to encourage the establishment of scientific and technological centers of excellence – i.e. concentrate efforts on a limited number of state-of-the-art sectors, which have an international dimension and which shall benefit the country at large.


  • A new president takes over the young University of Luxembourg: the physicist Prof. Rolf Tarrach, a Spaniard with German origins.
  • Several new Bachelor programmes start in autumn 2005.
  • The new president presents the University's strategic framework for the next four years.
  • The government decides about the future site of the University: the administration, the Science Faculty and the Humanities Faculty shall find a new home on the Belval-West brownfield site in the future "Cité des Sciences".


  • The National Research Fund (FNR) conducts the Foresight study, aimed at identifying which research domains should be prioritised within the public sector.
  • First agreements with foreign universities are made, for example with Chinese universities during the Luxembourg State visit to China.
  • The Japanese manufacturer TDK Corporation endows the University with several million euros for a funded chair to research solar cell materials using compound semi-conductors.
  • A foundation is established in order to give financial aid and advice for the University's "Luxembourg School of Finance".


  • In the framework of a state visit, Queen Sofia of Spain and the Grand Duchess Maria Teresa pay the University of Luxembourg a royal visit on Campus Limpertsberg.
  • The partnership of the University with the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce launches the unique study course "Master in Entrepreneurship and Innovation".
  • The first "spin-off" company arises in the field of health technology from the Life Sciences Research Unit of the University.
  • The project of the University's central auditorium building in Esch-Belval, the "Maison du Savoir", is presented to the public.
  • The City of Luxembourg signs a contract with the University for the second funded chair, in Urban Development Research.
  • The first external evaluation of the University is launched.


  • The government announces a strategic partnership initiative with three U.S. research institutions in order to develop a centre of expertise in molecular medicine. A Luxembourg "biobank" will be founded by the three Public Research Centres and the University. An important agreement is signed between the University and the Institute of Systems Biology (Seattle).
  • Dutchman Prof. Dr. Christian Wolff is appointed new Director of the University's "Luxembourg School of Finance".
  • Five years after its birth, the young University counts 4000 students – including 200 PhD students - nearly 30 study programmes, about 20 partnerships with foreign universities as well as 150 professors and lecturers.
  •, the annual business contact trade fair for students organised by the University, becomes a great success with 100 participating companies and 2000 visitors.


  • The University's first interdisciplinary research centre is launched: the Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT).
  • The new Board of Governors and its Chair, Mr. Raymond Kirsch, are appointed.
  • The ground-breaking ceremony for the first building of the University at Esch-Belval, the "Maison du Savoir", is held.
  • The company ATOZ announces a funded chair in International and European Taxation.
  • Prof. Dr. Rudi Balling is appointed Director of the future "Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine", the University's second interdisciplinary centre.
  • The a.s.b.l. Luxembourg Business Academy is set up with the Chamber of Commerce.
  • The government decides to split the Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance between the future Belval site and the Limpertsberg campus.
  • Prof. Dr. René Leboutte receives the Jean-Monet Chair in History of European Integration.


  • The University's second four-year plan (2010-2013) with its five priorities is presented to the public.
  • About 2000 visitors attend the University's annual Open Day.
  • The world's largest steel producer, Arcelor-Mittal, finances a chair in Façade Engineering.
  • Invited by the University, the ERC's Scientific Council holds its meeting in Luxembourg and co-organises a workshop on "The evaluation of interdisciplinary research".
  • A major partnership agreement is signed with the global satellite operator SES. It includes a chair in Space Law and an important cooperation agreement with SnT.
  • The Deutsche Bank announces the funding of a chair in International finance. A token chair is handed over to the University through the intermediation of the Prime Minister Mr. Jean-Claude Juncker.


  • The first Report on Contract Fulfilment is sent to the government. It contains index data to check the progress in reaching the goals set out in the four-year plan.
  • The "House of Biomedicine", the first building of the University in Esch-Belval, housing the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB), is inaugurated.
  • A comprehensive agreement is signed with the Parliament to support it in the analysis of elections.
  • "Campus Carrières", a career office for students, is launched.
  • 60 PhD candidates receive their degree.


  • The University starts being written about in the international press: DIE ZEIT, Times Higher Education, the Financial Times, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, etc., always in positive terms.
  • The new Chair of the Board of Governors, judge Marc Jaeger, is appointed.
  • Two PEARL chairs are awarded by the "Fonds National de la Recherche" to the University with a total of more than nine million euros for five years. Professors Lionel Briand and Louis Chauvel are the chair-holders.
  • During her state visit to Luxembourg, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands visits Campus Limpertsberg and attends a round table discussion dealing with "Europe after the crisis". Furthermore, the Queen visits the LCSB on Campus Belval.
  • As part of an official visit in Luxembourg, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, gives a speech to students of the University of Luxembourg.
  • The University launches five doctoral schools in the areas of systems and molecular biomedicine, economics and finance, education, law and computer science.
  • The UNESCO awards the University a chair in Human rights. Professor Jean-Paul Lehners is the chair-holder.
  • An agreement with the Max-Planck Institute Luxembourg for International European and Regulatory Procedural Law is signed.
  • The interdisciplinary centre SnT crosses the 50 per cent external funding benchmark.


  • The University's second external evaluation is presented to the public by the Chair of the evaluation committee, Prof. Dr. Páll Skúlason, and the Minister of Higher Education and Research, François Biltgen.
  • Official Laying of the foundations for the University's House of Numbers, the House of Arts and Students as well as for the University library – the House of Books - in Esch-Belval.
  • The city of Esch-sur-Alzette announces to finance a chair in Social Business and Social Management.