A national approach to quality assurance has been devised, and evaluation and review procedures are in development stage. There is no real quality framework, but legislation and the current organisation take the quality component into account.
Quality standards for VET providers are part of legislation and are used for accreditation and funding. Guidelines and standards are used to promote a culture of continuous improvement. Over the past 10 years, the education and training system has been overhauled to provide the resources needed to cope with the challenges of a rapidly changing environment. Administrative structures have been changed to allow modern school management with a degree of autonomy. In 2004, the legislation promoted partnership-based school community approaches and school initiatives to improve the quality of education. For VET programmes the education ministry coordinates the implementation of the EQAVET recommendation (
National indicators related to the 10 proposed by the recommendation are used and monitored nationally. While most are applied in IVET, their use for CVET, which is not monitored centrally, varies by sector or provider.
Secondary education - School development plan, PDS ()
The school development plan (PDS) was introduced by the law of 15 December 2016 (
Schools should describe their school and extracurricular activities in the school development plan to outline their profile and analyse their general situation, as well as constantly to develop and innovate. This approach covers domains that may help their learners receive the best quality education. Each school should elaborate its own steps in a series of areas that are critical for success.
Seven domains are foreseen for secondary education:
- organisation of pedagogical support. Each learner should have access to remedial measures that meet their needs and capabilities;
- supervision of children with specific needs to provide tailor-made solutions for their needs and support their learning process;
- partnerships with parents to improve their involvement in the schooling process and create a partnership culture between families and schools;
- integration of information and communication technologies (ICT) to prepare learners for the challenges of the employment market influenced by ICT;
- psycho-social support for learners who face problems at school, or have psychological or family problems, to prevent school dropouts/failure;
- relevant guidance for learners to help them make the right choices, according to their profiles;
- extracurricular activities to guarantee equal access for all learners to non-formal learning opportunities, in addition to mainstream classes.
For each of these domains, national objectives have been defined in a national reference framework. Secondary schools are free to choose the domains and objectives they need to focus on.
The school development plan also contains:
- definition of at least one objective from the description and analysis mentioned above;
- an action plan for each objective (persons in charge, resources needed, schedule, evaluation criteria);
- an evaluation and continuous adaptation of the current PDS.
Following the law of December 2016 (
), as of the 2017/18 school year each secondary school should elaborate a PDS produced by a school development committee ( ). The school development committee is coordinated by the school directorate and includes school staff appointed by the director for a three-year period that may be renewed. Its mission is to analyse and interpret the school’s data, to identify the school’s priority needs, to define school development strategies, to elaborate the school charter, the profile and the PDS, and to ensure internal and external communication, while establishing a triennial plan for the continuing training of its high-school staff.
The Division for the Development of Schools (
) from the Department for Coordination of Educational and Technological Research and Innovation (SCRIPT) was set up according to the law of 14 March 2017 ( ). Its mission is to accompany schools in their general approach to school development and, more specifically, to elaborate and implement the PDS, collaborating with various departments, educational structures, national and international partners, who may to optimise the quality of schools. The Division for the Development of Schools has provided several transversal tools, such as a website ( ) dedicated to the development of schools, forms allowing schools to coordinate and follow up their PDS, and adaptable questionnaires to facilitate data collection about the perception of school actors.
The school development committee has been working on the PDS since September 2017; it was then adopted by the Education Ministry in September 2018.
A National Observatory of School Quality (
), created at the start of 2018, is responsible for evaluating and supervising the quality of the education system. It is an independent structure. The observatory systematically evaluates the quality of the school system and the implementation of education policies. It does not assess the individual work of teachers, but the organisation and operation of schools and the Ministry of Education. The observatory is composed of eight observers, from public or private sectors, who are totally independent. They visit schools and meet representatives for various school stakeholders, such as parents, learners and teachers, and have exchanges with Education Ministry departments. The Observatory produces an annual activity report and at least one thematic report on a priority area. Every three years, it produces a national report on the school system with its findings and recommendations.
These reports are transmitted to the Government and the Chamber of Deputies and made accessible to the public.
The Division for Data Analysis of The Department for Coordination of Educational and Technological Research and Innovation (SCRIPT) is commissioned to collect and analyse data on the quality of the education offer by analysing school reports or in the context of a project. The results of the surveys may be consulted during the elaboration of a PDS or before making decisions to improve the school’s organisation. This division organises national and international standardised tests. Standardised tests elaborated by the Luxembourg Centre for Educational Testing (University of Luxembourg) and common tests are used as instruments of formative or summative evaluation or the individual learner guidance process. International tests like the OECD’s PISA (Programme for international student assessment), the IEA’s ICILS (International computer and literacy study) generate results which help with the governance of the education system.
Short-cycle programmes leading to higher technician certificates (BTS) (
) are evaluated externally before being accredited by the higher education ministry for a period of five years. After this time, the accreditation has to be renewed through a new evaluation. This procedure should ensure that the programmes are relevant to the related professional sector ( ).
The university is largely free to design and implement its own quality assurance processes. At Luxembourg University, quality culture and regular quality control through internal and external evaluation of teaching, research and technical, administrative and logistics services are key elements. External audit of the University of Luxembourg has been conducted every four years since 2008 by an external evaluation committee. The independent Committee of External Evaluation is appointed by the Minister for Higher Education and Research.
The University of Luxembourg produces a key performance indicators report in the frame of a multiannual development contract between the Luxembourgish government and the university (2014-17) (
); this includes publications per researcher, bachelor degrees awarded, master degrees awarded, and master recruitment rate.
Luxembourg has been a member of the European quality assurance register for higher education (EQAR) since 2008 (
Even though there is no real quality framework, quality is a major concern and is covered in the legislation and in the organisation of CVET. Quality will be a major issue in the future of CVET.
The white paper on the national lifelong learning strategy (
), defines six cross-cutting key principles and related measures and recommendations for implementation. These include developing the quality of lifelong learning and establishing a framework for the quality of adult education and training. This framework will be based on:
- a quality label awarded to training providers that meet specified criteria in structure and content of the training offer;
- accreditation of training offers. A working group on training provider accreditation was set up in 2014.
A quality label for municipal governments and non-profit associations can be awarded in CVET by the education minister for a five-year period (
). Courses must be of general interest in so-called areas of general education and social advancement. They must meet educational and financial quality criteria. Objectives and course content must be in line with the priorities for adult education.
Quality criteria and priorities are defined for periods of up to five years by the education ministry based on the advice of the Adult Education Advisory Committee (
). The committee consists of the persons in charge of the Adult Education Department, two representatives delegated by schools offering evening classes, a representative of the Department of Vocational Education and a private sector representative. The committee may also involve adult training experts in its work.
While some private providers commit to quality assurance approaches, a large part of adult education is not subject to systematic evaluation or quality assurance (