Catherine Léglu arrived in Luxembourg to greet the 2019 academic year. Little did anyone know what this year would bring in terms of change to modes of learning due to the COVID quarantine. Here, Léglu discusses with Lisa Burke the goals and development of this 'new' university, its international nature in languages, cohort of students and global collaborations. She also speaks personally about being a female academic whilst raising a family. Details of how to download the podcast are below.
After her studies at Cambridge University in Modern and Medieval Languages, with her PhD in Medieval Occitan Literature, Professor Dr. Catherine Léglu has been a teaching research academic across British universities, including Queens in Belfast, Bristol and Reading. Last September she took up the post as Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs at the University of Luxembourg.
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The University of Luxembourg was founded in 2003 from 3 institutes, and has grown to 3 faculties and 3 interdisciplinary centres. Interdisciplinary programmes are increasingly common ways to intersect high-level expertise and research across several disciplines, where the variety of knowledge can enhance the other fields.
Masters for All
Built on the three pillars of teaching, research and service to the country, the University of Luxembourg develops multilingual courses dedicated to the skills needed within Luxembourg itself. It's launching its medicine course this year, and has a raft of Masters courses, often taught in English, which link to Luxembourg's economic strengths and need for continual professional development. The Masters include the niche Space Communication and Media Law, Etudes Parlementaires, Learning & Communication in Multilingual and Multicultural Contexts, to name just three which directly relate to life and job opportunities in Luxembourg. Indeed, The Times Higher Education supplement recently ranked it number 1 worldwide for its 'international outlook'.
The University of Luxembourg also values its growing international relationships with other learning centres across the world, both as research partners and also as hosts for their students. Every bachelor course has a compulsory semester abroad so that the students can move away from 'home' in some cases, if they happen to be students who grew up in Luxembourg. The strategic subject links include some with MIT, Saarbrücken, Lorraine, Grenoble, Canada, Porto and Palermo.
Digital Teaching + Learning
COVID-19 obviously stalled face-to-face teaching abruptly. The digital teaching platform that had been a notional good idea within staff circles was implemented within two weeks. And from this experience, all staff and students have learned rapidly what works and what doesn't in terms of online teaching, interaction and communication. Shorter lectures and continual assessment have been noted by the teaching staff, along with the positivity of peer group learning for enhancing language skills.
Academic + Mother
Prof. Dr. Léglu has managed to successfully navigate the ebb and flow of an academic life whilst also raising two daughters. Indeed she moved to Luxembourg with her youngest daughter aged 12 last summer, leaving the eldest behind to focus on finishing her 'A' levels with her husband. Quarantine, and the cancelling of all final exams brought the family together more quickly than expected. Still, Léglu's example to her daughters of how to try to prioritise both a flourishing and forward moving career whilst also committing to family life is one to be admired.
The British-Luxembourg Society
The British-Luxembourg Society will be hosting Professor Dr. Catherine Léglu to talk about The University of Luxembourg and its future plans on Monday 28th September and you can register to join in person (very limited places) or online for the lecture.
To hear all of Lisa's podcasts, downloadIn Conversation with Lisa Burke on iTunes, Spotify or XML.
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