UBI highlighted in the Luxemburger Wort
UBI Luxembourg’s administration was recently contacted and interviewed for an article which ran Wednesday, July 14th, in the Luxemburger Wort, the leading newspaper in Luxembourg and one of the oldest newspapers in Europe. The article discussed the student experience in the north-western city of Wiltz, followed by a short commentary on how important it is for the town to encourage the students to stay in the area. The original version of the article, in German as seen in the picture, is followed by a translation into English below.
In part because of the Corona pandemic, many students have not really arrived in Wiltz.
Jessica Gobbo is pleasantly surprised when she enters the Wiltz Garden. The 21-year-old, who has been studying at United Business Institutes (UBI) in Wiltz for about a year, had not yet discovered the idyllic green space above the Prabbeli cultural centre. The garden is not far from the campus in Wiltz Castle, but because of the Corona pandemic, the courses have been organised almost exclusively online for over a year.
Gobbo, who lives in Bettembourg, has only been to the Ardennes city twice before. Corona has prevented a normal student life until now. "On the one hand, it is convenient to study from home, but on the other hand, there is no direct contact with fellow students," explains the young woman."
Jessica Gobbo chose UBI for several reasons. Her brother, who also studied at UBI, had a positive experience there. She sees the fact that all courses are held in English as an advantage because the language plays an important role in the business world and she has her problems with French here and there. "That [the need to speak French] was also an argument for not enrolling at the University of Luxembourg. In addition, the costs at UBI are lower than at English universities."
"A bit like Hogwarts"
The young woman was immediately fascinated by the castle; "It's a bit like Hogwarts. You think the corridors must be haunted." Gobbo, one of two Luxembourgish students out of a total of 22 at UBI Luxembourg, would therefore also regret a move of the university to a building near the capital, as many of her fellow students living there are calling for. She hopes to spend more time in Wiltz from the start of the new academic year in September.
The US-American Jocelyn Duffort has been working as a UBI lecturer in Wiltz since 2016. Depending on the semester, between 10 and 15 teachers work at the campus, which opened in 2013. Ms. Duffort lives in Leudelange and usually comes to the far north by train. She feels well received in Wiltz. Asked about her favourite place in Wiltz, however, Duffort explains that she does not spend very much time there because she does not live there.
She is primarily familiar with the route from the railway station to the castle, which she used to walk, but now takes one of the minibuses that circulate around the city at regular intervals. Her most recent discovery is the shop "Ale Moart" in the Grand-Rue, where she bought Luxembourgish crémant as a gift for the successful graduates.
With a view to the potential for improvement in Wiltz, Jocelyn Duffort mentions the lack of
nightlife and the inadequate parking facilities at the castle. The students have already complained about these two points several times. Personally, she would also like to see even closer cooperation with the Lycée du Nord. So far, only one student, who previously attended the Lycée in Wiltz, has completed their studies at UBI.
The municipality is challenged
By Marc Hoscheid
An important argument for the establishment of universities is the presence of lecturers and students on site, because they stimulate the local economy through their consumption. For this reason, the city of Wiltz should do everything in its power to ensure that they are also present on the campus in the castle. The right framework must be created for this, for example through a student pass that brings certain benefits, be it for cultural activities, parking or the use of sports facilities.
And even though Wiltz will never offer the nightlife of a big city, for understandable reasons, there is room for improvement, both by attracting new people and by promoting existing offers more aggressively. For example, only a few students know that there is a concert hall in the Brandbau. Nevertheless, the demand of some students to relocate the educational institutions to Luxembourg City can also be viewed critically. Anyone who wants to visit a college or university should inform themselves in advance about the conditions at the place of study.