Applying for accreditation of prior experiential learning – Bachelor's degree, Master's degree or advanced technician's certificate

Accreditation of prior experiential learning (validation des acquis de l'expérience – VAE) offers formal recognition of skills acquired throughout life by granting a corresponding certificate, diploma or other qualification.

Accreditation of prior experiential learning may apply to:

Diplomas or course units awarded through accreditation of prior experiential learning have equal value to those obtained through initial education.

Who is concerned

Anyone may apply for accreditation of prior experiential learning.

This procedure allows candidates to, for example, pursue university studies or BTS studies, or to demonstrate a portion of the knowledge and skills required to earn a diploma.  

Prerequisites

Applicants must demonstrate at least 3 years of continuous or non-continuous work or volunteer experience, in a field related to their chosen course.

Note that, depending on the specific institutions and degrees, additional criteria may apply. Further information may be obtained from the relevant institution on the application procedures for accreditation of prior experiential learning.

Deadlines

Applications for accreditation of prior experiential learning related to studies that culminate in the Bachelor's or Master's degree should be sent to the University of Luxembourg during the academic year:

  • before 1 December for admission for the summer semester;
  • before 1 May for admission for the winter semester.

How to proceed

Submitting the application for accreditation of prior experiential learning

For a BTS

The application form for accreditation of prior experiential learning should be requested from the head of the secondary school in question, along with the application to enrol in that secondary school to pursue the qualification.

For a Bachelor's or Master's degree

After reviewing the selection of courses of study offered by the University of Luxembourg and the criteria for accreditation of prior experiential learning, candidates should register online through the University of Luxembourg website and submit their completed application to the Student Department (Service des études et de la vie étudiante – SEVE).

The accreditation of prior experiential learning may be sought in order to pursue studies or demonstrate a portion of the knowledge and skills required to earn a Bachelor's or Master's degree, and consequently be exempted from taking certain courses in the programme of study in question.

Experience considered

For a BTS

For accreditation of prior experiential learning for a BTS, consideration is given to the knowledge and experience derived from a professional activity (whether in an employed or self-employed capacity) or volunteer work related to the specific BTS and carried out for a combined period of at least 3 years.

For a Bachelor's or Master's degree

For accreditation of prior experiential learning in relation to studies awarding a Bachelor's degree, the following may be considered:

  • secondary education studies (technical secondary education, classic secondary education, general secondary education or vocational training) that did not follow the Luxembourg curriculum or have not been recognised as equivalent by the Ministry of Education (Ministère de l'Education nationale, de l'Enfance et de la Jeunesse);
  • the candidate's previous higher education;
  • experiential learning derived from a professional activity (employed or self employed) or volunteer work related to the specific Bachelor's degree and performed for at least 3 years' full-time equivalent in total.
For accreditation of prior experiential learning in relation to studies awarding a Master's degree, the following may be considered:
  • the candidate's previous higher education;
  • experiential learning derived from a professional activity (employed or self employed) professional activity or volunteer work related to the specific Master's degree and performed for at least 3 years' full-time equivalent in total.

Supporting documents

Supporting documents for a BTS

The application must include:

  • documents that certify the work experience and the duration of the different activities during which the applicant gained experience (copies of employment contracts, employment certificate, etc.);
  • certificates of training pursued, as applicable;
  • copies of diplomas awarded, as applicable.

Supporting documents for a Bachelor's or Master's degree

The application must include:

  • a covering letter that specifies the studies for which the applicant is seeking accreditation;
  • a detailed CV;
  • certificates of training pursued;
  • diplomas earned (for higher education completed outside Luxembourg, attach the recognition certificate, if applicable);
  • certificates of continuing vocational training activities;
  • certificates of professional activities and experiences (length, type, jobs, employment certificate, etc.).

Decision on accreditation of prior experiential learning

For a BTS

The adjudication committee of the relevant secondary school assesses the prior experiential learning in relation to the specific diploma programme based on a list of criteria:

  • the length of the individual's professional experience;
  • the progression of responsibilities;
  • the level of responsibility held at the time of submission of the application;
  • the complexity of the assignments given and the knowledge and skills applied;
  • the connection between the activity and the training course or diploma for which the candidate is applying;
  • the correlation between the experience level and the level and type of diploma applied for.

The committee may fully or partially approve the candidate's experience. It may also exempt the candidate from performing a work placement, or shorten the placement required. In addition, it may identify the knowledge and skills that must be further assessed within 2 years of notification of the decision, in order to award the BTS.

For a Bachelor's or Master's degree

The application for accreditation of prior experiential learning is reviewed by a committee from the university, which analyses the application and:

  • interviews the candidate;
  • and where necessary, observes the candidate at work or in a role-play exercise.

After deliberation, the committee decides, based on the specific scenario:

  • to allow the candidate to pursue the studies for which the accreditation has been requested (Bachelor's or Master's degree);
  • to partially exempt the candidate from taking specific modules in the course of study in question.

Who to contact

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