Just had a conversation with a friend, who’s full prof in Luxembourg, over the breakfast.
The good: they are filthy rich
The bad: my friend’s salary is equal to the salary of a high school teacher in Luxembourg, but without the benefits of a high school teacher.
The ugly: they run the University of Lumxembourg like a corporation !
As I wrote in a previous post, turning universities into corporations is one of the best way to destroy them. In Luxembourg, they did “even better”: they built the University of Luxembourg (which didn’t exist before 2003) like a corporation from the very beginning!
So what are the practical consequences of this “university-corporation” model happening in Luxembourg right now ?
– they treat scientists (or wannabe scientists) like “banal employees”: very strict (and stupid) rules about working hours. So people don’t work on weekends, they have to show up “from 9 to 5” in their bureau during weekdays even if they have nothing to do there, and when they go on vacation they don’t reply to emails from their colleagues for a whole month. People who work like this are definitely NOT scientists.
– students also learn “not to work”. Good students of Luxembourg don’t study in the Univ of Luxembourg, but will go abroad instead.
– the professor is also “just another employee”, who doesn’t have any freedom. He’s the boss of his 2-3 assistants (post doc or grad students), to whom he can dictate anything, and in turn he has to report to his boss. The profs don’t have any say about how the univ should be run.
– the hiring procedure is completely crazy. it has to be programmed “with precision” well in advance: which year they will hire a prof in which small field (regardless of the availability of interesting candidates in that particular small field that year)
– good scientists hate the place. my friend, after one year at the university (he was lured to it by big promises) is also going back to his former place.