“42's innovative model could serve as a blueprint for other fields”

42 The Network
3 min readApr 24, 2024


After a PhD in AI and technology semantics, Serge Linckels spent over 20 working in education. That was before being chosen by Luxembourg’s Minister of Education, Children & Youth to spearhead the Digital Learning Hub (DLH), an initiative designed to enable career transitioning in IT, the flagship of which is 42 Luxembourg. With the campus having recently welcomed its first cohort, we discussed 42, its values, and the future of education.

Hi Serge, could you share the journey that brought you to the role of Managing Director at 42 Luxembourg?

I did a “classical” training in computer science, followed by a PhD in AI and semantic technologies. I then worked as a high school teacher and then taught at the University of Luxembourg for over 20 years.

In 2019, I decided to do something different with my life. I became deputy director of the vocational training department at the Ministry of Education. I traded in my school vacations for an office! There, I was given the opportunity to look for ways to improve the education system here in Luxembourg. Soon after my appointment, I was privileged enough to have the minister of education ask me to spear-head an innovative project: creating a structure that would enable adults to retrain for the IT sector.

I started with a blank sheet of paper, alone in my office. Today we are a team of 20. We have several thousand square meters of floor space. I’m grateful to be able to help people every day to learn coding, and to realize their professional and personal projects.

What do you like the most about your position?

As a former teacher, I love sharing with the younger generation. I enjoy being in the middle of the clusters and listening to our students’ stories. Some are quite impressive: we have a professional poker player, a father and a son, former lawyers who’ve had enough of law and chose to transition to IT. It’s fascinating to listen to all of them, to understand why they decided to join 42.

What’s more, I’ve got a great, diverse team. Without them, nothing would be possible. Everyone has different profiles and qualities, and together we create something wonderful. These are clearly the best moments of my professional life!

42 has 4 key values: Openness, Excellence, Tech, and Ethics? Which one resonates with you the most and why?

All four values resonate greatly with me. However, if I had to choose just one, it would be Openness. Open-mindedness is a defining trait of Luxembourg. Our country is small, so it is fair to say that without the cross-border commuters who work in Luxembourg, we wouldn’t be where we are today. We speak the languages of our French, German and Belgian neighbors and we are in contact with their administrations to facilitate studies, that’s how we attract all these people to our country. In fact, that’s a key attribute of 42 Luxembourg: we don’t shut ourselves off, we share. Of course, this is also mirrored in the way we run the campus. I find this openness wonderful.

What is your perspective on the future of education?

Education is evolving fast — what I learned during my studies or what I taught at uni is no longer in today’s workplace. The pace of change, evidenced by breakthroughs in AI and quantum computing, requires agile structures like 42. Here, fundamentals are taught alongside adaptable specializations, reflecting the shift in emphasis from degrees to practical skills and adaptability. Companies now seek experts in specific areas like JavaScript sub-frameworks rather than generic computer scientists. I believe the future of education lies in innovative models like 42, and I am convinced that 42 could serve as a blueprint for other fields.



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