Rector Changeover at the FernUniversität in Hagen


It was an event that the FernUniversität in Hagen had seen only once before. On the 4th October 1975 the university was officially opened with a ceremony at the Hagen Theatre. Slightly over 40 years later the man who spent almost the last 19 years as the university’s 4th rector, made his farewells.

On the 26th February 2016 Professor Dr.-Ing. Helmut Hoyer handed over his chain of office to his successor Professor Dr. Ada Pellert. At the ceremony of the handover of office, approximately 650 guests were in attendance, including the minister of science of the state of North Rhine Westphalia, Svenja Schulze, and the head of the university council, Dr. Manfred Scholle.

Rector Hoyer’s valedictory was not only used to take the opportunity to thank all employees and companions but also to focus on important developments within the university and distance studies. In particular that the distance learning programmes are suited for non-traditional students and to open up universities. Digitalization has helped further development of the study system. ‘Digitalization has directed the distance learning programmes towards the future’, said Helmut Hoyer looking back on his time as rector. ‘Our diverse toolbox with digital and network supported teaching material, forums, online chats and virtual seminars makes the distance learning programmes more flexible study. We offer a particularly high level of individuality which is not possible at traditional universities.’

To continue the ‘successful FernUniversität in Hagen model’ the new Rector Ada Pellert would like to match the exact needs of the students. With the employed students, the most significant target group, their particular requirements on framework conditions of studying in a distance are in the main focus. The students need the opportunity to integrate studying into their working life. A substantial tool for Ada Pellert is the digitalization of study offers and study programmes. For her the solution is furthermore online. This is the best method that can be used to reach the students, to guarantee flexibility and also to create closeness to the professors. At the same time the degree course supported by the network uses key competences effectively as these are most commonly requested in professional life. This improves network thinking, promotes analytic and problem orientated methods.

Since the 2nd March 2016 Ada Pellert has officially been the new rector at the FernUniversität Hagen. The economist has previously worked in various positions around the themes ‘distance studies’ and ‘technological enhanced learning’. As a university manager she was successful in different functions and could evaluate her experiences scientifically.

From 2009 until 2015 Ada Pellert was the founding president of the ‘Deutsche Universität für Weiterbildung’ in Berlin and at the same time professor for organizational development und educational management. Since 2011 up to 03/2016 she was the president of the Carl Benz Academy in Beijing. Previously from 2005 until 2008 Ada Pellert was the university professor for further education research and education management as well as the vice rector for teaching further education and structural questions at the Donau-Universität Krems. From 1999 until 2003 she was also the vice rector at the Graz University for teaching, human resource development and advancement of women. These are only a few examples of her career path.

As well as the rector changeover the FernUniversität in Hagen has also a vice rector change. The new rectorate is made up of the rector, the Chancellor Regina Zdebel, the vice rector for digitalization and internationalization – Prof. Dr. Theo Bastiaens, the vice rector for study and diversity - Prof. Dr. Sebastian Kubis and Prof. Dr. Andreas Kleine - the vice rector for research.

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