Prof. Dr. Ada Pellert

President of the FernUniversität in Hagen

Photo: Volker Wiciok
Prof. Dr. Ada Pellert

Prof. Dr. Ada Pellert has been president of the FernUniversität in Hagen since March 2016, chair of the cooperative platform Digital University NRW since October 2016, and was also a member of the German Federal Government’s Digital Council from August 2018 to November 2021. She was previously also involved in research into organizational development and educational management.

A trained economist, she is particularly concerned with the issues of education and university management, human resources and organizational development, and the topics of higher education in an international context, continuing education research, gender and diversity management, and lifelong learning.

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Ada Pellert (born 1962) was appointed as the founding president of the German University for Continuing Education in Berlin, a post which she held from 2009 to 2015, and, at the same time, was also the encumbent professor of organizational development and educational management. Alongside these roles, she was also president of the Carl Benz Academy in Beijing from 2011 to February 2016. Before this, Pellert was Professor for Continuing Education Research and Educational Management and Vice-President for Teaching, Continuing Education and Structural Issues at the University for Continuing Education in Krems, Austria, from 2005 to 2008. She worked as an associate professor at the Department of Higher Education Research in the Faculty of Interdisciplinary Research and Continuing Education at the University of Klagenfurt from 1998 to 2005. From 1999 to 2003, she was Vice-President for Teaching, Human Resources Development and the Advancement of Women at the University of Graz in Austria. Since the 1990s, she has been active in international comparative education and higher education research, continuing education for university lecturers, and consulting for higher education institutions both nationally and internationally. Ada Pellert received her doctorate in social and economic sciences from the Vienna University of Economics and Business in 1987.

Since September 2016, Ada Pellert has been chair of the cooperative platform Digitale Hochschule NRW (DH-NRW). She was also a member of the German Federal Government’s Digital Council from August 2018 to November 2021. In February 2023, she was elected vice-president of the European Association of Distance Teaching Universities (EADTU).

Prof. Dr. Ada Pellert on...

[Please select a topic] New Learning | Education and Digitization | Continuing Academic Education | University Management and Leadership

New Learning

Prof. Dr. Ada Pellert Photo: Volker Wiciok

“Our education system still lacks innovative concepts that allow us to respond adequately to digital transformation processes. Socially and politically, we urgently need to put aside our old ways of thinking and develop a new understanding of contemporary learning. To facilitate this, we need a new political architecture – a responsibility – for lifelong learning. This is a task for society as a whole.”

Prof. Dr. Ada Pellert

DigitalDay 2020: Corona shock in the education sector. The crisis as a trigger for learning.

DigitalDay 2020 at the FernUniversität: The impact of corona has shown us that politics, science and institutions have to react faster than ever before – and they can! The digitization processes that are fundamentally necessary in the education sector have suddenly become feasible or have already been tackled in the past three months. In other words, the corona crisis swiftly became a trigger for learning. How can these experiences keep on guiding us in the future, so that we can push ahead swiftly with important and necessary developments?


Ziemlich beste Freunde? Lebenslanges Lernen und Digitalisierung. In: Wirtschaftspolitische Blätter 2/2019 (WPBI) Volume 66, pp. 165–177. ISSN: 1605-8704


“The learning revolution has begun” (in German)
In an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Ada Pellert, president of the Fernuniversität Hagen, explains why the old-school approach to teaching has had its day. (Article on, subscription required)

“The pace of change in digital education will increase”
Summer semester 2020 at the FernUniversität in Hagen began as usual on 1 April. In an interview with the Frankfurter Rundschau, Prof. Ada Pellert explains why she believes that corona is a trigger for learning.

Audio: Ada Pellert in the podcast “On the Way to New Work – The Podcast about New Work” (in German)
“How can we create a successful governance model for a billion people?”

“Digital Transformation – Creating Sustainable Structures for Change Together” (in German)
As CEO of the Digital University of North Rhine-Westphalia, Prof. Ada Pellert explains in a duz special how universities are working together to leverage the potential of digitization.


Email: President
Phone: +49 2331 987-2400
Fax: +49 2331 987-330
Universitätsstraße 47
D-58097 Hagen

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