Distance Learning Cooperation Renewed in Austria

A new foundation for the cooperation between the FernUniversität in Hagen and the Johannes Kepler University Linz.

Distance Learning: Earn a degree online
Distance Learning: Earn a degree online

Since 1994, Austrian students enrolled the FernUniversität received support services from the Center for Distance Learning at the JKU as well as at its affiliated study centers. Both universities have now signed a new cooperation agreement.

Prof. Dr. Ada Pellert, Rector of the FernUniversität in Hagen, remarked: "Our programs in Austria are a true model of success, proven by a consistently high number of students over the years. The partnership we have with the Johannes Kepler University lets us provide our support services to approximately 3,000 students in Austria so they can earn a degree from home. This is a key component in the FernUniversität's blended learning concept which combines digital and printed educational materials, online education, and classroom events."

Over the past number of years, the technology and didactics of distance learning as well as the requirements for distance students have changed due to increasing digitalization and the degree of flexibility many people have at home and at work. As university organization has also changed, both universities took advantage of the opportunity to optimize the existing cooperation agreement. A joint working group drafted the new agreement during a one-year transition period and the agreement was then signed by FernUni Rector Ada Pellert and JKU Rector Prof. Dr. Meinhard Lukas.

"I am pleased that our long-standing, successful cooperation will continue," said Stefan Koch, JKU Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs. "The renewed cooperation aims to continue improving on-site student support services. To this end, we are planning - among other things - to move our Vienna Study Center to the centrally-located, historic former Postal Savings Bank building. The building features state-of-the-art teaching and learning technology." Improving the study conditions will not result in higher student fees; on the contrary, the former JKU service fee to take exams will no longer apply. In addition, it will be easier for students to transfer course credits earned at the FernUniversität to the JKU to complete a degree program on-site at the JKU. The JKU and FernUni also have plans to expand educational collaboration, particularly in the digital area and develop joint degree programs. The renewed cooperation agreement specifies organizational collaboration in the areas of student support services, equipment for the study center, marketing and public relations work, financing, and quality management.