Accompanying research

The funded projects are accompanied scientifically by a respective consortium. From 2011 to 2016, the consortium consisted of researchers from the Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg, the Berlin University for Professional Studies and the Humboldt University Berlin. Since 2016 the supporting scientific research team consists of researchers from the FernUniversität in Hagen, Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg, TU Dortmund and Centrum für Hochschulentwicklung (CHE).

The accompanying scientific research aims to assist the selected HEIs with their approach towards heterogeneous student groups as lifelong learners, their instructional design and implementation of the different study programs and courses, as well as to solidly integrate the programs and courses in the respective HEIs. The accompanying scientific research focuses on the following tasks:

  • Supporting the selected projects and facilitating exchange between projects within the competition as well as with “Netzwerk Offene Hochschulen“;
  • Disseminating results to the projects, relevant stakeholders and the interested public;
  • Accompanying research on essential issues relevant to the selected projects.

Field of research

The accompanying scientific research team observes and researches national and international developments in lifelong learning at higher education institutions and relays its research and observations to the competition. The new findings are expected to enable HEIs to establish distinct profiles and, consequently, enhance the German higher education system. Taking into consideration the identified national and international developments, emphasis lies on the following field of research:

Student-oriented study programs

This research focuses on the interconnection between academic and professional knowledge in study programs developed within the competition. The following questions are addressed:

  • Which domain-specific forms of interconnecting theoretical-research based knowledge and professional knowledge can be identified?
  • How does the interconnection of theory and practice manifest itself in teaching and learning situations?
  • What does this mean for teachers and students?
  • And what conclusions can be drawn for designing teaching and learning situations in student-oriented study programs?

Prof. Dr. Eva Cendon

FernUniversität in Hagen

Prof. Dr. Uwe Elsholz

FernUniversität in Hagen

Sustainability and transfer of project results

By focusing on the implicit and explicit perceptions and approaches towards sustainability and transfer of project results within joint projects, this research pursues three main goals:

  • Collecting perceptions and approaches towards sustainability and transfer of project results;
  • Analyzing how cooperative projects affect approaches of sustaining and transferring project results;
  • Identifying factors influencing the perceptions and approaches towards sustainability and transfer.

The underlying objective is to make experience and knowledge regarding sustainability and transfer usable for upcoming programs and (cooperative) projects, thereby contributing important insights to the field of sustainability and organizational research concerning projects.

Prof. Dr. Karsten Speck

Universität Oldenburg

Teaching motivation in scientific training

In general, this research questions the underlying reasons lecturers become involved in teaching within the field of continuing higher education or lifelong learning. To gain a comprehensive overview of this issue, four research questions are being addressed:

  • Engagement/commitment: why do you get involved in continuing higher education at all?
  • Career: what role has continuing higher education played in your career thus far?
  • Experience: what is your background in continuing higher education?
  • Organization: which of the universities' frameworks affect your motivation in teaching?

Prof. Dr. Uwe Wilkesmann

Technische Universität Dortmund

Heterogeneity of target audiences

This research focuses on student/participant diversity in the range of courses offered by the funded projects. Such courses include, for example, in-service training courses, certificate courses, as well as introductory and additional supporting courses. The following questions are addressed:

  • Who is the intended target audience for this range of courses?
  • How heterogeneous/diverse is the target audience?
  • What differences and similarities can be observed between certain courses?

Dr. Sigrun Nickel

CHE Centrum für Hochschulentwicklung

Federal Ministry of Education and Research