The Open University of Cyprus (OUC) and the FernUniversität in Hagen (FernUni), the two public universities specialised in open and distance education in Cyprus and Germany respectively, join forces and forge a strategic alliance under a newly signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The MoU was signed on September 20, 2023 by the two Rectors, Professor Petros Pashiardis on behalf of OUC and Professor Ada Pellert for FernUni.
The MoU aims to strengthen academic and research cooperation between the two distance teaching Universities based on the principles of reciprocity and mutual benefit. The main areas of cooperation include the following: joint study programmes in English, joint online courses, student and staff exchange mobility opportunities, professional development of the members of the academic and administrative staff of the two Universities, joint research projects, transfer of knowledge, experience and technologies, etc.
The initiative for this collaboration goes back to contacts maintained in multilateral research projects assumed under the umbrella of the European Association of Distance Teaching Universities (EADTU), in which both OUC and FernUni are members. According to the OUC Rector Professor Petros Pashiardis, “the MoU will facilitate future cooperation in joint educational and research projects, and will deepen our efforts to promote and sustain open and distance education and lifelong learning”. Both Universities aim at improving accessibility in higher education, and offering students in a variety of life circumstances to obtain an accredited European degree title for their personal and professional development.