On June 22, 2022, the University for Continuing Education Krems honored two outstanding personalities from science and politics at an academic ceremony: Helga Nowotny and Erwin Pröll were inducted into the circle of honorary senators for life of the University for Continuing Education Krems. Governor Johanna Mikl-Leitner addressed the guests with words of welcome, and Martin Polaschek, Minister of Education, expressed his congratulations.
In his welcoming speech at the ceremony, Rector Friedrich Faulhammer recalled the successful development of the University for Continuing Education Krems. It is the result of consistent work, to which many people from different fields have contributed, that Rector Faulhammer sees this continuing success. To honor two of these individuals, the University for Continuing Education Krems has appointed em. Prof Helga Nowotny, and the former Governor Erwin Pröll, to the circle of honorary senators for life. An award that has now been bestowed on a dozen highly deserving personalities. The University for Continuing Education Krems has thus expressed its heartfelt gratitude to both personalities who have contributed significantly to its many years of success with "innovative thinking and courageous decisions" - as the motto of the academic ceremony on 22 June 2022 in the Audimax of the University, issued by Rector Faulhammer, put it.
High-ranking people congratulate
In her welcoming speech, Governor Johanna Mikl-Leitner warmly congratulated the two guests of honor on this tribute to their services to the Austrian research and higher education landscape. And ao. Prof Martin Polaschek, Federal Minister for Education, Science and Research, did not miss the opportunity to represent the federal government by sending a video greeting message to the festivities at the University for Continuing Education, the only public university in the German-speaking area. In addition to the two laudators of the University for Continuing Education Krems, Prof Viktoria Weber, Vice-Rector for Research and Sustainable Development, and Prof Peter Parycek, Vice-Rector for Educational Affairs/Academic Continuing Education and Digital Transformation (CDO), Prof Michaela Pinter, Chairwoman of the Senate of the University for Continuing Education Krems, provided the solemn framing of the academic ceremony with their closing remarks.
Thinking ahead on a transdisciplinary level
Helga Nowotny, a science theorist and technology researcher, gained international recognition for her perceptive examination of science as a social system and of societal transformation processes. It was her research into the dynamic changes within the field of generating knowledge that led her to identify the importance of academic continuing education at an early stage. Her work on the question of how knowledge becomes societal effective and her related research on the topic of transdisciplinarity have created essential academic foundations, which have also been important impulses for the University for Continuing Education Krems. In his laudatory speech, Vice-Rector Parycek praised Nowotny as a "grande dame of science" who has worked tirelessly for the Austrian science and research landscape. Through her activities on the board of the Ludwig Boltzmann Society - together with Rector Faulhammer - or as chair of the Science Advisory Board of the Complexity Science Hub Vienna, Nowotny has made a lasting contribution to shaping the same.
In his welcoming speech, former Governor Pröll, in turn, was praised by Rector Faulhammer as an innovative spirit who had helped shape the higher education landscape throughout Austria by taking the courageous decision to establish a university for continuing education in Krems. One of the reasons for the success story of the University for Continuing Education Krems, having lasted for more than 25 years, was the far-sighted way in which the framework conditions were created. In her laudation, Vice-Rector Weber also emphasized Pröll's commitment to education and science as well as his role in forming Austria's political future. He created a firm foundation with his political work, on which the field of academic continuing education in Austria's higher education landscape has been able to gain increasing importance. Weber was convinced that this was one reason why the University for Continuing Education Krems "soon developed into being a steadily driving force for innovation in the Austrian higher education landscape" after it was founded.