Prof. Dr. Hans N. Weiler
United States of America
Former Rector of the European University Viadrina and Professor Emeritus at Stanford University
DAAD Scholarship 1991
Hans N. Weiler’s retirement in 1999 certainly had but little effect on his diary. As an expert on education and research management questions, the former Rector of the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt an der Oder is in great demand and consequently continues to sit on many panels as a competent advisor – not only in Germany. In the United States, the former DAAD scholarship holder is considered an experienced expert on the U.S. university administration system; indeed, he held many academic offices there in the 1980s and 1990s.
Cooperation between Polish and German universities is uncomplicated and intensive.
In 2014, Hans Weiler celebrated his 80th birthday in Berlin – together with many of the people who have been personally and professionally close to him – at the Hertie School of Governance, the development of which he also accompanied for many years in an advisory capacity.
Born in Krefeld in 1934, the research scientist has meanwhile been living in the United States for more than 40 years. After studying philosophy, politics and education at Frankfurt, Freiburg and London, Weiler took up a position as Assistant Professor at Stanford in 1965; 14 years later he was Professor of Education and Political Sciences there.
From 1974 to 1979, Weiler was the Director of the UNESCO International Institute of Educational Planning. His ties with Germany remained, even though the educational adviser and his wife became US citizens in 1983. Weiler published works in English on Germany’s education system and gave lectures in Germany. 1991 saw him come to Berlin on a DAAD scholarship to collect data for a book on the transformation of East Germany’s education system following the political change. Two years later he exchanged Stanford for Frankfurt an der Oder and became the first Rector of the European University. At the Viadrina, Weiler introduced the elements he liked in the U.S. university system. “It is the best of all the systems I know.” The emphasis on teaching and on providing guidance, counselling and supervision for students is just as important to the holder of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany as are good contacts between Germans and Poles. “Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that cooperation between universities in these two countries could be as uncomplicated and intensive as it is today.”
In 2012, Weiler was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal State of Brandenburg.