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Ekkehard Nuissl, PhD

Ekkehard Nuissl, PhD

Hall of Fame Class of 2006 - European

Ekkehard Nuissl, PhD, is regarded as an outstanding contributor in adult education in both national and international fields. For 15 years he served as director of the central institute for adult education in Germany, Deutsches Institut für Erwachsenenbildung (DIE-Bonn), which he helped develop into a center of excellence for research and service, a think-tank, meeting place, leading publisher and lobbying agency in adult education in a national and international perspective.

Previously, he was director of the Research Institute for Empirical Educational Research (Heidelberg) and director of one of the biggest centers for adult education in Germany, the Hamburger Volkshochschule (Hamburg Folk High School).

An author in the field of adult education, Nuissl published 80 books and more than 400 articles in the last 30 years with translations into English, French, Chinese, Turkish and Russian. 

Nuissl was president of the Consortium of European Research and Development Institutes for Adult Education (ERDI) from 1998-2003. Additionally, he served as vice president of the “Leibniz-Gemeinschaft”, one of the biggest research organizations in Germany, and has been a member of several boards of educational and political organizations. For 20 years, he has held university chairs for adult education in Hannover, Marburg and Duisburg-Essen. 

Nuissl opened the doors for international comparison with his books Porträt Weiterbildung Deutschland and Portrait Adult Education in Europe, which was the first overview on research, politics and practice in the European Union. Other research includes museum pedagogy, motivation for language learning, social training for disadvantaged and financing adult learning.

Nuissl is editor of two central journals for adult education, REPORT and DIE-Zeitschrift für Erwachsenenbildung. He initiated the “Annual Innovation Award in Adult Education” in 1998 and developed a system of quality standards in science and practice of adult education.

He chairs the European Master of Adult Education in cooperation with universities in Denmark, Czech Republic, Finland, Italy, Romania, Austria, Spain and Germany, which is the first master’s degree in adult education being accredited in several European countries.

For 15 years Nuissl has contributed to the networking of international experts, the international exchange of ideas and the growth of a scientific community across borders through his leadership in the organization of a central conference with European participation on important issues of adult education. 

Nuissl has worked for 20 years in the biggest German educational trade union, the Gewerkschaft Erziehung und Wissenschaft (GEW), as chair of working groups, a member of boards and representative in several conferences and negotiations, where he has helped define the position of the trade union regarding adult education and policy making.

He received his doctorate in social science at the University of Bremen and did post-doctorate work in adult education at the University of Hannover. He holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Vest din Timisoara in Romania.

Nuissl is counseling educational policy in Germany, Brussels, Romania and Italy, and teaches in European and Asian universities. He is guest professor at the universities of Firenze, Italy, and Timisoara, Romania.