Dear Members

Dear Members


Hans van Aalst President of EfVET 2000 – 2006 passed away December 30th 2011 after a brief but valiant struggle against cancer.

I had the privilege to represent EfVET and all our close associates across Europe with whom Hans worked so closely and to offer a warm tribute to him and his family at the memorial service held in Bilthoven, Nr Utrecht

On Saturday 7th January 2012


The following is a brief summary of our  tribute to Hans:


I stand here quite humble and very privileged to pay tribute to our dear friend and colleague, Hans.

I would like to thank Nancy and the family for giving me the opportunity to do so.


Hans, as you all know had a towering presence in so many ways and those who had the privilege to meet and work with him over the years have been enriched from the experience.


I am here today, not only representing myself and colleagues on the EfVET Steering Group, but the whole membership of EfVET (individuals and institutions) and of course colleagues

from our partner European networks.  In deed, I can assure you that Hans is being remembered as we speak throught Europe by all who knew him.  By way of example his friends in EVTA (European Vocational Training Association); EAEA( European Association for the Education of Adults); the European Commission; HETEL, TKNIKA, CEBANC and IKASLAN from the Basque Country, Spain; CECE based in MADRID; ANESPO in Portugal; The Russian Federation of Colleges; the Danish Colleges to name just a few.


We first met Hans in the late 1990’s when we invited Hans to give a keynote speech to our Annual International conference in Denmark.  He inspired us all that day – so much so – we invited him to be our President – a post he held between 2000 and 2006.  He was instrumental in setting EfVET on a strategic path which has led to EfVET being a major force for change in the European Education and Training arena.


In many ways he was a revolutionary in his thinking; an independent thinker and a very creative thinker and certainly thought provoking.

He would constantly challenge convention and traditional approaches to Education and Learning.  He was passionate about removing barriers to learning

And whilst he himself benefitted from a University education he fought very hard, with unstinting effort, to address the needs of those less fortunate and saw Education and Training as a crucial driver to social inclusion.

His contribution to this agenda has been immense.


I have spoken a little around his professional life with EfVET and indeed his other work – let me say a little about Hans as a person.


He will be remembered for his warmth and humour

He will be remembered for his kindness of heart

He will be rembered for all the support he has given us all

He will be remembered as a great friend


I have received so many warm messages from all over Europe reflecting on Hans as a person; a great professional and close friend.  One such message encapsulates these thoughts:

‘Hans was as beautiful and inspiring as a mobile sculpture by Alexander Calder.  He has a powerful and unique soul and the kindness we all long for’


Hans was a remarkable man who will be sadly missed but never forgotten. Our thoughts are with Nancy and family at this difficult time and our heartfelt warmth and sympathies go to them.


Farewell my friend.  Rest in Peace.


Peter Hodgson

President, EfVET


Dear Peter,


Many thanks again for your wonderful contribution — many people mentioned to me that they had greatly appreciated your perspective, and it was certainly heartwarming to us as Hans’ family. And thanks again for your warm words afterwards; I look forward to talking to you for a bit longer at some point (the following days will be very busy with admin matters for my mother, but I will be in touch). As requested, attached the picture we had on his coffin.


Warm regards,




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