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German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)

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The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is the largest funding organization in the world supporting the international exchange of students and scholars. Since it was founded in 1925, more than 1.5 million scholars in Germany and abroad have received DAAD funding. It is a registered association and its members are German institutions of higher education and student bodies. In addition to awarding grants and scholarships, the DAAD supports the internationalization of German universities, promotes German studies and the German language abroad, assists developing countries in establishing effective universities and advises decision makers on matters of cultural, education and development policy.

Its budget is derived mainly from the federal funding for various ministries, primarily the German Federal Foreign Office, but also from the European Union and a number of enterprises, organizations and foreign governments. Its head office is in Bonn, but the DAAD also has an office in Berlin. It provides advice to its main partner countries on every continent via a network of 14 regional offices and 50 information centers.

The DAAD runs over 250 programs, through which it funds more than 70,000 German and foreign scholars worldwide per annum. These programs range from semesters abroad for undergraduates to doctoral programs, from internships to visiting lectureships, and from information-gathering visits to assisting with the establishment of new universities abroad. It supports the international activities of German institutions of higher education through marketing services, publications, the staging of events and training courses.

The DAAD’s programs have the following five strategic goals:

  • to encourage outstanding young students and academics from abroad to come to Germany for study and research visits and, if possible, to maintain   contact with them as partners life-long;
  • to qualify young German researchers and professionals at the very best institutions around the world in a spirit of tolerance and openness;
  • to promote the internationality and appeal of Germany’s institutions of higher education;
  • to support German language, literature and cultural studies at foreign universities;
  • to assist developing countries in the southern hemisphere and reforming countries in the former Eastern Bloc in the establishment of effective higher education systems.

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