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News from DAAD

DAAD’s expectations for Germany’s EU presidency: Education and Science for a strong Europe

In a press release from 24 June, the DAAD outlined its expectations towards the German EU Presidency. During the six-month presidency, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) expects the German Federal Government to set the course for strengthening Education and Science within the EU. The DAAD’s central points are to prioritise the role of education and research in the ongoing Brexit negotiations, to defend and strengthen academic freedom in all EU countries, and to obtain sufficient funding for the Erasmus+ programme.

Highlights of the DAAD programme under the German Presidency will include two events: On 1 October, DAAD alumni from all EU countries will gather in Berlin under the patronage of German Federal Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas under the motto “An idea for Europe”. On 5-6 October, the “Moving target digitalisation: re-thinking global exchange in higher education” conference will address the issue of how internationalisation can be re-imagined in light of the digital transformation. Together with the German Federal Education Minister, Anja Karliczek, around 300 international experts will discuss the challenges of internationalising higher education institutions, bringing issues such as policy dialogue and process innovation into focus.

Prior to the conference, there is a call for contributions that engage with, challenge and re-think international Collaboration, mobility and knowledge transfer in the light of digital transformation. The submission deadline is 1 August. Selected papers will be published as part of the Conference Proceedings.

See the event page here.
The DAAD press release is available here.

Online option for DAAD scholarships in light of the Corona crisis

The DAAD exceptionally offers its scholarships holders in light of the Corona-crisis the option of starting scholarships online in the coming winter semester. Students, academics and researchers, who are unable to travel to Germany, can start their scholarship online. As soon as the situation allows, they can move physically to the country of their chosen institutions. The basic requirement is that an online study or digital research stay at the desired institution abroad or in Germany is possible and that the academic aim of the scholarship can be achieved online. Alternatively, they have the option of postponing the start of their fellowship by up to six months.

Furthermore, the German National Association of Statutory Health Insurance (GKV) decided that virtual study in times of Corona is comparable to distance learning in order to exempt international students from compulsory health insurance during their online learning period. The exemption ends upon entry to Germany. In the current semester, the health insurance obligation also applies retroactively.

The link to the press release is available (in German) here.

New strategy to guide the activities of the DAAD until 2025

The DAAD has published its new “Strategy 2025”, a central contribution to shaping international academic relations and foreign science policy in the age of the Anthropocene. The strategy defines three overarching goals for the DAAD’s activities:

  1. To strengthen excellence and perspectives of education and science through international exchange
  2. To promote international cooperation for the benefit of science, economy and society
  3. To assume global responsibility and contribute to development and peace

The DAAD wants to implement is goals in three strategic fields of action:

  1. Recognising and promoting potential worldwide (by granting scholarships to excellent students and young researchers)
  2. Strengthening the strategic networking of science (by supporting universities in establishing international partnerships)
  3. Bringing expertise to international relations (by positioning the DAAD as leader in the current higher education internationalisation discourses)

The strategy highlights eight key topics, for instance digitalisation, sustainability, diversity and equal opportunities as well as innovation and transfer. Moreover, the DAAD sets four benchmarks until 2025: to secure a place for Germany among the top 5 target countries for international students and doctoral students; to increase the academic success of international students to the average completion rate of their German fellow students; to increase the proportion of international academics and researchers at German universities; and to provide half of all students at German universities with an international and intercultural experience.

The link to the press release is available here.

DAAD launches new programme to foster virtual cooperation

With the programme “International Virtual Academic Collaboration” (IVAC) the DAAD promotes and supports the use of virtual collaboration formats in study programmes within the framework of international teaching cooperation, the development of digital skills of students and teachers, the digitalisation of processes in the field of study, blended mobility across universities, and the extended access to international university offers for specific target groups (e.g. non-mobile students). Bachelor and/or Master students, doctoral students, postdocs, postdoctoral students, postdoctoral lecturers, scientists and professors can be funded within the programme.
German state and state-recognised universities are eligible to apply until 16 July 2020.

The link to the programme (in German) can be found here.


The DAAD National Agency published its Erasmus+ Annual Report 2019

The National Agency for EU Higher Education Cooperation within the DAAD has published its Erasmus+ Annual Report for 2019. Last year, the Erasmus+ budget has increased by EUR 25 million to over EUR 155 million  compared to 2018.With this budget rise, the EU has become the DAAD’s second largest donor after the Federal Foreign Office; for the first time.

As a result, nearly all intra-European mobilities could be funded. In 2019, the DAAD awarded almost 47,000 of its approximately 150,000 scholarships within the framework of the Erasmus+ programme. The first 17 alliances of the European Universities initiative were also selected under the EU programme. 15 German HEIs are involved in 14 of the 17 alliances. Three of them are coordinators of their respective alliance.

Link to the report here.