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Promoting the German language and German studies at foreign universities

General InformationTypes Of Cooperation ActivitiesTarget GroupsFinancing
Country Code: P164
Name of Programme: Promoting the German language and German studies at foreign universities
Organisation responsible for the programme: German Academic Exchange Service/ Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD)
Type of organisation: National Agency
Country: Germany
Web Link:
Starting Date 1950
Ending date
Joint initiative involving more than one Ministry? (if applicable)

Programme Description
General and specific objectives
The DAAD is a joint organisation of Germany’s higher education institutions and is responsible for promoting international academic relations, primarily through the exchange of students, academics and researchers. The DAAD is the agency responsible for raising the international profile of Germany’s higher education institutions and simultaneously serves as a “mediating organisation” in the government’s foreign, European, development and higher education policies. One of DAAD’s five main objectives is to promote German Studies, German language, literature and cultural studies at selected universities around the world in order to strengthen German as a major international cultural language and lingua franca and to raise an interest in, knowledge of and identification with Germany. (Goal 4)

More than one seventh of the DAAD’s programme funds are assigned to promoting German language and literature studies abroad. The programme covers a range of activities, e.g. one-month university summer courses in Germany, structured semester scholarships for foreign specialists in German studies, standard one-year and doctoral scholarships, and funding for institutional partnerships with universities in Eastern Europe and establishing degree courses instructed in German in these countries.

In addition, the DAAD uses funds from the Federal Foreign Office to support "Centres for German and European Studies" at outstanding universities around the world. The financial support is based on the principle of cost-sharing with the respective partner institutions.

Priority actions
To promote the German language, German Studies and German culture and society at foreign universities:
- Courses taught in German at foreign universities
- Institutional German Studies partnerships
- Placement of German academic staff (Lektors, short-term and long-term lecturers) at foreign universities
- Individual grants and scholarships for German and foreign students of German as well as academics in the field of German Studies
-Establishing and promoting academic Centres for German and European Studies abroad
- Information, publications, events and special programmes
-TestDaF: Worldwide language test for admitting foreign students to German universities

The focus of the programme is on placing so-called 'Lektors' at HEIs in third countries. In 2007, the DAAD funded 555 Lektors in 102 countries, placing them in 440 Lektorships. Depending on the host university and region in question, the tasks and responsibilities performed by Lektors cover the following areas:
* Teaching German as a foreign language,
* Organising events and courses on German studies and recent German and European history,
* Offering courses and lectures on literary studies and linguistics,
* Providing instruction on the didactics and methodology of foreign language teaching,
* Examining students,
* Contributing to the planning of degree programmes and the training of translators and interpreters,
* Maintaining contacts with German organisations (DAAD, DFG, Goethe Institute, and others) and with Germany’s higher education institutions,
* Advising on study opportunities in Germany and on possible sources of financial support,
* Contributing to organising cultural events, inside and outside their university.

In addition, there are 50 so-called DAAD Information Centres (ICs) in different parts of the world which aim to advice on study opportunities and scholarships, programme work and cultural mediation activities. These Information Centres are frequently based at local Goethe Institutes.
Management and coordination
As an association under private law, the DAAD is governed by the DAAD Executive Committee, the Board of Trustees and the General Assembly (members: 231 higher education institutions and 126 student bodies). Their tasks include supporting, monitoring and being involved in the development of the strategic plans and new programme concepts. The self-governing nature of the DAAD includes a policy of all funding decisions being made by independent academic Selection Committees.

The DAAD’s German Head Office in Bonn is the home and registered office of the executive management, where the majority of its staff work, and the hub for all of its national and international activities. The DAAD also maintains an office in the German capital Berlin and 14 Regional Offices around the world. At the end of 2007, the number of permanent, project and external staff in Germany and abroad was approximately 600 altogether, 495 of whom were based at its Head Office in Bonn, 12.5 at the Berlin Office, and the remaining 92.5 at the DAAD Regional Offices world-wide .The DAAD also had 16 trainees, 105 interns and 73 temporary staff, who were employed for specific short-term tasks.

Expected or achieved outputs, outcomes and impacts
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