Seminars for Professionals and Managerial Staff from Developing and Newly Industrialised Countries

Zentrum für Entwicklungsforschung

The seminars for professionals and managerial staff from developing and newly industrialised countries contribute significantly to the development of intercultural skills, professional networking, and active participation in development cooperation.


The DAAD supports highly qualified professionals and managerial staff from developing and newly industrialised countries with scholarships for postgraduate studies at carefully selected German higher education institutions. These future professionals and managerial staff study in development-related postgraduate courses (EPOS) or the in country-in region programme (SPDL) of the DAAD.

However, in addition to providing professional and technical training to the students, there is an increasing need for cross-disciplinary skills and abilities. Not only should the students feel comfortable to integrate in Germany and at their German host institutions. The students should also feel like they received an optimal preparation to (re)start their careers and ultimately may work as counterparts in German and international development cooperation in the future.

Some of these cross-disciplinary qualifications and skills can and must be taught in seminars outside of German universities by involving experts from the field.

The seminars are supported by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Programme objectives

The seminars aim to teach practical skills to the professionals and managerial staff from developing and newly industrialised countries alongside their university studies.

Among other things, the seminars enable participants

  • to acquire cross-cultural skills and the ability to communicate in an international context,
  • to learn about the players in, and key aspects of, German and international development cooperation,
  • to strengthen their management and conceptual skills in order to prepare them for successful professional inclusion and future executive positions,
  • to develop their ability to assess the extent of their respective specialist sector, enabling them to work and communicate in a cross-disciplinary manner.

In this way, the participants not only acquire valuable background knowledge for their future practical work in an international and development-related context – the training courses also aim to increase their chances at gaining an executive position. This should ensure that the future professionals and managerial staff will be in a better position to initiate and manage development processes in their respective home countries.

Funded measures

The DAAD supports study-accompanying training courses of relevance to the labour market run by higher education institutions or other organisations in the following areas:

  • Type I: Cross-cultural seminars on integration and conflict resolution
  • Type II: Seminars on learning about German and international development cooperation
  • Type III: Training seminars specially tailored to the needs of the target group for professional reintegration
  • Type IV: Seminars on professional networking (only for degree courses and students supported in the DAAD Development-Related Postgraduate Courses programme)


In 2015, more than 550 PhD and Master's students participated in 31 seminars, among those15 cross-cultural seminars. In 2016, the number of seminars increased remarkably. DAAD could fund 53 seminars which were attended by more than 1200 participants. The strong cross-cultural aspect of this programme is illustrated by the various countries of origin of the participants. They came from a variety of developing countries such as Ethiopia, Costa Rica, Columbia, Syria, Uzbekistan, and Myanmar.

In order to achieve the intended programme objectives even more efficiently, the DAAD targets the needs of developing and newly industrialised countries with its funding instruments and evaluates the impact of its funding programmes. In 2014, the DAAD introduced a comprehensive result-oriented monitoring system in order to further improve the quality and transparency of its work.


German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
Department P31 Institution Building in Higher Education

Ilona Daun

Senior Desk Officer
Tel.: +49 228 882-8614
Fax: + 49 228 882-98614

Christian Stegmann

Programme/Project Administrator
Tel.: +49 228 882-8971
Fax: + 49 228 882-98971

Supported by:

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