University-Business-Partnerships between Higher Education Institutions and Business Partners in Germany and in Developing Countries

DAAD Volker Lannert

Since 2012, the programme University-Business-Partnerships between Higher Education Institutions and Business Partners in Germany and in Developing Countries has supported practice-oriented degree programmes relevant to the labour market that are cutting-edge and suit the local context.


In developing and newly industrialised countries, the prosperity of an economy also increasingly depends on the availability of highly qualified staff. However, in many of these countries there are considerable differences between the skills of university graduates and the qualifications needed by the industry. Their lack of practical skills leaves the graduates with difficulties in finding adequate employment opportunities.

Offered since 2012, the University-Business-Partnerships programme is open to all disciplines and based on the successful format of subject-related university partnerships with developing countries. The direct cooperation between partners from industry and higher education institutions constitutes a new and practice-oriented funding approach aimed at improving the quality of university programmes in developing countries by involving German and local industry so that the needs of the local and regional labour market are met.

Programme objectives

The funding programme is intended to improve higher education in developing countries in all subject areas. The aim is to offer new, practice-related degree programmes that suit the local context and correspond to the current state of science. Higher education institutions are expected to develop partnerships with companies and other stakeholders such as trade associations, professional bodies etc., thus ensuring the practical relevance of degree programmes in the partner country. In the medium term, collaboration with industry should become anchored in both university management and university structure as a management responsibility. In the long term, the programme should make a substantial and sustainable contribution to economic development in developing countries, thereby effectively countering the brain drain.

The aim is to support the transfer of knowledge between universities and industry so that graduates are better suited to the needs and developments of the labour market. Funded University-Business-Partnerships are expected to lead to viable cooperation structures between participating institutions and partners in industry.

On the German side, the participating higher education institutions are also expected to expand their expertise in development cooperation.

Funded projects/measures and partners involved

The following projects are supported under the University-Business-Partnerships programme: University-Business-Partnerships Project List (PDF Download, 220 KB)


German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
Section P32 – Development Cooperation: Partnership Programmes, Alumni Projects and Higher Education Management

Berno Birker
Tel.: +49 228 882-8671

Further information

  • Flyer (PDF Download, 2 MB; in German)

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