Excellence Centres for Exchange and Development - exceed

Ein Gruppenfoto. Menschen stehen auf einer Treppe vor einem Gebäude.


The exceed programme – Excellence Centres for Exchange and Development was launched in 2009 with the aim of bringing together the involvement of German higher education institutions and their partners in developing countries and raising its public profile. The initiative also aims to make research and teaching cooperation between higher education institutions in Germany and in countries of the Global South more accessible to development cooperation.

Currently, 12 interdisciplinary projects with different subject orientations are being funded. German higher education institutions and their partner organisations in Africa, Asia and Latin America are active on site, making an important contribution to the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Programme objectives

During the 2020-2024 funding phase, the programme aims to establish research priorities on topics relating to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the participating higher education institutions. Another programme objective is for German higher education institutions to acquire expertise in development cooperation and for development-related networks to be established between the participating higher education institutions with the involvement of extramural actors. Furthermore, the programme aims to provide graduates with excellent qualification and to integrate graduates in the labour market.

Funded projects and participating partners

The following projects are being funded under the exceed programme:

Projects starting from 2020


In the funding phase of the exceed programme from 2015 to 2019, the exchange between international researchers and guest lecturers gave rise to diverse research collaborations and the internationalisation of teaching at the participating institutions. New or optimised curricula and modules based on the current state of science and with a focus on regional needs sustainably improved the quality of teaching.
The networks funded since 2009 have been able to consolidate international partnerships in line with the SDGs. The exceed networks established new and innovative doctoral programmes that are in demand internationally, training future professionals and leaders in developing countries. Graduates of the exceed networks receive a demanding professional training that qualifies them for positions in the fields of research, policy-making or development-related, technical cooperation.
Events ranging from workshops to international conferences have enriched scientific exchange in recent years and continuously raised the profile of the exceed networks.
Numerous graduates were able to obtain excellent scientific qualifications during the last funding phase of the exceed programme. The programme has addressed equal opportunities and the advancement of women, who are considered particularly disadvantaged in various partner countries. Numerous research and publications have also been produced with a focus on topics relating to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

DAAD - Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst - German Academic Exchange Service