Subject-Related Partnerships with Institutions of Higher Education in Developing Countries

[The program will no longer be advertised in this form. An application is possible in the program 'SDG Partnerships' at the beginning of April 2022: SDG-Partnerships - DAAD]

People sitting in a conference room.

By sponsoring curriculum enhancement of partner universities abroad, this programme contributes to creating high-quality, effective, and cosmopolitan higher education institutions in developing countries and in Germany.


Highly qualified staff and effective academic systems are key factors for the development of countries in the Global South. In many developing countries, however, study programmes are not adequately adapted to the current state of scientific knowledge and to labour market requirements. Consequently, well-prepared decision-makers and high-level experts are in scarce supply.

In order to ensure sustainable development, universities in developing countries profit from better links with the global network of knowledge. This is where the “Subject-Related Partnerships with Institutions of Higher Education in Developing Countries” programme comes into play, by sponsoring international academic networks. The programme also strengthens learning structures at partner institutions and promotes the provision of high-quality and up-to-date study programmes.

Programme objectives

The long-term objective of the programme is to contribute to sustainable development and the creation of high-quality, relevant, and cosmopolitan higher education institutions in Germany and partner countries.

Participating institutions are supposed to modernise strong programmes, to set up subject-related networks on development-related issues, and to consolidate existing cooperation structures. All participating partners will receive support in implementing their internationalisation strategies.

The programme also helps to integrate German higher education institutions as partners in development cooperation and to develop their expertise in this area.


The interdisciplinary programme successfully supports the structural development and the creation of academic networks at partner institutions. Since 1997, about 350 projects have been funded, providing sustainable support in various areas. As part of the partnership, hundreds of curricula and study modules have been developed and whole new international degree courses have been launched. International networks have been created or expanded, often involving several partners from the South. In some cases, even agreement has been reached on the harmonisation of mutual recognition of university degrees.

In order to be able to achieve the intended programme objectives more efficiently, the DAAD monitors and evaluates the effect of its funding programmes. A comprehensive results-oriented monitoring system launched in 2014 helps to further improve the quality and transparency of our work.

Supported by:

Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development
DAAD - Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst - German Academic Exchange Service