In order to meet the growing need for advisory and consultancy services in developing countries, the University Advisory Programme hires German academics and research managers as consultants.
The role played by information and knowledge in the development of a country is considered to be increasingly important. Universities are pre-eminent in creating, disseminating, and applying this knowledge. Furthermore, universities in both developing countries and in the industrialised world are called upon to make important contributions towards solving global problems.
A large number of undergraduate and postgraduate students from these countries have gained their qualifications in Germany and have remained in close professional contact with their German colleagues. Specialised alumni networks or university partnerships have intensified these contacts in recent years. However, previously completed and ongoing cooperation projects frequently show that beyond close exchange, there remains a need for advisory services focusing on optimising universities, their structures and teaching content on site. This may include solving problems related to administration and organisation, subject matters and didactics, as well as financing and management.
This programme is intended to enable universities in developing countries to engage German academics and research managers as consultants for specific areas in order to implement clearly defined reform measures/projects that will contribute to structural development at the partner university. The current DAAD programme is an instrument intended to make the knowledge held by academics at German higher education institutions accessible to universities in partner countries. The German academics advise the heads of universities, faculties or institutes, but may also provide guidance to individual university staff in the following areas:
- improvement of administrative processes at the partner university
- initiation of cooperation with industry and the public sector in order to enhance service capabilities and networking
- linking of projects at partner universities with German development cooperation
- development of centres for knowledge and technology transfer at the partner universities
- conceptual advice on the organisation of research projects, especially with respect to determining lines of research, research funding, research application and international networking
Eleven consultancy projects were supported in 2015. Latin America is a priority region with five consultancy projects; Asia and Africa have each had three projects. In 2015, the main thematic focus of consultancy was on the medical sector.
University consultants make a valuable contribution to the training and continuing education of local professionals at partner universities abroad. In 2015, projects in the medical sector (paediatric oncology in Uganda, palliative care in Columbia, clinical economics in Brazil) made a valuable contribution to the structural development of health care in the partner countries.