New study programme

DAAD supports research on Germany's colonial past

The German Academic Exchange Service (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst – DAAD) is promoting the reappraisal of German colonial rule in countries in Africa and the Asia-Pacific region. This is kicked off by the "German Colonial Rule" scholarship programme funded by the Federal Foreign Office (AA). The programme funds early career researchers from the former German colonial regions until 2026. 

Black and white picture of Africans carrying a male German politician.

'It is good and right that we join with the Federal Foreign Office in launching a scholarship programme that throws light on the colonial chapter of German history. The research conducted by young academics from the former colonial regions jointly with German higher education institutions is an important sign of global rapprochement. We at DAAD are contributing to the assumption of historical and moral responsibility for the suffering caused to people in many countries in Africa and Asia and are creating the foundations for future international scientific cooperation in colonial research', said DAAD President Professor Joybrato Mukherjee.

'The colonial era was not an historical footnote. It shapes the lives of billions of people to this day. German colonial rule left deep wounds in many countries, especially in Africa. We are using the DAAD German Colonial Rule scholarship programme to invite academics from Africa, Asia and the Pacific region to join with researchers from Germany to reappraise this chapter of our history that has been neglected for far too long – in particular the role of German authorities during the colonial era. The recognition of historical responsibility is the prerequisite for a common shaping of the future', said Michelle Müntefering, Minister of State for International Cultural Policy at the Federal Foreign Office.

The DAAD will award up to eight doctoral scholarships via the 'German Colonial Rule. Scholarship Programme for Cooperative Research' and these will go to outstanding students from states in Africa, Asia and the Pacific that were previously colonised by Germany. Jointly supervised by university lecturers from the Global South and Germany, the selected early career researchers will conduct research at German higher education institutions with the aim of obtaining a doctorate. The focus of their research is to be the political activities of the responsible government agencies in the former German Reich and the political, economic and cultural impacts on the countries concerned.