Supporting potentials, strengthening networks, sharing expertise
These are the DAAD’s central fields of activity, dedicated to shaping international academic relations and foreign academic policy in the age of the Anthropocene. The DAAD is optimally positioned to carry out these tasks. As the internationalisation agency of German higher education institutions, it continually develops its portfolio together with its member organisations. Thanks to the diversity of its activities and programmes, it can systemically and sustainably achieve its goals. Its presence in more than 100 countries worldwide serves as the foundation for these activities.
International higher education and research are integral components of a larger global-political context which also play a key role in shaping their development. These general conditions have undergone enormous transformation in recent years. At the same time, the global landscape of academia, research and innovation has been shaped by dynamic developments and shifting influence around the world.
Against this backdrop, foreign academic policy has become increasingly important. One major challenge is to define and represent the interests of German higher education and research, while also considering the interests of our partner countries and organisations. Engaging in international discourse, the DAAD continues to defend the values, to which the German academic system owes its strength: working in partnership, promoting academic freedom and contributing to finding common solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. This can only be achieved when science, politics and civil society work hand-in-hand.
The “Strategy 2025” defines three overarching goals which shall shape the activities of the DAAD in the coming years:
The DAAD has set itself goals in three strategic fields of activity
The first field, “Recognising and supporting potentials worldwide” (Link 4), refers to individual funding measures. Essentially, these activities aim to provide outstanding applicants from Germany and abroad from all academic levels with excellent education and research opportunities, measures for developing their professional profile, and intercultural experience. The second field of activity “Strengthening the strategic academic network” (Link 5) is targeted at higher education institutions in Germany and abroad. To this end, the DAAD is building international partnerships and professional networks, thereby contributing to solving global challenges. The third field of activity, “Providing expertise for international relations” (Link 6) will position the DAAD as a leader in current discourse regarding the internationalisation of higher education and research, as well as an influential agent in the political and societal decision-making process.
In these three strategic fields of activity, the DAAD aims to strengthen international higher education, increase participation and ensure long-term success. To this end, German universities remain the primary contact partners with whom the DAAD works to achieve their goals and needs. In close partnership with its members, the DAAD strives to ensure that the German higher education system meets the following targets by 2025:
- secure Germany’s standing among the top five target destinations for international students and doctoral candidates
- increase the academic success of international students to the average rate of success of German students
- increase the share of international academics at German universities to 15 percent
- enable 50 percent of students at German universities to gain substantial international and intercultural experience through a study visit abroad, virtual international experience or “internationalisation at home”
Challenges and opportunities
The activities of the DAAD are increasingly influenced by trends and issues which lie beyond the sphere of academic exchange. These require the DAAD to further develop its own positions and concepts. It is no longer enough to concentrate on one’s core business and conduct it competently. The important thing is to react to changes taking place in various corners of society and define what the DAAD can specifically do to address them. Some especially relevant key issues include: