Reports Libya

October 2018

Libyan delegation conducted by Vice-Presidents of the Misurata University at the DAAD Office in Tunis


A delegation from the Misurata University came to the DAAD office in Tunis on October 5th, 2018 for an introductory and informative meeting.

The Misurata University is one of the most innovative universities in Libya. Numerous cooperations already exist with universities in France, Italy and Spain. Now they want to establish cooperations with German universities. Therefore, the delegation members were interested in the cooperation programs of the DAAD.

The new call for applications of the program “German-Arab Transformation Partnerships” has particularly increased a great interest. The Misurata University would like to build career centers and develop joint master programs with the help of German universities. The newly advertised program is suitable for this. The Vice-President of the Misurata University is a Germany alumnus, he was funded for many years by a government scholarship in Germany. In addition to a master's degree in mechanical engineering in Bochum, he also completed the PhD in Duisburg. “The University of Giessen also expressed its interest in working together in the field of geography”, said the director of the International Office, Dr. Ali Bakeer.

Since the DAAD cannot be in Libya for safety reasons at the moment, it was already decided during the delegation trip to Germany in June to set up an “Information Point DAAD” at various universities. The DAAD Tunis therefore provided the delegation with information material, brochures and posters. The Misurata University would like to nominate a person who should be responsible for this information point and who should be regularly coached by the DAAD Tunis. With Misurata, the Info Point model is to be started as a pilot project. Other Libyan universities may follow if the model works well.

The Ministry of Education has also participated in this briefing. The General Director for Information and Documentation would like to work more closely with the DAAD Office in Tunis and agreed to collaborate for future cooperation.

Information about the program "German-Arab Transformation Partnerships" can be found on the following link:

Report: Salha Ennajeh

Photo-credits: Syrine Mahjoubi

June 2018 

Strong interest in cooperation with German universities: Directors of the International Offices in Libyan explore in a DAAD study trip higher education institutions in Germany


@ Ten directors of Libyan higher education institutions visit the DAAD Headquarters in Bonn

On invitation of the DAAD, directors of the International Offices from Libya visited German higher education and research institutions from 24th -30th of June 2018. Personal contact, confidence building and promotion of exchange and cooperation were the focal point in all the discussions. Although the academic exchange with Libya is currently only a one-way street, it is worthy to invest in capacity building and structural development to reconstruct a war-torn country.

The study visit aimed at contacting, matching and networking with German partners, in order to build up short-term activities and long-term cooperation projects. Libyan university representatives want more exchange and cooperation with Germany, they are active in EU programs with MENA countries.

In discussion with representatives from the International Offices at University of Cologne, Potsdam and TU Berlin and with experts from TH Cologne and TU Berlin, they also had to understand, that exchange and cooperation is not ordered top-down by the university administration or rector per convention or MoU, but that exchange and cooperation projects have to build up gradually from bottom-up, starting with commitment and confidence on the personal level. In addition, many German universities have strategic partnerships with regional focus or relating to longstanding partnership. Except when there is a common interest (win-win), a long-term and sustainable cooperation can succeed. 

Confidence building was also the first step in discussions with parliamentarians of the parties the CDU, the GRÜNEN and the LINKEN as well as representatives from the German Foreign Office. It is not self-evident in a politically torn country, that a delegation unified representatives from Benghazi, Sirte, Sabha, Sabratha, Misurata, Tripoli and Zawia, and that this group represents a common interest for all parts of Libya (West, East and South). The universities agree, that a national university policy and strategy is desired, therefore internal networking within Libya as well as regional networks are important.


@ Libyan delegation visiting the German Foreign Office in Berlin

This was the first visit to Germany for most of the delegation members. The directors of the International Offices of Libyan higher education institutions, who are also active in academic teaching or research, have all studied abroad. They hold international experience and are contact persons and multipliers for exchange and cooperation in their universities. For the DAAD and for the German partners they are the vis-à-vis, as long as it is not possible to operate in Libya for security reasons.

In the end, the delegation members travelled home with a lot of new impressions, contacts and know-how. The DAAD supports Libyan universities as multipliers in setting up information points for “Study and Research in Germany”. DAAD also inform and consult individuals and universities in Libya via webinar or attendance seminars in Tunisia.

Report and photo credits: Beate Schindler-Kovats. Director of DAAD Office Tunis

April 2018

Briefing for Libyan multipliers on the study trip to Germany in June 2018

Ten directors of the International Cooperation Offices of Libyan universities and research centers were briefed in Tunis in April 2018 on their trip to Germany. From 24.-30.06.2018, the DAAD will invite the Libyan delegation to a study information tour to Germany: the program includes visits to universities in Cologne, Bonn, Aachen, Berlin and Potsdam, meetings in the headquarters of DAAD, DFG and AvH in addition to policies’ discussions in Berlin.

 @5th DAAD Seminar „Exchange- Networking und Training“ for Libyan Universities

Directors of the International Cooperation Offices of Universities and Research Centers in Libya met in Tunis for the 5th DAAD Seminar „Exchange- Networking und Training“, in order to prepare their trip to Germany in June. The interest of Libyan partners in Germany and in cooperation with German universities and research institutions is high. „Our interest is to find out more about the German educational system and wish to contact expert colleagues and partners in Germany. We would like to initiate and implement joint projects and programmes“, defined the participants as expectations.

All German funding organizations offer programs for exchange and projects with Libya. Libya, for example, is a partner country in the German-Arab Transformation Partnerships and can apply for measures with German universities.

For political reasons, relations and contacts between Libyan universities and international partners have been largely cancelled or/and interrupted since 2012. Libyan partners are now campaign for finding inspiration for cooperation again: goals of the journey are to identify partners and topics for joint academic activities and to convince German universities, that Libyan higher education institutions still function and work despite the unstable situation in the country: „We want to present ourselves as reliable partners and promote our institutions“, said the participants, "and showing, that we can work together in a torn country ".

 @ Exchange of the Libyan delegation with the Envoy Alexander Fierley of the German Embassy Tripoli

Libyan universities are growing rapidly, there are more female than male students, and there is a problem in teaching and recruiting for academic careers. In many places, university staff members have only a bachelor's or master's degree, and there are only a few professors that meet quality assurance and academic requirements. Great potential for academic cooperation with Germany. It it worthy to invest in Libya and to point out prospects for building the country for the generation of tomorrow.

DAAD hopes to build up a network of multipliers and alumni in Libya. Since the DAAD presence in Libya for security reasons is currently not possible, partners of the International Offices should inform and consult about Germany as a destination for study and research. Delegation participants came from all the parts of Libya: from the University and the CEET Research Center in Benghazi, the University of Sirte, Sabratha, Sabha, Zawia, Tripoli and Misurata, the Libyan Academy and the Libyan Authority for Science.

 @ Briefing and Exchange at the 5th DAAD Seminar for Libyan Universities in April 2018 in Tunis

The briefing in Tunis showed, that the exchange among each other is important. The group developed common interests. These were explicitly formulated in front of the Deputy Head of Mission from the German Embassy Tripoli, Alexander Fierley. The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Tripoli supports the DAAD in boosting academic cooperation with Libya. Deputy Head of Mission Alexander Fierley took plenty of time to talk to the participants and was also present at the official ceremony for handing over invitations of the DAAD, signed by the Secretary General Dr. Rüland.

 @ Deputy Head of Mission from the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Tripoli, Alexander Fierley, and Director of DAAD Tunis, Beate Schindler-Kovats, in handing over the invitations for the DAAD trip to Germany

Events for Libyan universities and webinars are a good opportunity to get information and consultance and keep in contact.

Information for Libyans about events, programs and scholarships:

Calender of webinars:

Report: Beate Schindler-Kovats, Director of the DAAD Office in Tunis

Photos: Anis Bouattour

All rights by the DAAD Office in Tunis

February 2018

German-Tunisian-Libyan Networking in the DAAD Office Tunis

The DAAD Tunis as a platform for regional exchange between partners from the Maghreb

By coincidence, Dr. Salah Al-Hengari, Professor at the Libyan Academy for Postgraduate studies in Tripoli, came to visit the DAAD Office Tunis. He stopped by just after he picked up his visa at the German Embassy for his stay in Germany. It was likewise a coincidence that just on this day a project meeting took place, between Dr. Borhane Mahjoub, Chott-Meriam Institute, University of Sousse and Prof. Klaus Kümmerer, Professor at the Leuphana University Lüneburg. The topics of sustainability of resources, water and water purification connect the three scientists.

@ German-Tunisian- Lybian exchange (left to right): Dr. Borhane Mahjoub (Chott Meriem, Sousse), Prof. Klaus Kümmerer (Leuphana University), Beate Schindler-Kovats (DAAD Office Tunis), Dr. Salah Al-Hengari (Libyan Academy Tripolis)

German-Tunisian- Lybian exchange (left to right): Dr. Borhane Mahjoub (Chott Meriem, Sousse), Prof. Klaus Kümmerer (Leuphana University), Beate Schindler-Kovats (DAAD Office Tunis), Dr. Salah Al-Hengari (Libyan Academy Tripolis)

The group got along quickly and their exchange fostered a spontaneous development of project ideas. As a partner in the Exceed-network Dr. Borhane wants to advocate the integration of Libyan partners. Sousse and Lüneburg cooperate already within short-term measures and are now striving to include Libyan partners into their future activities.

Once again the DAAD Office Tunis becomes a platform of regional exchange, for matching and for networking between partners in the Maghreb. For many projects – within the DAAD, the EU or other organizations – more than two partners are required for the application: The search for partners and the joint application for funding measures works better, if the partners know each other, are in personal exchange and share a common interest.

Text: Beate Schindler-Kovats

Photos: Salha Ennajeh

November 2017 

Trainings of the DAAD Kairo Akademie (DKA) in Tunisia: capacity building, training and internationalisation

Due to its diverse course offer, the DAAD Kairo Akademie (DKA) supports in cooperation with the DAAD Tunis several universities and research institutes in the Maghreb in the areas of “Capacity Building" and internationalization. Scientists benefit from a broad training offer in seven different areas including “Train-the-trainer-measurements”. Around 15 trainers, among them numerous DAAD-alumni, offer courses in English for up to 25 personsAlong clear training goals, which have been developed by the DAAD, the participants devise their courses by themselves. 


The DAAD Kairo Akademie (DKA) was established in 2011 in order to bundle, restructure and professionalize the various training activities of the DAAD Cairo office under one roof.  Until today, the DKA offered 590 modules within 7 different thematic clusters and reached almost 11.500 students, doctors, scientists and university managers. In October 2015, the DKA received the official recognition of the Supreme Council of Egyptian Universities (SCU). The modules of the DKA are published on the webpage:

Since September 2016, the DAAD Tunis offers in cooperation with the DAAD Kairo Akademie (DKA) training sessions in Tunisia for Tunisian, Libyan and Algerian partners. 270 academics and scientists got the opportunity to be trained in Tunisia in eleven different modules in terms of soft skills, research and writing skills, special trainings and communication and presenting skills.

Recently, the DAAD offered, for almost 100 participants from Tunisia and Libya, four different modules relating to the topics „Presentation Skills“„Scientific Writing“, „Pre-Empting Conflict“ and „Scientific Thinking“.

In the following, you can read the feedback of the participants: 


Photos: Anis Bouattour

All rights reserved to the DAAD Tunis

Libyan multipliers promote „Study and Research in Germany“ and commit to cooperation with Germany

20 Libyan representatives of higher education institutions followed the invitation of the DAAD Tunis to jointly discuss about exchange-, program- and cooperation- opportunities with Germany, on the 17th - 20th of November 2017. The German Ambassador H.E. Dr. Christian Buck opened the three-day conference. He gave the participants the hope that a diplomatic representation could be re-opened in Tripoli, soon.


@ 4. DAAD-Seminar „Exchange – Networking – Training“ for Libyan higher education institutions

This is the fourth seminar on „Exchange – Networking and Training” for Libyan partner institutions in Tunisia, organized and funded by the DAAD. Between the 15th and 17th of November 2017, teaching staff, researcher and representatives of higher education in Libya came from all parts of Libya – from Benghazi to Sabha – to meet in Tunis. Once again, it was shown that the exchange amongst each other is just as important as the regional and international networking. Libya is a partner country of the German-Arabic Transformation Partnership and can apply with German higher education institutions for short-term measures. 


The introduction rounds of the Libyan higher education institutions presented many novelties, impressive developments and diverse international cooperation activities. Within the country, this is still little known information which got noted with great interest by the ministry of education of the Government of National Accord of Libya that also sent two women to present the institution. 


Libyan higher education institutions grow fast and there are more female than male students. Yet, there is a problem with the training of teaching staff and the recruitment for academic careers. In many places, the staff of higher education institutions has only a Bachelor or Master degree. There are only a few professors in order to meet quality and academic demands.

„It makes me proud to see how, despite the instable situation in Libya,  higher education institutions dedicate themselves to teaching, research and their students and struggle for recognition”, states a participant. “To know that I am not alone and that others support me gives me courage.”


The team-spirit was right during the three-day seminar – despite the heterogenic group and different expectations. 20 participants out of 150 applicants were selected for the seminar. Amongst them were directors of international offices, teaching staff, researchers and administrators – a new experience. The DAAD Tunis did not expect this many, active applicants who are interested in Germany and also the heterogeneity of the group was a gamble which was eventually rewarded with everyone’s satisfaction.

The ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in Tripoli, H.E. Dr. Christian Buck, was carefully optimistic that there could be a possibility to reopen a diplomatic representation in Libya soon. In his welcome address he showed himself impressed with the engagement and the multitude of active contacts in the higher education sector of Libya.


@ Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in Tripoli, H.E. Dr. Christian Buck, at the opening of the DAAD seminar for Libyan higher education institutions on the 15th of November 2017 in Tunis

During the recap at the end of the seminar, many topics, desires and perspectives for future cooperation were discussed. The DAAD Tunis will offer further seminars and trainings for Libyan scientists and will increase the distribution of study-related information and consultation.

Since the DAAD cannot be present in Libya at the moment, events in Tunisia and webinars present a good opportunity to inform, consult and to stay in contact.


The upcoming WEBINAR: "Study and research in Germany" and the "German research landscape" – especially for partners from Libya takes place on the 21st of November 2017.

The DAAD Tunis will offer an exclusive and special webinar (online-seminar) on Tuesday, the 21st of November 2017 from 02:00 to 03.00 pm (Tunisian time). 

We will provide you with information about “What is the DAAD", about "Study and research in Germany” and about the “German research landscape”. At the end you will have the opportunity to interact with us and to ask your questions directly. Therefore, you will have access to our information and the opportunity to subsequently download respective information material.

Attention: In order to participate you need to register before the webinar. Please note that spots are limited and the webinar will be held exclusively in English.

In order to register, please follow this link:

Text: Beate Schindler-Kovats (director of the DAAD office Tunis)

Photos: Anis Bouattour

All rights reserved to the DAAD Tunis

September 2017 

Delegation of the Libyan Ministry of Education, headed by the Deputy Minister, visited the DAAD office Tunis

  Bild 1

@ Exchange of informations and ideas with a delegation of the Libyan Ministry of Education of the Government of National Accord in Libya

On the 19th of September 2017, a delegation of the Libyan Ministry of Education came to visit the DAAD office Tunis under the direction of the Deputy Minister Prof. Dr. Abdulrahman Mohamed Abubaker in order to exchange information and ideas.

The Ministry of Education of the Libyan Government of National Accord is particularly interested in training sessions for university administrative staff and professors, in foreign language training and would like to e discuss about programs for the region. The young academics in Libya should be prepared and trained in order to rebuild the country and to be qualified for the challenges of the future. That is why international programs within the region are important and have to be further developed. 

 TohubaTohuba 1

Due to the political situation in Libya, the country has lost many experts which are nowadays scattered throughout the whole world. Policy of the ministry is, however, that the academic offspring of Libya stays in the country and moreover gains its knowledge and qualifications within the national borders or within the region. In addition, the focus lays on professional training and recruitment.

The DAAD Tunis regularly offers seminars and further education for Libyan university partners in Tunisia. The upcoming seminar “Research in Germany” takes place in November this year.

Interested in programmes offered by DAAD Tunis? Get in contact with:

Text: Beate Schindler-Kovats

Photos: Salha Ennajeh

The DAAD Tunis presents programmes for partnerships with Institutions of Higher Education in the Maghreb region 

@ Nearly 80 participants from Tunisia and Libya are interested in cooperation with German university partners

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is the world’s largest funding organisation for the international exchange of students and researchers.

Since 2011, the DAAD accompanies - with funding of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs - the Arab region throughout their political changes. In order to do so efficiently the German-Arab transformation partnership has been developed.  

The programme will continue in 2018: applications for short-term measures with partner universities in Tunisia, Morocco, Libya, Jordan, Yemen, Lebanon and Iraq – are open now.

The DAAD Tunis invited interested cooperating partners from Tunisia and Libya on Monday, 18th of September 2017 to an information seminar at Golden Tulip El Mechtel hotel in Tunis. A presentation on cooperation programmes, funded by the DAAD, was given, besides university partners from Tunisia and Libya referred to their experience and best practice projects with German partner universities. Additionally, questions regarding the matching with German partners and which departments, groups and activities are eligible to apply, have been discussed as well. 

In fact, cooperation programmes between German and Arab universities focus on the modernization of the apprenticeship and the development of the research structure and management, as well as active contribution to the improvement of research and teaching in the partner countries as development of curricula, modules, etc., targeting the employability of the future graduates, transfer from universities to economy.

@ Exchange of experience and ideas between partners of university projects

Even if Tunisian and Libyan partners themselves cannot file an application for sponsorship of short-term measures, they are primarily the decisive impulse and thus the initiator of existing partnership and cooperation projects. In collaboration with German universities various events, summer schools, workshops, specialized courses, initiation visits, seminars or conferences for study visits can be organised. The maximum subsidy amount per measure is 40.000 Euro. Even though the programme is quite competitive, the low number of participating countries – Tunisia, Morocco, Libya, Jordan, Yemen, Lebanon and Iraq – raises the chances of being admitted.

Since the start of the programme German-Arab transformation partnership in 2011 with Tunisia 21 university partnerships, 12 research partnerships and 114 short-term measures were funded. With Libyan partners so far 4 activities were implemented.

German-Maghrebian projects, funded by DAAD, are presented in a reader.

In order to file new applications for 2018, please follow the link provided: Tender

More information

Text: Beate Schindler-Kovats (director of the DAAD office Tunis)

Translation: Amira von Call

Photos: Anis Bouattour

All rights reserved to the DAAD Tunis

May 2017

Libyan higher education institutions lack basic necessities – and still, Libyan scientists dedicated themselves to education and internationalization


At the 3rd DAAD seminar for leaders and multipliers of Libyan higher education institutions, from the 5 th – 6 th of May 2017 in Hammamet/Tunisia, current issues, but also prospects for international cooperation were discussed.


@ Libyan participants at the 3rd DAAD seminar from the 5th – 6th of May 2017 in Hammamet/Tunisia

Eleven representatives of Libyan universities discussed openly the current situation of higher education policy in Libya, desires and challenges, as well as hopes and prospects for future international cooperation. Amongst them were directors of the international offices from Zawia, Misurata, Tripoli, Sabrata, Sabha and for the first time from the new establishments Al-Jabel Al Garby, Gharyan and Al-Mergib University as well as a representative of the Libyan ministry of higher education.The state is bankrupt due to the long lasting civil war and corruption, there is close to no financial support in the education department, appropriate equipment is missing and wages are not paid. However, there are still tutors and administrators who work to educate and qualify a new generation.

The DAAD Tunis invited the Libyan multipliers for the 3rd time since 2016 to Tunisia. DAAD programs – individual scholarships for doctorates and post-Docs and higher education cooperation programs – exist. Unfortunately, since years, there have not been many applicants. Funding’s possibilities for ‘Study and research in Germany’ are little known in Libya, the prospects of international English speaking programs are not discovered yet.  


One goal of the seminar was to get multipliers aquatint with programs and funds in Germany. And vice versa: to fill information gaps in Germany concerning Libyan universities. At the meeting, ten Libyan Universities presented themselves which highlighted remarkable facts: The University of Tripoli has more than 70.000 students and many new establishments grow quickly, while questions concerning the quality of the programs, teachers and diplomas rise.  Many universities build international partnerships and participate in ERASMUS + exchanges and research projects. 

‘We are striving to disengage young people from militia units and to bring them back to the universities, in order to offer them a peaceful and constructive future. Social integration is very important to accustom militia soldiers and devotees of DAESH back to a “normal” life. Furthermore, therapeutic aid is necessary to overcome traumata.’ States the advisor of the ministry of education who understands this as an important task of the universities. 


Exchange, discussion and understanding amongst each other is just as important as the networking with partners from Tunisia and Algeria. There were sufficient opportunities to do so: the training modules of the DAAD Kairo Academy trained mixed groups in ‘international networking’ or ‘leading in times of change’. A participants feedback: ‘I would like to thank you very much for a very successful two days training that was everything and more than I expected.’

@ University partners from Libya, Tunisia and Algeria exchange ideas

Libya is a partner country within the program of the German-Arabic transformation partnership – just like Tunisia. DAAD-funds can support exchange, university projects as well as short-term measures within bi- and multilateral cooperation’s with German partners.

Report: Beate Schindler-Kovats

Picture credit: Beate Schindler-Kovats und Syrine Mahjoubi

First co-operation on university teacher training between German and Libyan University to be initiated 

Libya has undergone radical changes since the start of the revolution and throughout the ongoing civil-war, and this situation has led to far-reaching consequences for higher education as well. Considering this difficult situation in Libya, universities will certainly play a substantial role in supporting the re-construction and development of the country in post-war periods, and the current process of transition needs effective higher education and well qualified university teachers. Building up capacities of university teachers can therefore be seen as a key priority to sustainably improve higher education at Sabratha University in particular, but also to improve education and training at universities country-wide.

Limited existing and accessible information about the current situation in Libya necessitated conducting an initial fact-finding workshop in order to effectively support Sabratha University in its efforts with regard to teacher training improvement. For this purpose, the Faculty of Human Sciences of the University of Cologne and Sabratha University held a workshop in Tunis/Tunisia from 04-08 December 2016. Fifteen university teachers from Sabratha University with different academic levels coming from a wide range of different technical disciplines discussed relevant issues regarding effective teacher training at Sabratha and Libya with experts from Germany. The fact-finding and situational analysis revealed important findings on the main limitations of effective teacher training on university, system and individual levels. These findings were then transformed into the design of priority projects as basis for the development of an overall future strategy and co-operation between the two universities.

Source: Capacity Building Partnership

December 2016

Network of maghrebian Universities

Training for Libyan Universities in Conflict Management

The DAAD Office Tunis, also in charge for Algeria and Libya, hosts a Get-Together for Algerian, Tunisian and Libyan partners on the first week-end of December

For the second time this year, the DAAD invites Libyan university representatives from 3rd to 4th December for networking  and advanced trainings to Tunisia. They have the opportunity  to meet partners from Algeria and Tunisia. 

The situation in Libya got worse  last week. There have been combats and violent confrontations on Thursday, injured and dead people on Friday. Nevertheless, nine of ten invited representatives of universities from Benghazi, Zawia, Misurata, Tripoli, Sirte, Sabratha and Sabha followed the invitation of the DAAD to the Network Meeting with advanced  trainings on the 3rd and 4th December in Tunis.


 @ Participants from Libya at the Network Meeting in Tunis

“We are glad to be here and  to participate in this event and we are excited to meet fellows from other Libyan universities”,  was given  as feedback “and it is a wonderful opportunity to get to know other regional partners.”

The speed-networking was especially successful regarding establishing contacts, following common subjects and projects. The participants who were involved actively praised the format of this meeting for the opportunity of networking and for the vivid exchange.


@  University partners and Alumni from Libya, Tunisia and Algeria are networking during the Speed-Dating 

The meeting of Libyan university representatives is the second activityDAAD Tunis organized in 2016. In April a “Kick-off” seminar with familiarization and the exchange of information took place in Sousse. At that event the wish for advanced trainings was expressed. Especially a training in conflict management was suggested. 

In compliance with this demand a training module „Managing Conflicts using Constructive Negotiation Techniques“ was offered. 

DAAD Tunis in cooperation with DAAD Cairo Academy invited the experienced trainer Dr. Claudia Gross to Tunis. Situations and conflicts were discussed interactively and practice oriented and courses of action were simulated and tried out. 


@ Training module “ Managing Conflicts using Constructive Negotiation Techniques”

The end of the seminar was followed with hope, that German classes will be offered at Libyan universities and that an Info-Point for information on study and research in Germany will be established.  

Libya is, like Tunisia, a partner country in the program of the German-Arab Transformation Partnership. With DAAD funding, university projects as well as short-term measures can be supported in bi- and multilateral cooperation with German partners.

Report: Beate Schindler-Kovats

Picture credit: Beate Schindler-Kovats, Anis Bouattour

April 2016

Libya's Universities reach out to the international community 

Significant concurrency – DAAD Tunis invites Libyan universities to an information and networking seminar in Sousse / Tunisia. 

While the Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, surprisingly visited the Libyan capital Tripoli shortly on April 16th 2016, the DAAD Tunis organized a seminar for Libyan universities in Sousse, Tunisia. Representatives of universities of Tripoli, Benghazi, Misurata, Sabrata, Sabha and Zawia as well as heads of international offices had been invited to an information and networking seminar.

Since there is no possibility to have such a meeting in Libya at the moment, eight university representatives met in the neighbouring country to discuss jointly with the DAAD about cooperation, exchange and funding opportunities. Some of the participants had to take upon themselves long and dangerous trips to present their university and express their wishes and needs. The positive feedback showed that not only the contact to the DAAD, but also the exchange between Libyan partners on “neutral ground” was appreciated. At the end of the seminar concrete suggestions for follow-up measures were proposed.

Universities play an important role in the reconstruction of the country 

North-Africa’s Libya is divided and fragmented, the country has been in civil war for years, rivalling militia and forces of the so called IS are demonstrating their power. Terror, attacks and abductions are commonplace – but nevertheless everyday life is continuing, schools and universities are carrying on with their routine. Libyan university representatives are appealing to the DAAD and international organizations: “Don’t forget us. We need contact to the international community for the education of our youth to rebuild the country.”


Everyone agrees that universities play an important role in the reconstruction of the country. Leaving political obstacles and differences of opinion aside, the university representatives from East to West are united in their desire to invest in the training of the country’s young generation and their wish for international support in fulfilling this task. The Libyan partner’s active participation and openness is an encouraging sign for future cooperation. 

German-Arabic Transformation Partnership with Libya

The DAAD seminar comes at the right time: Libya – like Tunisia – is a partner country in the program German-Arabic Transformation Partnership. Exchange and university projects as well as short-term measures in bi- and multilateral cooperation with German partners are being supported with DAAD funds. 

It is therefore not a coincidence that the annual network meeting for Tunisian project coordinators of German-Arabic Transformation Partnerships was held at the same weekend in Sousse. Poster presentations about universities and research Partnerships (Line 1 and 4) opened up lively discussions between Tunisian and Libyan partners. In the future, existing networks of German-Tunisian cooperation could also include Libyan partners and students. Both sides were surprised to find considerable similarities concerning problems and regional challenges in the higher education field and agreed on closer cooperation.


The seminar was a win-win-win experience: the DAAD received insight and understanding about the situation of Libyan universities as well as personal contacts and partners in a difficult country. The Libyan partners return back to their universities as multiplicators equipped with information about “Study and Research in Germany” and best-practice examples from Transformation programs. And the Tunisian partners are able to bring new ideas into their regional networks. “I would like to express my sincere thanks for your invitation to the DAAD meeting in Sousse which opened our eyes to new class of cooperation that we did not know anything about before”, said the director of the International Cooperation Office (ICO) of Tripoli University – and a Tunisian project coordinator asked for a counselling session with his German counterpart to talk about the integration of Libyan partners.

Redaction: Beate Schindler-Kovats, Head of DAAD Tunis Office
Photos: Beate Schindler-Kovats, Anis Bouattour

University cooperation with Libya

The DAAD Tunis wants to include Libyan universities into cooperation networks and invites Libyan university representatives to an information seminar in Sousse about university cooperation.

Despite the difficult political situation, the German government continues its commitment for Libya. The program “Transformation Partnership”, which was created in 2011 by the German Foreign Ministry, offers Libya – amongst others – a wide variety of possibilities for project funding in many different areas, such as the promotion of democracy, promotion of civil society, human rights, job trainings and youth employment, projects in the area of culture and media as well as scholarships and research cooperation.

@Dr. Dia Abuhadra, GIZ coordinator for Libya visiting the DAAD office Tunis. Dr. Abuhadra establishes contacts between the DAAD Tunis and Libyan universities.

On this basis the DAAD invites 11 representatives of the most important Libyan universities to the seminar “Study and research in Germany” and “German-Arab Transformation Partnership” in Tunisia. Libya is – as well as Tunisia – one of the countries that are participating in the program “Transformation Partnership” of the Foreign Ministry. Even if German-Libyan cooperation projects cannot take place in Libya, measures for support and international cooperation can be implemented and developed – in Germany or on the ground in Tunisia.

The objective of the seminar is to guarantee Libyan universities a continued contact with the international scientific society and encourage the creation of tri- or multilateral project activities. On the 16th of April, Libyan partners will meet with Tunisian project coordinators in Sousse. These coordinators are cooperating with Germany in the context of structural projects. Building regional networks can also prove beneficial for the German partners and will allow them to establish larger professional networks.

In 2014, the DAAD awarded scholarships for 8 Libyan citizens within the terms of different scholarship programs and projects. In 2015, a short-term measure within the program “Transformation Partnership” enabled a research cooperation between the universities of Saarbrücken and Benghazi.

Programs and scholarship opportunities for Libya can be found here: Libya 

Report: Beate Schindler-Kovats

Translation: Verena Michaeli, kulturweit volunteer

Pictures: Fatima Ayari

In fact, cooperation programmes between German and Arab universities focus on the modernization of the apprenticeship and the development of the research structure and management, as well as active contribution to the improvement of research and teaching in the partner countries as development of curricula, modules, etc., targeting the employability of the future graduates, transfer from universities to economy.

DAAD Links