Funding for Institutional Cooperation

© DAAD Nairobi

An important component in the internationalization of universities is the establishment and implementation of joint strategic partnerships and cooperation projects.

For this purpose, DAAD offers various instruments and program lines with which partnerships and cooperation projects can be funded.

Cooperation with German higher education institutions

There are multiple examples of successful academic cooperation between foreign universities and German higher education institutions (HEI) involving the exchange of students and/or professors, as well as joint academic projects. Nevertheless, there is an even greater potential for establishing new collaboration in diverse fields of science.

German universities: Strong partners for cooperation

Germany is one of the most attractive study destinations in the world. German HEIs are renowned in areas of university cooperation, particularly as concerns potential for innovation, secular tradition, engagement with international cooperation and a focus on internationalization.

There are three kinds of HEIs in Germany; Universities, Applied Science Universities focusing on applied research (Fachhochschulen) and Art and Music Academies (Kunst- und Musikhochschulen). Most HEIs are funded through public financing, and thus are subject to State-run quality control systems. More information available at the Higher Education Compass portal.

Please find more information below:



Name of the programme Targets and target group Benefits Duration Call for applications
Fact Finding Missions The Fact Finding Missions programme helps universities to meet potential cooperation partners in DAC countries. The aim is to use preparatory visits to set up long-term collaboration.

Expert delegations of German university lecturers followed by visits of the foreign partners to Germany

  • Transport
  • upkeep
  • health insurance
depending on the programme Fact Finding Missions – DAAD
SDG Partnerships Contribution to sustainable development in the sense of the 2030 Agenda, the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the development of efficient and cosmopolitan universities.

German universities with at least one partner university in a developing country

  • Travel and short stays by German and foreign university teachers, researchers, students, graduates, doctoral candidates, university staff and alumni
  • Teaching, research and further education and training
  • Organization of events (workshops and conferences)
  • Measures for the development of (digital) teaching and learning materials, including the corresponding technical infrastructure and procurement of teaching/learning materials
  • Creation of materials for target group-oriented public relations work
  • Field trips
  • Measures for the sustainable establishment of networks (e.g. founding of associations or federations, establishment of joint study programmes etc.)
1-4 years SDG-Partnerschaften – DAAD

(In German)

University Advisory Programme 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.

Researchers and German professors

  • 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
2 weeks – 3 monthsup to 4 trips in 2 years University Advisory Programme – DAAD
Transnational Education – Study Programmes abroad Transnational education (TNE) refers

to universities, degree courses and

individual study modules which are

offered abroad essentially for students from the respective host country or region, under the main academic responsibility of a university in another country.

German universities with at least one partner university in a foreign country

  • Implementation of the study programme (e.g. curricular development)
  • Implementation of the study programme (teaching)
  • Didactic-methodical concept
  • Development and implementation of digital teaching/learning scenarios
  • Measures to strengthen the reference to Germany
  • Further education offers within the framework of the regular study programme
  • Mobility and stay of project staff and persons supported in the project
  • scholarships
According tot he call for applications Transnationale Bildung – DAAD (In German)
University-Business-Partnerships between Higher Education Institutions and Business Partners in Germany and in Developing Countries University-Business-Partnerships The programme of “Universitiy-Business Partnership Programme” is intended to promote in particular this transfer of knowledge between higher education institutions and the industry in order to contribute to the interlinking of institutions of higher education and the industry and to expand the dialogue. In the medium term, the programme contributes to ensuring that higher education is better adapted to the requirements and developments of the labour market.

Ethiopia: Textile industry, food processing industry

Rwanda: economics (economy), information and communication technology, tourism, sustainable urban development, mobility concepts (incl. electric mobility), creative industries/film, economy/ statistics

Partnership-related exchange of university teaching staff, mid-level staff, graduates (e.g. doctoral candidates) and students form Germany and the partner countries

Eligible measures are in particular:

  • Trips and short stays of German and foreign university teachers, university teachers, scientists, students, graduates, doctoral students and alumni
  • Organization of events (workshops and conferences etc.)
  • Research and teaching
  • Professional excursions
  • Measures for the development of digital teaching and learning materials incl. corresponding technical infrastructures
up to 4 years University-Business-Partnerships between Higher Education Institutions and Business Partners in Germany and in Developing Countries – DAAD
African Excellence – Centres of African Excellence African Excellence supports African universities to establish centres of excellence, improve the quality of the education they provide, and increase their research capacities, thus enabling future decision-makers in Africa to be trained in line with international standards.

German and foreign universities

In the long term, the programme aims
  • to create centres that are internationally competitive on a sustainable basis and thus publicly visible and
  • to contribute to improving the functioning of socially relevant sectors in African countries as a result of activities performed by graduates in their role as decision-makers.
up to 10 years African Excellence – Centres of African Excellence – DAAD
Partnerships for sustainable solutions with Sub-Saharan Africa– measures for research and integrated postgraduate education and further training The programme “Partnerships for sustainable solutions with Sub-Saharan Africa – measures for research and integrated postgraduate education and training” supports cooperative partnerships between African partners and German universities, non-university research institutes and companies.

The aim of this integrated approach is to interlink joint work on a research topic and its practical implementation with measures for joint postgraduate education and training. The key areas of the cooperative partnerships are urban development, bioeconomy and resource management (funding period 2016-2021) as well as circular economy, food production and processing, logistics and traffic (funding period 2021-2024).

German universities and research institutes

Trips and stays of German scientists as well as short stays of graduates and doctoral candidates in the framework of their postgradual training Up to four years Partnerships for sustainable solutions with Sub-Saharan Africa– measures for research and integrated postgraduate education and further training – DAAD

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