DAAD, 50 years of tradition in supporting bilateral academic cooperation

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“We are proud to be here in Romania working for this mission “, says Michael Jaumann, Director DAAD Information Center Bucharest

 

On the occasion of the German Unity Day coinciding with the anniversary of signing the Romanian-German Friendship Treaty 25 years ago, the Information Center (IC) of the DAAD/ German Academic Exchange Service in Bucharest would like to contribute this message. In the whole array of German institutions like the diplomatic missions, AHK, Goethe Institute and others, the DAAD has the particular task to work for international cooperation in the field of Higher Education. The DAAD’s strategic goals are: providing scholarships for the best, creating and maintaining structures for internationalisation that make academic exchange and mobility possible, and conveying expertise for academic collaborations in form of information and advisory services.

A brief look back at history shows that the DAAD has a long tradition of uniting people and academia. Founded in Heidelberg in 1925 on the initiative of a single student, the DAAD has since become one of the most important funding organisations in the world for the international exchange of students and researchers. The DAAD and its programmes are largely financed by public funding bodies, including the Federal Government of Germany. In 2014, the DAAD had 441 million euros at its disposal. Since it was founded, the DAAD has supported more than 2.0 million academics in Germany and abroad. In 2015, the DAAD funded 127,039 people from all regions of the world – 53 percent of whom were women. Funding and scholarships went to 51,627 foreigners and 75,412 Germans. The DAAD funding programmes provide scholarships which help finance short and long terms abroad and in Germany, doctoral programmes and internships, guest lectureships, visits to information events, and even the establishment of new universities abroad. The DAAD is also a driving force behind the internationalisation efforts of German universities, supports developing countries with building their higher education systems, and promotes study of the German language and German Studies abroad.

This mission of the DAAD also extends to Romania. Coinciding with the start of diplomatic relations between the People’s Republic of Romania and the Federal Republic of Germany in 1967, the DAAD started to support academic cooperation of the two countries. In 1968 the first group of DAAD-funded scholarship holders left Romania; in the same year the first position for a DAAD lecturer from Germany was established – by comparison, this happened in countries like Poland and the Soviet Union not before 1986. The long-term cooperation continues until today: In 2017 the DAAD in Romania is represented by nine lecturers from Germany, who work at universities in Bucharest, Sibiu, Timisoara, Iasi and Cluj-Napoca. In addition, there is the IC in Bucharest functioning as contact point for everyone interested in academic collaboration and cooperation between Romanian and German universities. And the DAAD has its scholarship programs: In 2014 the academic mobility of 594 Romanians and 495 Germans was funded by the DAAD. Since the early 1990ies more than 20.000 students, graduates and scientists have been supported, 14.500 of them being Romanian and about 5.000 German.

By doing this the DAAD and its members hope to contribute to the bilateral political and economic cooperation, and we are proud to be here in Romania working for this mission.