On the occasion of the German Unity Day the Information Center (IC) of the DAAD 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/ German Academic Exchange Service 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 in the academic sphere. 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 2017, the DAAD had 522 million Euros at its disposal. Since it was founded, the DAAD has supported more than 2.0 million academics in Germany and abroad. In 2017, the DAAD funded 139,758 people from all regions of the world – 50 percent of whom were women. Funding and scholarships went to 61,528 foreigners and 78,230 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 2019 the DAAD in Romania is represented by eight 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 for the exchange between the two countries: In 2018 the academic mobility of 379 Romanians and 480 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 – both in the anniversary year commemorating the major change of 1989 and for many years to come.