German Academic Exchange Service

German Academic Exchange Service
Abbreviation DAAD
Motto Change by exchange
Formation 1925
Type Eingetragener Verein (registered association)
Headquarters Bonn, Germany
Margret Wintermantel
EUR 407.4m (2012)[1]

The German Academic Exchange Service or DAAD (German: Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst) is the largest German support organisation in the field of international academic co-operation.


DAAD headquarters in Bonn

DAAD is a private, federally funded and state-funded, self-governing national agency of the institutions of higher education in Germany, representing 365 German higher education institutions (100 universities and technical universities, 162 general universities of applied sciences, and 52 colleges of music and art) [2003].

The DAAD itself does not offer programs of study or courses, but awards competitive, merit-based grants for use toward study and/or research in Germany at any of the accredited German institutions of higher education. It also awards grants to German students, doctoral students, and scholars for studies and research abroad. With an annual budget of nearly 400 million Euros and supporting approximately 50,000 grantees annually, approximately 11,000 of which are on long-term scholarships, the DAAD is in fact the largest such academic grant organisation worldwide . The organisation was founded on 1 January 1925 but closed down in 1945, only to be refounded again in 1950.

Headquarters and regional offices

DAAD official reception in 1961

The DAAD headquarters are in Bonn and there are 15 international regional branch offices which exist to provide information and advice on study and research opportunities, as well as available grants, tailored to students and academics within their region.

The DAAD New York office serves residents of the United States and Canada who are enrolled or employed at American and Canadian higher education institutions, and would like to study or pursue research in Germany. From the perspective of this side of the exchange, the DAAD's mission is to facilitate American and Canadian students' access to the distinguished German institutions of higher education and research—from research universities (Universitäten) to universities of applied sciences (Fachhochschule), colleges of music and art, libraries and archives, and research institutions such as the Max Planck Institutes.

List of regional offices

DAAD offices in Yaoundé, Cameroon

DAAD scholarships and programmes

The DAAD grants administered by the DAAD abroad are available to students of all academic disciplines and at each academic degree level, including undergraduates, graduating undergraduates and recent graduates with a BA, Masters degree students, doctoral students, PhD candidates and postdoctoral scholars, and faculty.

The DAAD worldwide network also includes around 50 information centres and around 450 DAAD lecturer positions.


The DAAD is mainly funded by the German government and the European Union. In 2012, the DAAD received 407.4 million Euro.[1]

Involvement in the Syrian Civil War

During the fall of 2014, the DAAD, supported by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, launched a program called the Leadership for Syria.[2] The declared aim of the program was to create "a select elite among Syria's future leadership" for "active participation in organizing" post-war Syria.[2] In practice, the goal was to ensure that what was at the time (late 2014) seen as an inevitable post-regime government would be firmly founded on the basis of liberal democracy, and more over, would be friendly to Germany's foreign interests.

In the initial stage of the program, 271 Syrians seen as suitable for university scholarships were chosen from potential candidates who were "either still living in Syria or in one of the bordering countries (Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey), or who had fled to Germany".[2] The former were then brought to Germany to join those participants who were already there. The scholarships were to various universities throughout Germany. The German Foreign Office funded the bulk of the scholarships (200) with the balance being sponsored by Baden Wurttemberg (50) and North Rhine Westphalia (21).[2]

The scholarship curriculum included an introductory language course for those students who were not already fluent in, or otherwise had no prior knowledge of, German. Alongside this was a concomitant obligatory element intended to imbue the planned future Syrian elite with the "fundamental and practical knowledge and skills in political sciences, economics, social sciences, as well as operational competence."[2]

In late 2015, plans were being drawn up for a massive expansion of the program during 2016.[2] However even by that time, a major reversal of fortunes for the Syrian opposition, in particular those of its nominally pro-western elements, was calling into doubt not only that expansion but also the rationale of the entire 'Leadership For Syria' program. As of early 2016, the future of the program along with that of similar international initiatives is in question.

Notable DAAD Alumni

See also


  1. 1 2 3 "DAAD annual report 2012" (PDF).
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Leadership for Syria". German News Information Services GmbH. 18 December 2015. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
  3. The University of Adelaide: Researcher's Profile, retrieved 16 September 2016.

External links

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