The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is a joint organization of German institutions of higher education and their student bodies. Via scholarship programs, the DAAD enables students, researchers and university lecturers to take advantage of the best study and research opportunities available. It promotes transnational cooperation and university partnerships and is the German national agency for EU higher education cooperation. In addition to overseeing the International DAAD Academy (iDA), the DAAD operates a network of 69 Regional Offices and Information Centres worldwide.
Since its founding in 1925, about 2.6 million scholars have received DAAD funding in Germany and abroad. It is a registered association and its members include German institutions of higher education and student bodies. Its activities go far beyond awarding grants and scholarships. The DAAD supports the internationalisation of German universities, promotes German studies and the German language abroad. It assists developing countries in establishing effective universities and advises decision makers on matters of cultural, education and development policy.
Its budget is derived mainly from federal funding for various ministries, as well as from the European Union and several enterprises, organisations and foreign governments. The DAAD’s head office is located in Bonn, while another office is situated in the German capital, Berlin, where the project Germany Close Up is located. The DAAD maintains contact with and provides advice to its main partner countries on every continent via a network of regional offices and information centres.
In 2019, the DAAD funded more than 145.000 German and international scholars worldwide. Funding offers range from a year abroad for undergraduates; doctoral programmes; internships; visiting lectureships and information gathering visits to assisting with the establishment of new universities abroad. Voluntary, independent selection committees decide on the funding. The DAAD supports international activities of German institutions of higher education through marketing services, publications, the staging of events and training courses.