In the coming weeks, Germany will assume the presidency of the Council of the European Union. During the six-month presidency, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) expects the German Federal Government to set the course for strengthening Education and Science within the EU. Key themes will include Brexit negotiations, academic freedom and the Erasmus exchange programme.

Promoting potential worldwide, strengthening academic networks and bringing expertise to international relations – these are the key spheres of action in the German Academic Exchange Service’s (DAAD) new strategy. With the paper, the world’s largest funding organisation for academic exchange is setting the course for the next five years, addressing the main opportunities and challenges for the international positioning of German higher education institutions and the academic system up until 2025.

Together with prominent European scholars, and presidents of higher education institutions and organisations, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) call on universities and politicians to strengthen the European Higher Education Area. Shortly before the anniversary of the Bologna Declaration, with the Eberbach Statement the signatories appeal to stand for fundamental academic and societal values. The appeal is also supported by the Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany.

A reliable database is key to successfully developing the internationality of a university. The new indicator portal “HSI Monitor – Profile Data on the Internationality of Universities” enables universities in Germany to access a multitude of internationalisation indicators. The portal is a joint project of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AvH), the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK). It is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

The DAAD has launched a follow up initiative to the successful HOPES programme (Higher and Further Education Opportunities and Perspectives for Syrians). The new HOPES-LEB initiative sponsored by the European Union (EU) with 8.4 million Euro aims at enabling vulnerable members of the host community and Syrian refugees in Lebanon to pursue higher education and acquire additional skills.