Higher education

Training tomorrow’s specialists and managers

Reading room at a library in Quito, Ecuador

Education, science and research are essential for a country's social and economic development. In the globalisation process, knowledge is increasingly becoming a crucial locational advantage in international competition – the need for specialists and managers in developing and emerging countries is growing steadily. This in turn gives rise to demand for high-quality, freely accessible higher education (specialised technical colleges, vocational training colleges, universities). The positive gains achieved in basic and secondary education in Germany's partner countries mean that more and more young adults, having completed secondary school, aspire to go on to achieve higher education qualifications.

In many poorer countries, however, colleges and universities are not in a position to make use of internationally available knowledge or to generate and disseminate knowledge of their own. Universities do not have the capacity to absorb the growing number of students, and many curricula are outdated and of little practical relevance. Tutors may be inadequately trained, underpaid and poorly motivated.

Germany's involvement

In its education strategy, launched in early 2012, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) set out a holistic approach to education promotion encompassing basic and secondary education, vocational training, and higher education. Germany is committed to fair, non-discriminatory access to higher education. For example, support is provided to various scholarship programmes that enable students from disadvantaged backgrounds to benefit from higher education. In addition, training and research fields of relevance to development, for example climate protection, water management and renewable energies, are singled out for promotion.

In addition to applying traditional instruments of development cooperation in developing and emerging countries, the BMZ primarily supports developmentally relevant programmes of partner organisations specialising in international cooperation in the field of university-level education and research. The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation are two such examples.

Grants to such partners have increased significantly in recent years. Some 45 million euros were earmarked in 2013.

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