The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
Since 2002 - with financial means from the German Federal Foreign Office - the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) has successfully been supporting the rebuilding of Higher Education in Afghanistan. International exchange and cultural dialogue are important building blocks for sustainable crisis management and conflict resolution. DAAD, the worldís largest funding organization for the academic exchange of students and scholars, is committed to supporting Afghanistan over the long term. Afghanistanís young academics are one of its most valuable assets and they are fully committed to creating a better future for their country. DAADís commitment comes in many forms Ė from scholarship funding for Masterís and doctoral students, grants to professionals and managers in Good Governance programmes, to guest lecturers from Germany and German-Afghan university partnerships.
DAAD is investing in these young minds. DAAD has granted scholarships to more than 2,500 Afghan graduates and academic staff between 2002 and 2011. DAADís foremost goal is to improve the quality of academic teaching in Afghanistan. One step in this direction has been the new Bachelorís and Masterís curricula, which DAAD has been developed jointly by the German area coordinators and their Afghan colleagues in eight different areas of study. Former DAAD scholarship holders return to Afghanistan better qualified and to improve academic programmes, and are now reaching thousands of Afghan students as university lecturers.
Interview with Dr. Dieter Ortmeyer
Head of the DAAD Liaison Office
Ramz- What is the focus of your work in Kabul?
The DAAD Liaison Office is the link between the Afghan and German institutions involved in academic development. In Kabul, I am the contact person for German universities, long-term lecturers, lecturers, and department coordinators who travel regularly to Afghanistan to meet with their Afghan colleagues as part of the ongoing efforts to improve teaching and research at the Afghan universities. I coordinate all of DAADís programme work in Afghanistan. An important aspect of the job for me is the consulting and support I provide to young Afghan men and women interested in studying at a German university. In Germany there are almost 13,000 degree programmes to choose from, so just about any specialization is possible. Every year several hundred Afghan university students apply to DAAD for a scholarship to pursue a Masterís or doctoral degree. I donít make the selection decisions Ė nor does the DAAD. Based on the qualifications of the Afghan applicants, Professors of our selection committee decide who will receive a scholarship or not.
Ramz- The DAAD Liaison Office is located in Afghanistanís Ministry of Higher Education. What is the significance of this?
DAAD has been in Kabul since 2002 Ė and since 2006 in the building of the Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE). This has more than just symbolic value: DAADís work is by no means a solo effort. It closely coordinates its work with the Afghan government. The long-standing cooperation with the ministry means that we have established a bond of trust and friendship over the years. Relationships are an important factor, if you want to achieve something in Afghanistan. As the worldís largest funding organization for the international exchange of students and scholars, DAAD is a highly respected and welcome partner.
Ramz- What kind of academic degrees do university lecturers in Afghanistan hold?
Thanks to the DAAD, the number of Afghan lecturers with top academic training has steadily increased. The Masterís and PhD degree holders are important multipliers at their universities back home. This is why we will continue to support highly qualified students and young professors. The number of female university students has increased significantly Ė itís roughly 20 per cent nationally, and in IT itís even up to 35 per cent.
Ramz- How have the universities benefitted so far from DAADís support?
In March 2002 DAADís Secretary General, Mrs. Dr. Dorothea RŁland and her team of several German Professors travelled to Afghanistan for their first fact finding mission. Despite the destroyed university buildings, seminar rooms and laboratories, they found incredibly driven students and lecturers brimming with optimism. Now, nearly ten years later, by the committed work of our Afghan partners and by DAADís professionalism and expertise on Higher Education for decades we are proudly looking at a success story. In Afghanistan DAAD mainly supports the areas of German, IT, Good Governance, the natural sciences, geo-sciences and economics. German department coordinators and their Afghan colleagues have, among other things, developed model Bachelor curricula which have been successfully implemented for years now. In many places they are currently working on Master-level curricula as well. DAAD has funded German guest lecturers in Afghanistan and fellowships for Afghan lecturers in Germany; it has funded training programmes in Afghanistan, donated equipment and other items, and granted scholarships for Masterís and PhD degree programmes. Flagship degree programmes and faculties have been created, serving as models for those to come. Entire laboratories have been established and equipped. The faculty deans from across Afghanistan meet regularly at the Ministry of Higher Education to exchange ideas.
Ramz- What is the DAAD Public Policy and Good Governance scholarship about?
It is a DAAD initiative that has been integrated into the German governmentís Afghanistan policy and implemented jointly by DAAD and the Willy Brandt School of Public Policy at the University of Erfurt. It prepares Afghan university students for careers in Afghanistanís public sector. The programme begins with a nine-month preparatory course, which is specially tailored to Afghanistan and its current situation. This is followed by the two-year international Masterís degree programme Ė the Master of Public Policy (MPP). A total of 39 Afghan students have enrolled in the Willy Brandt School in Erfurt since 2008. Fourteen of them completed their Masterís in June of 2011. As of this year, fifteen students are in their second year of study and ten new Afghan DAAD scholarship holders have joined the programme. As a rule, our graduates are very well received in Afghanistanís ministries and regional administrative offices. Seven of the current Erfurt graduates have applied for placement through the programme. Five are back in Kabul and three already have a good chance of being offered a management-level ministry position. The Erfurt programme also includes the option of an internship at an Afghan government ministry or NGO. Up to three months in duration, these internships provide graduates with a valuable stepping stone to future positions.
Ramz- What do you find most exciting about your work in Afghanistan?
Education is the foundation for fair, future-oriented and sustainable development, democracy and peace. I am proud of working in Afghanistan. Since 2004 I have learned a lot about the country. The diversity of its languages, ethnic groups, and landscapes Ė it fascinates me. Afghanistan is a young and vibrant country: 42 per cent of Afghans are younger than 15. The country has been changing so fast and there is an unbelievable energy and spirit of renewal among the people. It motivates me enormously to support Afghanistan.
Ramz- How long will DAAD stay in Afghanistan?
DAAD will be engaged in Afghanistan over the long term Ė even after the handover of security responsibilities in 2014. DAAD has supported academic exchange with Afghanistan and the Afghan universities since the 1960ís. And this will not change in the future. My dream for the near future is that German students also attend Afghan universities as a way to gain experience abroad.
The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
ďSociety in Change - Change by ExchangeĒ
International exchange and cultural dialogue are important building blocks for sustainable crisis management and conflict resolution.
The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is the largest funding organization in the world supporting the international exchange of students and scholars. Since it was founded in 1925, more than 1.5 million scholars in Germany and abroad have received DAAD funding. It is a registered association and its members are German institutions of higher education and student bodies. Its activities go far beyond simply awarding grants and scholarships. The DAAD supports the internationalization of German universities, promotes German studies and the German language abroad, 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 the federal funding for various ministries, primarily the German Federal Foreign Office, but also from the European Union and a number of enterprises, organizations and foreign governments. Its head office is in Bonn, but the DAAD also has an office in the German capital, Berlin.
It maintains liaison with and provides advice to its main partner countries on every continent via a network of 14 regional offices and 50 information centres and the Liaison Office in Kabul. The DAAD runs over 250 programmes, through which it funds more than 74,000 German and foreign scholars worldwide per year. These programmes range from semesters abroad for undergraduates to doctoral programmes, from internships to visiting lectureships, and from information-gathering visits to assisting with the establishment of new universities.
How to apply for a DA AD Scholarship?
You can apply for a Master or a PhD scholarship.
For a first, more general information on DAAD Scholarship Programmes 2012/2013 for Afghanistan,
It is important to look at the required application details, as they might vary from one scholarship programme to the other.
We explain here the requirements for the regular DAAD Masterís and PhD scholarship programme, run by DAAD section 442. These rules may not apply to the PPGG programme, the DAAD/UCA programme or for postgraduate courses with relevance to developing countries. Depending on the programme, different DAAD sections might be in charge. Please kindly see the country-specific information on our website:
In general, you have to submit the following documents together with the application form. Please submit a complete set of application documents. Incomplete applications cannot be considered for the final selection.
1. Full curriculum vitae. Please include information on your current job situation.
2. Detailed and precise motivation letter.
3. Regarding admission for studies: DAAD cannot grant you admission for studies at German university. You must apply for admission by yourself directly at the university you wish to study at. Each university website explains this process. Find out the duration of the course, date of start, course language requirements and amount of tuition fees besides the formal steps for receiving formal admission at university.
For Masterís studies: Proof of contact to at least three German host institutions (at best one final admission at German host institutions or three support letter by university teachers showing the applicants interest in the Masterís programmes or copies of email correspondence about the admission requirements).
Please, consider the fact that tuition fees higher than Ä 500 are not covered by DAAD. A Masterís programme including a semester abroad outside Germany could create problems.
For PhD studies: Applicants need a letter of support from a German PhD supervisor, stating the PhD topic. The applicant himself must write a PhD proposal and discuss it with his future supervisor for approval.
You can find study programmes at German Universities under these links:
4. Two recommendation letters by university teachers
5. Officially authenticates copies of academic certificates (School-leaving certificate, Ba/Bsc and/or MA/MSc certificates etc.)
6. Language certificate: Applicants without knowledge of German or very good knowledge of English have to submit a TOEFL or IELTS-Test which must not be older than one year. Only TOEFL or IELS Tests are internationally recognized. Applications without TOEFL/IELTS cannot be considered for selection!!!
7. Recent photographs
8. Documents relating to periods of practical trainings or work certificates
9. List of publications if any
10. Copy of your passport
Application deadline for the regular DAAD Masterís and PhD programme:
30 September. Starting from 2012, applicants have different opportunities to hand in the documents. Please choose only one of them:
∑ German Embassy in Kabul
∑ DAAD office in Kabul or
∑ DAAD head office in Bonn
Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany Kabul, Wazir Akbar Khan Mena 6, Kabul / Afghanistan.
DAAD Liaison Office Kabul, Ministry of Higher Education, Kabul/Afghanistan
DAAD head office, section 442, Afghanistan desk, Kennedyallee 50, 53175 Bonn, Germany, firstname.lastname@example.org
Email application must be completed by sending hard copies to DAAD office Germany. Documents arriving after 30 September will not be considered.
Selection process and selection criteria:
DAAD head office Germany will do a formal check up of the application documents. All applicants will receive a confirmation of receipt. After the formal check up, a reduced group of selected candidates will be invited to meet in Kabul with DAAD staff for a personal interview (if security situation allows this, it will take place in November 2012). Only these candidates will receive a written invitation at least one week prior to the personal interview.
If not already included in the original application set, authenticated copies have to be handed over to DAAD stuff in Kabul during the interview at the latest.
The final selection of candidates takes place in Bonn. It is done by an independent selection committee of university teachers. Results will not be available before mid February 2012. Applicants will be informed by email. Please keep DAAD informed about any change of address, email address or phone number.
Further information and advice:
Dr. Dieter Ortmeyer
DAAD Liaison Office Kabul
Ministry of Higher Education
For an appointment, please contact the DAAD Liaison Office Kabul via email: email@example.com
Kindly find general DAAD information at:
1. Scholarship database
2. General Information for Scholarship Applicants
3. Application Forms / Downloads: