By Ndubuisi Micheal Obineme
The German Academic Exchange Service known as DAAD is the largest German support organization in the field of international academic co-operation. Founded in 1925, it is the largest funding organization in the world supporting the international exchange of students and scholars.
DAAD is a registered association and its members are German institutions of higher education and their student bodies. Its activities go far beyond simply awarding grants and scholarships.
In 2012, 171 Nigerians and 23 Germans were funded by DAAD. Since 1960, 2027 scholarships were awarded to Nigerians. The scholarships offer Nigerian graduates from development and newly industrialised fields from all disciplines and with at least two years’ professional experience the chance to take a postgraduate or Master’s degree at a state or state-recognized German university, and in exceptional cases to take a doctoral degree, and to obtain a university qualification (Master’s/PhD) in Germany.
DAAD promotes the training of specialists from development and newly industrialized countries. Welltrained local experts, who are networked with international partners, play an important part in the sustainable development of their countries. They are the best guarantee for a better future with less poverty, more education and health for all.
The funding supports university partnerships between German and Nigerian universities. Also the improvement of university management and quality assurance receives a special attention. All programmes are based on the interest in, and commitment to, development cooperation shown
by many German universities.
The DAAD uses these programmes to make the knowledge and expertise at German universities available for development cooperation.
Ingo Herbert, Consul General of Germany in Lagos, said that there are over 1, 500 Nigerians studying in Germany and more applications are still coming in. The government would remain steadfast in its support to improve German presence in Nigeria. And, so far, they have already established good contacts with the Lagos and Ogun state government as they are planning on having a German House in the country.
“For the German Academy Exchange Service, we have 2 lecturers in Ife and Ibadan. These are the focal area. We are working with the delegation to get more German companies to come to Nigeria to foster cultural exchange in both sides. We have Nigerian artistes living and working in
Germany,” – Ingo Herbert said