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India, Germany commit €7m to HE partnership

The German Academic Exchange Service, DAAD, and the University Grants Commission in India have launched a new joint programme to strengthen higher education partnerships between the two countries.

Joybrato Mukherjee, vice president of DAAD and Ved Prakash, chairman of UGC signing the agreement. Photo: DAAD

In 2014/15, the number of Indian students at German universities reached 11,860, an increase from 9,619 the year before

The Indo-German Partnership in Higher Education programme was made official earlier this month in New Delhi in the presence of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and German chancellor Angela Merkel.

“German universities see India as an important partner”

Both the Ministry of Human Resource Development in India and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research will contribute €3.5m over the course of four years starting in July 2016 to fund the programme.

Aditi Gosavi, senior advisor in public relations and communications at the DAAD South Asia regional office in New Delhi, told The PIE News that the IGP is the latest programme that “aims at further intensifying the cooperation between Indian and German universities”.

“Both sides look forward to intensifying partnerships at the institutional level in contrast to partnerships exclusively managed by individual departments/academics,” she said.

“This is expected to contribute towards creation of sustainable long term academic cooperation and internationalisation of the participating institutions.”

Universities in the two countries can apply for the programme to receive funding toward their internationalisation strategies.

Institutions on both sides should specify the scope of their collaboration when submitting their application for the programme.

The funding will be put towards joint research projects between institutions in both countries, including exchange of graduate students, faculty and academic administrators, according to Gosavi.

The UGC and DAAD, described as the “implementing agencies” for this programme, will manage the application procedure, the selection process and the financial support.

“Both sides look forward to intensifying partnerships at the institutional level”

This is not the first time that DAAD and the UGC have set up joint partnerships in the field of higher education.

In 2006 a Project-based Personnel Exchange Programme was launched enabling universities from both countries to apply for funding for joint research projects.

Meanwhile, the Bilateral Exchange of Academics programme facilitates the exchange of senior academics to visit the other country’s research institutes or universities for a period of time.

“German universities see India as an important partner,” said Margret Wintermantel, president of DAAD.

“The new programme aims at further strengthening the existing academic collaborations and creating possibilities for cooperation that goes beyond the conventional.”

The DAAD regional office has been in operation in India since 1960, promoting Indo-German academic collaboration.

In 2014/15, the number of Indian students at German universities reached 11,860, an increase from 9,619 the year before.

Indian students also form the second largest group of international students at German universities studying at master’s or PhD level.

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