The interest of German universities to extend their networks within Ghana has been on the rise for the last years. The Information Centre Accra can attest for that: The numbers of requests asking for help in finding the right partner have been surging.
The Ghanaian Higher Education is diverse and can be confusing for university representatives who have never spent time in the country. In 2018, the DAAD Ghana organized two matchmaking events for German universities in Ghana. With success; Funding for projects with Ghanaian partners tripled in the targeted EU+ capacity building programme in 2019. Realizing how important those first connections between universities are, the Information Centre has been putting more emphasis on connecting a higher number of potential partners in Germany and Ghana in a more systematic way. Unfortunately, in 2020, face-to-face matchmaking events have become more difficult than ever due to the COVID-19-induced travel and event restrictions. However, at the same time several initiatives of the DAAD have been launched to help overcome this circumstance.
Every year, the DAAD organises the networking conference “NeKo” to give German Higher Education representatives a chance to exchange with DAAD staff from all over the world. In 2020, the yearly took place in a purely virtual format for the first time, giving a lot more participants the opportunity to take part. In the case of Ghana, this resulted in about three times as many German universities consulting with the DAAD Information Centre to find potential partners in Ghana. Just recently, the DAAD marketing department published a country profile of Ghana’s Higher Education landscape for German universities – as the third Subsaharan country after South Africa and Kenya.
Recognizing the need for more systematic matchmaking to support the internationalisation of German universities, the DAAD also founded the Competence Centre for International Scientific Cooperation. Launched at the end of 2019, the Competence Centre offers their services to all German universities looking to expand their international cooperation portfolio. It connects them to potential partners and helps select the best funding instruments to create successful new cooperations. The new service is currently in the piloting phase supporting two German universities looking for a Ghanaian partner university.
A service targeting German Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS) in particular was also launched in 2020, supporting those institutions that wish to enhance their international cooperation profile. In the UAS.International programme the DAAD is funding students and researchers at universities of applied sciences to carry out study and research visits abroad. Students are encouraged to share their experiences with peers at their home universities and put this experience to use for international university-based and practical collaborations. With different funded modules, the programme aims to strategically implement the internationalisation process at all university levels and across all member groups, i.e. students, instructors, researchers and administrative staff. UAS also receive direct support in their efforts to establish cooperation projects with specific international partners.
If you represent a Ghanaian university and are looking for a German partner university for a specific project, please get in touch with the DAAD Information Centre in Accra, we would be glad to add you to a new database we are currently building.