The German Academic Exchange Servcice (DAAD) supports students and researchers from both countries in a variety of merit-based scholarship programmes. In 2014, it opened a new information centre in Tel Aviv. The service also maintains a broad alumni network in Israel.
The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) was founded in 1925, dissolved in 1945 and re-established in 1950 as a registered association under private law. Full members can be universities that are represented in the German Rectors’ Conference, as well as the student bodies of these universities. DAAD promotes international academic exchange and is an intermediary organisation for foreign cultural, scientific and development policy. Furthermore, it is a national agency and advisory body for European funding programmes.
Since 1960, DAAD has been involved in academic cooperation with Israel by providing scholarships. The DAAD scholarship programme on Israel includes research scholarships for doctoral students, junior researchers, research stays, study scholarships, scholarships for summer courses and internship placements in both directions as well as alumni programmes. In addition, language and specialist courses in Germany as well as study trips are offered, lectureships and guest lectureships are arranged. Israel is the only country in the Middle East region where the exchange of doctoral students as well as junior researchers is relatively balanced.
DAAD also supports the Centres for German Studies at the Universities of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. In 2007, the Centres for German and European Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the University of Haifa began their work. In March 2014, the first DAAD Information Centre in Israel opened at Tel Aviv University. In addition to the Information Centre with its associated lectorate in Tel Aviv and a language assistant, DAAD is represented by two regular lectorates in Haifa and Jerusalem, as well as by four long-term lectureships (Walter Benjamin Chair at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem since 2000, Laurentius Klein Chair at Dormitio Abbey Jerusalem since 2010, long-term lectureship within the framework of the European Studies Programme at Tel Aviv University, chair at Ben Gurion University in Beer Sheva).
DAAD has been an official partner of the ‘New Kibbutz’ programme since January 2021. ‘New Kibbutz’ first sent students as interns to Israeli companies (high-tech start-ups) in 2015 as part of the 50th anniversary of German-Israeli relations. The programme was launched in cooperation with the Consulate General of the State of Israel for Southern Germany, the Federal Foreign Office and the state governments of Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg, Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate. Funding is provided for internships with a maximum duration of six months. The BMBF is funding the programme with 3.5 million euros.