Poland and Germany look to expand on 30-year partnership

Thirty years after the German-Polish friendship treaties of 1991, the organisations hope to intensify and expand academic exchange further.

“We meet to talk about the future. For that is what this agreement stands for, which I hope will boost not only student exchange, but also joint research projects,” said Wojciech Murdzek, deputy minister of Education and Science in Poland.

“Today, [our] exchange stands on a broad basis, but at the same time, we note that there is still room for improvement,” leader of DAAD in Warsaw, Martin Krispin, told The PIE.

“partnership programs and the promotion of young scientists will certainly be at the centre of our considerations”

While Eramsus and EU mobility schemes plays a significant role in academic mobility between the two countries, the DAAD and NAWA are “primarily interested in expanding bilateral cooperation between universities and researchers and promoting lasting and sustainable partnerships”, he continued.

“For this reason, partnership programs and the promotion of young scientists will certainly be at the centre of our considerations.”

The agreement includes DAAD scholarships for Polish students, doctoral candidates, and scientists in Germany, as well as NAWA scholarships for German students, doctoral candidates, and scientists in Poland.

It will also expand the possibility of cooperation between the countries’ universities, support the teaching of the national language in the other country and cooperate in the area of higher education system marketing abroad.

“The heads of the DAAD and NAWA agreed to set up a working group which, against the background of the diverse program experience and funding expertise of both organisations, is to develop and formulate concrete proposals for joint future measures,” Krispin told The PIE.

“Whether these measures will then be open-topic or, for example, focused on specific thematic or subject areas, is currently still open. The DAAD and NAWA also want to cooperate more closely in the form of joint events in order to increase awareness of their funding offerings.”

“This is the first such agreement with a foreign partner institution signed by NAWA,” NAWA director Grażyna Żebrowska added.

“The choice of the institution – namely the DAAD – shows the importance of Germany as our partner. Now, our cooperation has been set in a solid framework. In this time and age, when the situation can change almost within one day, as the pandemic has made rather clear, reliable partners are crucial.”

“Our Warsaw office is one of our most important centres, which best demonstrates how important cooperation with Poland is to us,” Kai Sicks, secretary general of the DAAD added.

“Now, we are joining forces in order to boost the attractiveness of both countries for our students.”

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