In many respects, the contact between Chile and Germany is very strong due to the historical connections that exist. In higher education, Chile is the second-most important South American cooperation partner for German Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) after Brazil.

Since 1996 the HRK has been in close contact with the Chilean Rectors' Council (CRUCH) (Consejo de Rectores de las Universidades Chilenas), which unites the 25 public universities in Chile, and regularly attends bilateral meetings.

German-Chilean doctoral programmes

This joint initiative of the HRK and the CRUCH aims to create attractive, high-quality training opportunities for German doctoral students with relevant topics and an international focus. It also aims to support the Chilean project of a long-term increase in the number of Chilean doctoral students, in order to improve the conditions of successful, lasting academic cooperation between Germany and Chile.
In the meantime, four related projects have been successfully set up in Agro-economics (Universities of Göttingen and Talca), Astrophysics (University of Heidelberg and the PUC), Psychology (Universities of Heidelberg, Chile and the PUC) and Biology (Universities of Regensburg, Austral de Chile and Andres Bello).

HRK delegation to Chile 2009
In March 2009, at the invitation of the Chilean Rectors' Council, an HRK delegation headed by Professor Wintermantel, President of the HRK, travelled to Chile to participate in several bilateral discussions on higher education policy. The highlight of the meeting was the signing of an agreement between the HRK and the CRUCH on joint German-Chilean doctoral programmes  to strengthen academic cooperation between universities in both countries in selected research areas. This initiative aims to foster an equal and mutually beneficial cooperation that will take into account the skills and resources offered by both the German and Chilean parties.

German-Chilean Framework Agreement
An initial Framework Agreement on German-Chilean Cooperation in Higher Education was signed by the HRK and the CRUCH in 1999 in the presence of the then Chilean president Eduardo Frei. It was supplemented by an additional agreement in 2000, before a joint declaration was signed in 2002, in which the implementation of binational doctoral degree programmes was recommended.