Universities throughout the world are operating in an increasingly dynamic environment characterised by global challenges. They face intense competition for students, highly qualified researchers and third-party funds. Despite an increasing number of students, public funds are stagnating or not keeping pace. In many regions deregulation has given universities new scope for action, but this growth in autonomy goes hand in hand with rising demands from government and society. Universities are being required to ensure the quality and relevance of education and prove that state funds are being used efficiently.

In light of these developments, strategic planning and operative management at all levels of control in universities is becoming more and more important. This holds true in developing countries too, where the demand for tertiary education is increasing at such an immense rate that governments are not always sufficiently able to meet it. This results in a growing number of private universities as well as the import of university education by foreign providers. The quality of higher education in developing countries is hence becoming a very pressing issue.

The DIES programme, jointly developed by the DAAD and the HRK, offers training courses, dialogue events, projects and partnerships. A whole package of measures assists universities in developing countries in adjusting their courses of study to meet international standards of quality, expanding their research capacity and making their organisational structures more competitive.

20 Years of DIES - working together on global university development

8. November 2021 For 20 years, the HRK and DAAD have been promoting the development of the higher education sector and, in particular, the professionalisation of higher education management in the Global South within the framework of the joint DIES Programme. A conference jointly organised by the HRK and DAAD to mark this occasion focused on the role that higher education management plays in the sustainable development of higher education institutions. Around 160 university representatives from the DIES partner regions in Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia, as well as from Europe, discussed how professional university management can contribute to anchoring the topic even better in various dimensions of university activities, against the backdrop of the different significance of sustainability in the various countries. There was agreement that taking into account the different regional needs and perspectives is of particular relevance (read more).

DIES-Seminar in Cooperation with the Iranian Allameh Tabataba‘i University

Keen interest in expansion of cooperation

17. July 2017 Cooperation between German and Iranian universities was the focus of a two-day seminar in Tehran. At the event, which was organised by the German Rectors' Conference (HRK) in cooperation with the Allameh Tabataba‘i University and with the support of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) - Information Centre Tehran, 20 university leaders from Iran and Germany as well as around 60 academics and heads of international offices from both countries exchanged information and views on the implementation of internationalisation strategies and the expansion of existing cooperation structures. More

DIES Information Visit "Public-Private-Partnership: Cooperation between Universities and Business"

Coburg/Bamberg/Ilmenau 29 Nov - 3 Dec 2015
In continuation of the DIES-activities in Jordan last year the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK)  organized a “DIES-Information Visit” to Germany for university presidents from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine from 29 November - 3 December 2015.

The event aimed to provide information on higher education in Germany and a discussion platform and seminar on “Public-Private Partnership: Cooperation between Higher Education Institutions and Business” with examples of good practice from German universities.

DIES-Seminar "Enhancing Internationalisation and Managing Partnerships between universities in Germany and Jordan"

Amman, 12/13 November 2012
In cooperation with the University of Jordan, the German Rectors' Conference (Hochschulrektorenkonferenz - HRK) organized a seminar in Jordan which brought together university presidents, directors of international offices and other educational experts. They discussed internationalisation strategies and cooperation models. As examples of good practice, the University of Cottbus and Yarmouk University presented their projects of international cooperation. More

DIES Conference "Strengthening Universities, Enhancing Capacities - Higher Education Management for Development"

Bonn, 28/29 November 2011
With the international conference "Strengthening Universities, Enhancing Capacities - Higher Education Management for Development" the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the German Rectors' Conference (HRK) celebrated the ten years anniversary of their joined DIES programme.

DIES Conference "Enhancing Quality Across Borders - Regional Cooperation in Quality Assurance in Higher Education"

Bonn, 18-20 June 2007
The process of intensifying transnational, regional cooperation in the quality assurance of degree programmes is becoming ever more important. Given the internationalisation that is taking place in the field of higher education and in the globalisation of labour markets, this development cannot only be seen in Europe, but also in the emerging economies, in countries in transition and in developing countries. An international conference in Bonn addressed the general frameworks for and practical implementation of regional quality assurance networks in the higher education sector.

DIES Conference: "Cross-Border Education and Development Co-operation"

Bonn, 30 June - 1 July 2005
The education and training of young professionals from developing countries contributes to the achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. Postgraduate courses jointly organised by German universities and their partner institutions in developing countries and countries in transition are specifically designed to meet the particular training requirements of this target group. An international conference in Bonn discussed the frameworks for and practical realisation of such international training networks.

DIES Conference "Achieving the Millenium Development Goals: A Challenge for Global Higher Education"

Berlin, 3/4 November 2004
At the Berlin Conference HRK, DAAD and GTZ formulated their joint goals in higher education development cooperation. More than 300 university leaders and staff as well as national and international experts from science, politics and business accepted the invitation to the conference that was held on the historic premises of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences.