The first cooperation between the 2 countries funded by the DAAD was the collaboration between the universities in Bonn and Warsaw, which was launched in 1978. In the meantime, more than 1,300 bilateral cooperation agreements have been registered.
The DAAD supports various forms of institutional collaboration between German and Polish universities within various programmes.
In this context, the so-called ”Eastern partnerships” are the oldest funding instrument, dating back to a cultural agreement between the DAAD and the Federal Foreign Office in 1973. The programme strengthens bilateral university collaboration by making funds available for short-term exchange measures between the participating universities.
Funding for short stays abroad is available not only for students and academics, but also for administrative staff.
The ”German Institute Partnerships” programme targets cooperation between institutes that offer German language and literature and/or German as a foreign language at a German university and their Polish partner institutes. There is a broad range of funding, covering professional development for Polish university teachers, the qualification of future German teachers and lecturers at universities and secondary schools in Germany and Poland, and joint research projects and study programmes. At present, the universities of Warsaw and Wuppertal, Wroclaw and Heidelberg, Bydgoszcz and Mainz are collaborating under this programme.
The so-called ”German-language courses of study” combine degree programmes such as Economics or Law with knowledge of the German language and Germany-specific content. For example, several Schools of German Law (Warsaw, Krakow and Lodz) and the German-Polish Academic Forum (Warsaw) are funded under this programme.
Furthermore, there are two university centres worth highlighting, both co-financed by the DAAD: the Willy Brandt Centre at the University of Wroclaw and the Aleksander Brückner Centre at the universities of Halle and Jena. The Willy Brandt Centre for Germany and Europa Studies (WBZ) was founded in 2002 with the aim of broadening and deepening academic principles through excellent research and teaching for better understanding of Poland and Germany in a converging Europe. Current research projects deal with questions of European integration and the relationship between Poles and German within Europe.
The Aleksander Brückner Centre for Polish Studies was founded in 2012 and is dedicated to interdisciplinary research into forms of Polish statehood, society, language and culture past and present. Since 2013, a new Master’s degree course “Interdisciplinary Polish Studies” has taught language and culture to students from different subject areas. What is more, the academic and cultural programme offered by the Centre has a substantial impact on the public at large.