Global Partners of Germany – Alumniportal Deutschland

Project description

Title: Global Partners of Germany – Alumniportal Deutschland II
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Global
Lead executing agencies: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ); German Federal Foreign Office
Overall term: 2012 to 2016

Context
Around 300,000 foreign students are currently enrolled at German universities. There are also many students receiving scholarships at other educational and research establishments, and people taking part in training programmes and courses run by German institutions in Germany and abroad.

During this period of study or training, when students have a particularly close connection with Germany, they make many personal and professional contacts, experience what it is like to learn and work in a German environment, and gain expertise and skills.

These alumni of German institutions form part of the relationship network within the field of German development and international cooperation. They can make a decisive contribution to the global development policy agenda or help to resolve specific development problems in their home countries. A global contacts, skills, knowledge and careers network is being set up to help alumni achieve these goals and strengthen long-term professional collaboration with and between alumni and German institutions across the world.

Objective
Across the world, German institutions increasingly seek to harness the skills of alumni for individual projects or long-term collaboration.

Approach
The programme is working in three different areas.

Encouraging collaboration between alumni/alumni networks and German institutions. We are identifying areas – such as projects, strategic initiatives or dialogue formats – in German development/international cooperation organisations in which alumni’s skills could add particular value. Experts can then be introduced to potential clients and partners with the help of an alumni database.

Helping alumni to increasingly organise themselves into networks and carry out projects independently. We are helping them to kick-start projects or launch their own initiatives in collaboration with German development/international cooperation partners by offering technical, strategic and organisational consultancy, continuing professional development, a job portal and cofinancing. We also enable alumni to share their expertise via various dialogue and networking formats.

Establishing the Alumniportal Deutschland as a virtual platform for knowledge sharing and collaboration. Alumni will find numerous opportunities for developing their skills and sharing their expertise on the portal (including webinars, discussion forums, specialist groups, courses, job vacancies, etc.). They can also link up with German institutions and businesses across the world, either for individual projects or long-term collaboration. In addition, universities, foundations and alumni networks are using the portal to stay in touch with their alumni.

GIZ runs the Alumniportal Deutschland in cooperation with its partners, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Goethe-Institut and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. It also collaborates with other associate partners including the German Federal Foreign Office (AA), the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), political foundations, Deutsche Welle and the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK).

Results
Between 2012 and 2014, the expert database on the Alumniportal was redeveloped to a more professional standard so that it could serve as a basis for alumni activities across organisations. By the end of 2014, the database contained more than 100,000 people, of which almost half are women. The alumni are increasingly taking advantage of the different networking opportunities as a way of sharing experiences and showcasing their skills online. Through online projects, alumni working in international teams devised approaches to resolving global issues in the areas of sustainability and the digital Society.

Between 2012 and 2014, 36 locally based activities were carried out in 13 countries. These initiatives helped networks to consolidate and organise themselves into broad-based umbrella organisations and to share specialist knowledge and experience. Around 100 networks were identified that are interested in further cooperation with Germany and German institutions.

Contact

Sabine Olthof
sabine.olthof@giz.de