Universities and Research Institutions

© GIZ / Carlos Vargas

Universities are catalysts for social, economic and technological development and are central to achieving the global sustainability goals. The demand for tertiary education is growing dynamically. Universities train specialists and managers, generate valuable knowledge and innovations. They develop problem-solving approaches for pressing questions of today and tomorrow.


Higher education institutions are crucial for the implementation of global sustainability strategies (e.g. Agenda 2030, Paris Climate Agreement). On the one hand, high-quality higher education is a goal itself SDGs (SDG 4), on the other hand, higher education and applied research are important instruments that contribute to the achievement of all SDGs. 

GIZ supports ministries and universities in partner countries in reforming the tertiary sector. In order for university graduates to find adequate employment after completing their studies or to create jobs as self-employed, universities must orient themselves to the requirements of the labour market. We therefore promote the development of practice-oriented courses of study in key sectors (e.g. renewable energies, climate, IT) and development-relevant subject areas and advise on the development of dual university programmes. Furthermore, GIZ supports higher education institutions in the partner countries with the conceptualization and implementation of entrepreneurship centers.

In addition to universities, we cooperate with companies and institutions in the public sector. Where appropriate, we establish cooperation with German universities and promote international exchange. Digital solutions for universities are adapted to local contexts with a view to didactic added value and sustainable institutionalization.

The production factor of knowledge is gaining in importance globally.  We support partner universities in improving the framework conditions for research and innovation. The focus is on strengthening applied research, the transfer of practice and thus cooperation with companies. We support scientists in bringing their innovative research approaches to the international exchange of knowledge.

Alliances between universities, business, civil society and the state are needed, especially on global issues such as climate, water, nutrition, urbanisation or digitisation. We therefore help shape policy advice at various levels through science-to-policy committees.

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