The past year was a great challenge to all of us, as still is the current situation. International mobility in higher education – the core mission of DAAD – has been hampered by border closings, travel restrictions and reiterated lockdowns. Physical mobility has not only been called into question, but literally impossible. And it remains hard to predict what the future will bring in this regard.

Despite these challenges, we are convinced that international education and intercultural exchange are paramount for the personal development, the scientific progress, as well as the strengthening of cross-national relations. The comparatively high numbers of students willing to study in Germany, even amid the pandemic, and the impressive variety of digital or hybrid solutions that have been adopted in teaching and research all around the world leave room for optimism.

This holds particularly true for the higher education cooperation between Jordan and Germany. Although study and research stays, conferences and events had to be postponed or cancelled in 2020, various programs have contributed significantly to international exchange between Germany, Jordan and other countries in the region: In the EDU SYRIA III program, coordinated by the German Jordanian University, DAAD received over 1.000 applications for a MA scholarship, 113 of which have in the meantime been granted. The great majority of the new PhD and third country scholarship holders were able to start their stay on site in Germany or Jordan. And in the regional DAAD programs “transformation partnerships” and “higher education dialogue”, 20 projects were funded in 2020 with Jordanian HEIs alone – just to name a few examples.

Even though the pandemic is far from being over, the DAAD Regional Office Amman is currently planning a variety of activities throughout the year 2021, ranging from the official inauguration of our office, over the extension of our counselling offerings to Iraq and Lebanon, to workshops and events on proposal writing and digital teaching – let alone the already mentioned regional scholarship programs for Jordanians, Syrians, Yemenis and Palestinians. All this would not be possible without the strong commitment of our partners in Jordan and Germany, and of every single person, be it student, researcher, alumnus/alumna, representative of the authorities or other organizations involved.

With that in mind, we are looking forward to the time ahead, and will continue to foster the higher education cooperation between Germany, Jordan, and the whole region.

Best wishes to all of you and stay safe,

Benjamin Schmäling

Director of DAAD Regional Office Amman