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Call for Applications 2017



The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Department of Continuing Education and Education Management at the Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg in Germany are jointly organising the DIES University Leadership and Management Training Programme UNILEAD in Oldenburg, enabling young management-level professionals at higher education institutions in developing countries to tackle successfully every-day challenges. In order to do so, the programme brings together the topics Project Management, Financing and Investment and Human Resource Management with individual and practice-oriented change projects of each participant.

In 2008, the University of Oldenburg developed the programme together with the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (South Africa) and the DAAD. UNILEAD is part of the DIES programme (Dialogue on Innovative Higher Education Strategies), which has been jointly coordinated by the DAAD and HRK (German Rectors’ Conference) since 2001.

Programme Contents and Methodology

UNILEAD focuses on three key areas:

  1. Project Management (PM). This includes courses on Strategic Management in Projects, Methodology of Project Management and Risk Management
  2. Financing and Investment (F&I). This includes general financing strategies, operating with financial plans, control of solvency as well as the knowledge and use of investment tools and concepts.
  3. Human Resource Management (HRM). This includes courses on Instruments of Human Resource Development, Leadership, Conflict Management and Communication

In order to complement these three modules, additional Management, and Leadership, are touched upon.

At the heart of the entire programme is an individual and practice-oriented change project that participants are required to propose already in their application. Course content will always reflect on and relate to these change projects.

The methodology will be strictly project orientated and is based on case studies or questions derived from the particular job situation of the participants. Thus, it is expected to bring in personal experience and to share this knowledge with the group of around 25 participants from different regions of the world. High personal motivation, the willingness to get actively involved during the online and contact phases and excellent English language skills are essential for the successful completion of this course.

Learning Approach / Schedule

Using a blended learning approach, UNILEAD is structured in two on-site contact phases at the University of Oldenburg, Germany, and two trainer guided online phases.

Online Phase 1

(01/2017 – 03/2017)

  • Prior to the first contact phase, an online phase of 8-10 weeks is scheduled in which the participants are asked to read the study material and to work on short papers, including the individual work of drafting the individual change projects. These papers are meant to describe the individual work experience at the home institution and to identify problems as well as obstacles referring to the topics of the course.

Presence Phase 1              (12th March– 31st March 2017)

  • The initial contact phase will take place at the University of Oldenburg in Germany. During these three weeks, content will focus on Project Management and Financing and Investment. Furthermore, the personal action plans will be adjusted and fine-tuned.

Online Phase 2 & Implementation         (04/2017 – 09/2017)

  • Between March 2017 and September 2017, participants apply the skills acquired at UNILEAD within their individual projects at their home universities. In this, they are being accompanied and monitored by UNILEAD distance-coaches.

Presence Phase 2  (3th – 15th September 2017)

  • Finally, during a two-week contact phase of the last module in Oldenburg, there will be the opportunity to reflect on the implementation of the individual projects and to discuss next steps. Content of inputs will focus on Human Resource Management.

As the modules of the programme are interconnected, participants are expected to take part in all three modules. A written statement which confirms the commitment to attend all parts of the programme is an entry requirement for being admitted.

Partners’ Profile

The University of Oldenburg is the academic coordinator of this programme and works closely together with the DAAD. The University of Oldenburg has been offering an innovative MBA programme in Education and Research Management for professionals of (Higher) Education Institutions for several years. Thus, it has a wide network of experts who act as lecturers in this MBA programme and provides in-depth experience in the field of Continuing Education and Education Management as well as training of professionals at an academic level. National and international lecturers will bring in expertise in Higher Education Management and will help reflecting the specific questions from an international and intercultural perspective.

Participants’ Profile

UNILEAD is targeting higher education managers from developing countries. The two key criteria are:

Applicants have been holding a university management position with managerial and personnel responsibilities for at least two years in one of the following fields:

  • Managers of central university departments (Planning, Quality Management, Human Resources, Continuing Education, International Offices, etc.).

o     Task force managers for university reform projects.

  • Managers of staff development units or programmes.

Active and excellent English language skills (speaking and writing) are indispensable.

Further criteria are:

Applicants are young university leaders aged between 30 and 40 years.

Applicants hold at least a Master’s degree.

The provision of international experience will be an asset.

Participants from higher education institutions of the following countries are eligible to apply:

South East Asia: Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Sub-Saharan Africa: Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mauritius, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Latin America: Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, and Peru.

Middle East and Northern Africa: Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestinian territories, Tunisia.

Application Requirements and Process

Applications can be submitted via the online application form on the UNILEAD-website at

Strict closing date of the application is October, 26th, 2016, 23:59 Central European Time.

Following information and documents are requirements for an application:

  1. Application Form including a clear Project Proposal – using the online-form provided on the website
  2. Letter of Motivation including date and signature – uploaded to online-application form as pdf-file.
  3. Letter of recommendation from university top management (President/Rector or Vice-Chancellor/Vice-Rector of the university) including date and signature where the managerial qualifications and leadership competencies and the future potential of the candidate are briefly described

– uploaded to online-application form as pdf-file.

  1. Proof of excellent English proficiency (e.g. TOEFL, Cambridge Certificate) will be an asset (pdf-file).

The Selection Committee composed of high profile Higher Education Management experts and staff of DAAD meets at the beginning November 2016.

The selected candidates will be informed about the results of the selection meeting by beginning of December 2016.


During the presence phases the participants will be guests of the University of Oldenburg. Following expenses will be covered:

Course costs UNILEAD 5.500 €.

Travel costs: Flight to and from Germany and ground travel to and from Oldenburg according to maximum reimbursement rates depending on the country of origin. We kindly ask the participants to make their own travel arrangement – they will then be reimbursed in cash upon arrival in Oldenburg.

Accommodation and joint meals at the two contact phases in Germany.

Partial allowance for subsistence costs during the contact phases in Germany (according to DAAD regulations).

Emergency health insurance during the contact phases.

Expected co-funding: Participants’ home institutions are expected to cover local transportation in their home countries, visa costs and possible additional per diems for the stay in Germany. Furthermore, they are expected to contribute to the costs by paying a one-time fee of 300,00 €.

Further details on terms and conditions will be given to the admitted applicants together with the invitation letter.

Contact details of Programme Management

Ms. Christine Vajna/Mrs. Svenja Bedenlier

Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg

Dept. of Continuing Education and Education Management (we.b) 26111 Oldenburg


E-Mail: [email protected]

Fax: +49 (0)441 798 4741

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