Evaluation of the German Chancellor Fellowship Programme

Every year, the Humboldt Foundation grants ten German Chancellor Fellowships to internationally-minded graduates from each of the following countries: United States (as of 1990), the Russian Federation (as of 2002), the People’s Republic of China (as of 2006) as well as India and Brazil (as of 2014).

Since it was introduced in 1990, the programme has been steadily developed and has evolved from what was a bilateral to a multilateral fellowship programme for prospective leaders from a broad range of occupations within politics, public administration, business, society and culture. With a funding ratio of 52 percent, the programme resonates particularly with women.

The aim of the programme is to recruit and connect prospective decision-makers and multipliers who will act as a link between Germany and their countries of origin. During their 12-month stay at German institutions, the fellows have the opportunity to drive their professional development, learn German and acquire comprehensive insights into German culture, politics, business and society.

The consultancy firm Kienbaum Consultants International GmbH has evaluated the programme, the second external evaluation report in the programme’s lifespan. It presented its final report in autumn 2018.

The facts and figures contained in the report clearly demonstrate that through German Chancellor Fellowships the Humboldt Foundation has been successful in recruiting young leaders from a broad spectrum of occupations who now hold positions that allow them to build bridges between their own countries and Germany. The alumni often participate as experts in socially-relevant debates, and the majority of them have gone on to become globally connected leaders. In the process, an active international network has evolved that despite certain national variations, is closely linked with the Humboldt Foundation.

The time spent in Germany during the fellowship contributes decisively to shaping the fellows’ professional development. More than 90 percent of both alumni and hosts state that the fellows’ professional expertise developed strongly to very strongly as a result of the stay in Germany. More than 80 percent of alumni state that the fellowship enabled them to gain experience, skills and international contacts that were valuable for their current professional activity.

These and other findings were generated by a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods that were used in the evaluation surveys. The core elements included an online survey of all the annual cohorts of alumni and hosts since 2008, 12 case studies and a further 12 interviews with stakeholders. In addition, various funding statistics from the Foundation’s own internal database were evaluated and a comprehensive document analysis was conducted.

Further interesting results of the evaluation can be downloaded here: