Press release

Young Brits to make German connections

More British youngsters will be able to learn about German language and culture after a new agreement was made between the Foreign Secretary and the German Foreign Minister.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson with German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel

Boris Johnson and Sigmar Gabriel have signed off on a doubling of funding for UK-German Connection (UKGC), which means an increasing the number of places available on the scheme.

The funding increase, to around £230,000 and matched by the German government, will expand the scheme’s work in bringing together children and teachers in both countries to learn about each other’s language, history, and culture.

The Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, said:

I’m proud to have agreed with German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel to enhance and expand the great work of UK-German Connection, including working to increase the number of young people learning German.

This agreement shows, once again, that the UK and Germany are the closest of friends and allies. It will allow more young Brits and Germans to benefit in new ways, exposing them to language, culture, and history of both countries.

Through this we can make the relationship between the UK and Germany even stronger for the future.

Secretary of State for Education, Justine Greening, said:

Learning about different cultures is an integral part of education, and initiatives like UK-German Connection give young people first-hand experience of new language and history, which is why we are pleased to support it.

The agreement will allow UKGC to expand the range of services they already offer to those in youth groups and in the primary, secondary and further education sectors.

These programmes currently involve visits between British and German schools and youth groups, collaborative projects between students in both countries on our history and culture, creating links between schools including placing German teachers in the UK and the creation of a Youth Ambassadors network looking together at the future challenges faced by the UK and Germany.

Video on UK-German Connection

UK-German Connection

Notes to editors:

The new funding will mean the FCO contributing £90,000, DfE contributing the same amount, while the British Council will contribute £50,000. The German government will match this spending.

UKGC was established by the UK and German governments after the Queen’s State Visit to Germany in 2004. Its work focuses on connecting young people in both countries, exposing them to each other’s cultures and helping them to learn German and English. It delivers a wide range of programmes, including;

  1. A Host-a-Teacher programme, in which German teachers take short-term secondments in UK schools. These link our schools, aid professional development and are often followed up with return visits to German schools.
  2. Youth Ambassadors’ scheme, where British and German teenagers work together to develop common projects. Recent examples include identity and the role of young people in society; Europe after the referendum; and living in a digital world.
  3. School group visits to Germany, allowing our students to work with each other on thematic topics including our history and culture.
Published 19 July 2017