A timeline of UK-German Connection’s activities

It’s 15 years since UK-German Connection was formed in November 2005, following Her Majesty the Queen’s state visit to Germany the previous year. Here we look at how it all began, and some of the highlights and collaborations over the years…


UK-German Connection wurde im November 2005 gegründet, wofür ein Staatsbesuch Ihrer Majestät, Queen Elizabeth II, in Deutschland im November 2004 den Ausschlag gab. Auf dieser Zeitleiste zeigen wir, wie alles begann und stellen ein paar Highlights und Partnerschaftsprojekte vor.

We would also like to take this opportunity to say a big thank-you to our stakeholders for funding and supporting UK-German school and youth exchange and connections.

An dieser Stelle sagen wir auch ein herzliches Dankeschön an unsere Stakeholder für die Förderung der deutsch-britischen Schul- und Jugendbegegnungen!

  • 2020
    • 15 years of UK-German Connection!
    • Our first virtual Evaluation Webinar for Cultural Exchange Ambassadors
    • (Re-)launch of our UK-German Youth Council, with regular virtual meetings
    • Photo competition ‘Welcome to my World’, giving young people a
      CEA Evaluation Webinar

      glance into life in the other country during lockdown

    • Tandem webinars, where UK & German participants were paired up and began a digital exchange with one another
    • Photo webinars for competition entrants, run together with a professional photographer
    • Launch of our digital youth newsletter, ‘Still & Sparkling’
    • Our 2020-21 Cultural Exchange Ambassadors met virtually for the first time
    • Youth Webinar Series on ‘Sustainability’
    • New teachers forums in both countries to provide a platform to share ideas and experiences and offer support

    “Das Projekt hat mir gezeigt, wie sehr sich die Menschen in ihren Emotionen und ihrer Art, diese zu zeigen und darzustellen, unterscheiden. Höhepunkt des Austauschs waren eigentlich die Momente, in denen man sich mit allen anderen zusammengesetzt und sich über die verschiedensten Dinge unterhalten hat und Gemeinsamkeiten und Unterschiede entdeckt hat.” (Pupil, Flexible Funding Scheme)

  • 2019
    • Youth Seminar ‘Sustainable Urban Development’ in Leipzig, as part of the 2019 Royal Visit to Germany by the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall

      Youth Seminar ‘Sustainable Consumption’
    • Cultural Immersion Course in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, with workshops on ‘nature & mental health’
    • Youth Seminar ‘Sustainable Consumption’ in Berlin, including presentations and a panel discussion at the British Embassy
    • Youth Seminar ‘Peacing it Together 2’ in Leipzig, to mark 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall
    • School Partnerships Seminar in Duisburg with the British Council and the Ministry of Education in NRW, to create new links between schools and pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds.
    • Welsh-German youth seminar ‘Together: Giving young people a voice on conflict’, together with Never Such Innocence.

    “Ich habe gelernt mehr aus mir raus zu kommen und traue mich nun häufiger einen Austausch oder andere Dinge alleine zu machen. Ich bin selbstständiger und selbstbewusster geworden.” (German participant, Youth Seminar ‘Sustainable Consumption’)

  • 2018
    • Youth Seminar ‘Seas & Oceans 2’ in Southampton, supported by the University of Southampton Oceanography department
    • Youth Seminar ‘Finding our Place in History’, in collaboration with Alexander Haus e.V. and focused on history, identity, and reconciliation
    • Youth Conference ‘Culture and Heritage in a Digital World’, together with the British Council Germany and in celebration of the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage

      Youth Conference ‘Young Voices’
    • Youth Seminar ‘Peacing it Together’ in Belfast, in cooperation with NICILT, discussing themes surrounding peace beyond borders
    • First cohort of Cultural Exchange Ambassadors (previously FLA-ELA Ambassadors)
    • Youth Conference ‘Young Voices’, bringing together Alumni from across all of our programmes
    • ‘Acting on our Shared Future’, where participants explored their culture and heritage together through drama
    • Scottish-German Connections: youth workshop in Berlin, celebrating the Year of Young People and the launch of the Scotland Hub Germany; in collaboration with the Scottish Government and YoungScot
    • Scottish-German Connections (take 2): reciprocal exchange visits for youth groups from Scotland and Germany focusing on team building outdoors, intercultural experiences and building partnerships; in cooperation with YouthLink Scotland
    • Young winners of the UK-German ‘Together’ creative arts project got together at the British Embassy Berlin to celebrate their poetry, art and songs on the themes of hope and unity to mark the WW1 Centenary.
    • Pupils from schools in the UK and Germany joined together at the ‘Games of Remembrance’ in Nottingham.
    • ‘Young Europeans Award’ visit to Warsaw with deaf young people from the UK, Germany, France and Poland.
    • ‘Building Bridges’ youth leaders’ conference to set up new youth links between Northern Ireland and Brandenburg.

    “I really enjoyed interacting with peers with such varied cultural backgrounds. The seminar has allowed me to make so many new friends that I still keep in contact with.” (UK participant, Youth Seminar ‘Seas & Oceans’

  • 2017
    • Launch of ‘Young Voices’ event series facilitating youth participation to co-shape the future of UK-German connections; Berlin event linked to the Royal Visit to Germany by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
    • 19 July: Joint declaration by the German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sigmar Gabriel, and the UK Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, on expanding British-German youth and school exchange. (see below)

      Youth Seminar ‘Seas & Oceans’
    • 19 July: statement by HRH Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge (see below)
    • Youth Seminar ‘Seas & Oceans’ in Hamburg, together with British Council Germany
    • Trip to Berlin and panel discussion with Neil McGregor as part of the UK-German ‘Memories of a Nation’ competition, in cooperation with British Council Germany

    “Today’s younger generation will determine the future of the relationship between Germany and the United Kingdom. (…) We want to intensify our governments’ efforts in order to increase the interaction between our young people. (…) We both share the ambition for a substantially larger number of young people and teachers to benefit from future exchanges, to build cultural ties and strengthen language learning.“ (Joint declaration by the German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sigmar Gabriel, and the UK Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson; 19 July 2017)

    “(…) The youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow, and  we want to establish friendships between our young  people that will last a lifetime.” (Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, 19 July 2017)

  • 2011-2016
    • Launch of the School Partnership bursaries to help schools maintain their links
    • Flexible Funding Scheme ‘Our Future in Europe – maintaining the UK-German connection’
    • Partnership Visit Fund launched to support staff planning visits for school links
    • 2014-2018: Flexible Funding Scheme ‘World War 1’
    • Youth Seminar ‘21st century challenges and responsibilities’ – a creative media seminar on sustainability, citizenship and education
    • Third edition of ‘Still & Sparkling’ youth magazine (print)
    • Discover Germany! trips for lower-secondary school groups (Year 8 and equivalent), with visits to Hannover & Wolfsburg, the Ruhr area (“regeneration”) and Berlin (“accessible travel and culture”); in cooperation with the German National Tourist Office
    • ‘Double Club’ German visit to Berlin where pupils from both countries connected through football, culture and language; in cooperation with Arsenal FC and Goethe-Institut London
  • 2005-2010
    • Launch of UK-German Youth Ambassadors programme
    • ‘Still & Sparkling’ youth magazine (in print format)
    • FLA Ambassadors programme “goes bilateral”, with inclusion of English Language Assistants in German schools
    • ‘Creative Media’ youth seminar series
    • UK-German Connection took on the German Pupil Courses, the German Scholarships and Host a Teacher from Germany programmes
    • UK-German Youth Council launched
    • FLA Ambassadors programme launched for German Language Assistants in UK schools
    • Launch of Magical Christmas Trips to Germany for primary schools and young mentors from secondary schools
    • Youth event “Shape the Future” at East Hampstead Park
    • Discover Germany! programme launched, in cooperation with the German National Tourist Board (Deutsche Zentrale für Tourismus)
    • Grants for bilateral exchange and project activity between UK-German school and youth groups
    • 7 November 2005: UK-German Connection office officially opened
    • July 2005: joint statement made by Jack Straw (Foreign Secretary ) and Joschka Fischer (Außenminister)
  • 2004

    November: Queen Elizabeth II’s state visit to Germany. A joint statement was made together with Bundespräsident Horst Köhler.

    “Stereotypes wither where human contacts flourish.”

    “…we should continue to encourage our young people to know more about each other’s countries.”

    (HM Queen Elizabeth II on the occasion of the state visit to Germany, November 2004)

    „Unsere Völker verbindet ein sehr enges Verhältnis.“ (…) wir müssen daran arbeiten, “dass mehr junge Briten nach Deutschland kommen”.

    (Horst Köhler, Federal President of Germany, November 2004)