Tasks and Targets

As the globally active cultural institution of the Federal Republic of Germany, we advocate for understanding between Germany, Europe and the world. The framework agreement with the German Federal Foreign Office is the foundation for this work. Worldwide, we provide information about the cultural and societal diversity of Germany and Europe. 158 Goethe-Institutes in 98 countries together with numerous partner institutions form the basis of our global network. The Federal Foreign Office supports our work institutionally. As a registered charity we operate autonomously on a legally independent basis and are not affiliated to any political party. We generate around a third of our revenue ourselves through income from language courses and examinations. We also receive support from the European Union (EU), further German federal ministries as well as foundations and companies in Germany and abroad.

We contribute to establishing the German language in the educational systems of the guest countries. We support over 100,000 schools worldwide in giving high-quality German tuition and promote the advanced professional training and qualification of teachers of German. Furthermore, we offer languages courses ranging from general German courses to prevocational language courses and seminars to raise societal and cultural awareness. Our services include online courses and autonomous learning programs. Every year more than half a million people sit a German examination at a Goethe-Institut or one of our cooperation partners. With a wide range of educational and information programs, we support in particular students and skilled workers from abroad on their route to Germany. 

We believe in the potential of international cultural exchange. Our approximately 20,000 cultural events per year take place in partnership with governmental and non-governmental institutions and initiatives from civil society in our guest countries. We qualify, advise and interlink cultural professionals and support the development of sustainable structures in the cultural and creative economy by advanced training measures for cultural entrepreneurs or the internationalization of creative companies. With our residence programs, partnerships and co-productions, we promote the networking of cultural professionals around the globe. We offer stakeholders from civil society a protected space and scope for a sincere exchange of views. We do not break off democratic dialogue, even in difficult times. In our work we orientate ourselves towards the values of a democratic, liberal society governed by the rule of law.

Via our digital information and educational programs in more than 60 languages and a network with 95 libraries, we offer a space to learn, meet up and participate. We use innovative technologies, seize the opportunities of digitalization and, at the same time, reflect on their implications for people and society. Through diverse formats such as information trips for multipliers, specialist exchange between experts, youth exchange programs and international festivals we enable communication on a worldwide basis.

The Goethe-Institut in New Zealand

Goethe-Institut Neuseeland © Goethe-Institut Neuseeland Wherever possible and desirable the cultural programme in New Zealand is centred on exchange on a professional level. The topography of the country requires a decentralised approach i.e. cultural programmes are frequently organised in other regional centres, above all in Auckland, New Plymouth, Christchurch and Dunedin. 

The presentation of the contemporary German art and design scenes, of innovative and interactive tendencies in the German theatre and dance scene, of the current German film and media landscape and of the German cultural presence at important festivals takes centre stage.