Learn how the World Bank Group is helping countries with COVID-19 (coronavirus). Find Out

Investing Strategically in Higher Education: Aligning Public Funding with Policy Objectives
March 14, 2017Almaty, Kazakhstan

To share knowledge and experiences on different ways to align higher education policy objectives and funding strategies, the Ministry of Science and Education of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the World Bank are co-hosting a workshop on March 14, 2017, entitled Investing Strategically in Higher Education: Aligning Public Funding with Policy Objectives.

The workshop will gather senior policy makers from Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. With the involvement from several international tertiary education experts, including Mr. Jamil Salmi, Mr. Frank Ziegele, and Mr. Isak Froumin, the attendees will discuss common challenges and opportunities facing their higher education systems, examples from other countries of how the strategic use of financing can support specific policy objectives, and how other countries have implemented higher education financing reforms.

The workshop will emphasize not only the theory behind strategic financing but also the process and challenges associated with implementing reforms.

Based on input from the participants, the workshop highlighted how input- and output-oriented funding formula, performance contracts, competitive funds, excellence schemes, and other financing mechanisms can be mixed and matched to support common higher education policy objectives, including assuring and enhancing quality, improving links between higher education and the labour market, fostering research and technology transfer, optimizing HEI finances (e.g., income diversification, cost containment, etc.), increasing equitable participation of disadvantaged populations, fostering internationalisation and collaboration, and consolidating and/or diversifying the sector

This invitation-only event will occur at the Rixos Almaty Hotel.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017




Welcome and Opening Remarks (15 min)


Introductions (30 min)

·         Introduction of Each Attendee

·         World Bank Representatives


Discussion: Strategic Use of Financing in Higher Education (60 min)

·         30-minute opening session will place issues of funding strategies within the broader context of the challenges and opportunities facing higher education systems. This session will cover the changing financing landscape, resource mobilization, and allocation approaches. (Jamil)

·         30-minute Panel Reflections and Q&A (Isak)


Coffee Break (15 min)


Discussion: Connecting Policy Objectives with Strategic Funding (60 min)

·         30-minute presentation with examples of how the strategic use of financing can support specific policy objectives and systemic revisions. The presentation will quickly provide a typology of public financing options (input-oriented formulas, output-oriented formulas, performance contracts, competitive funds, excellence schemes, etc.) and how those can link with common policy objectives (assuring and enhancing quality; improving links between higher education and the labour market; boosting knowledge generation and technology transfer; increasing equitable participation; diversifying and/or consolidating the sector; fostering internationalisation and collaboration; etc.). (Frank)

·         30-minute Panel Reflections and Q&A (Isak)


Lunch (45 minutes)


Group Reflections and General Discussion (30 min)

·         Involvement from all participants


Country-Specific Example 1: The Russian Experience (45 min)

·         30-minute presentation on implementation of excellence scheme with higher education institutions. What were the stages of implementation? What impact did the process have? What might Russia do differently if they could do it over? (Isak)

·         15-minute Panel Reflections and Q&A (Isak)


Country-Specific Example 2: Introducing Revisions to Higher
Education Finance in Latvia (45 min)

·         A representative from Latvia’s Ministry of Education and Science will describe how they are revising the way higher education is financed. How did the process start? What was the timeline? How did different stakeholders respond? What would they do it differently if they could do it over?


Coffee Break (15 minutes)


Reflections and General Discussion on Implementation (60 min)

·         Q&A with Panel of international experts


Brief Presentation on Graduate Tracer Study Toolkit (15 min)

4:45pm - 5:00pm

Closing Remarks 



  • When: March 14, 2017, 9:00am - 5:00pm
  • Where: Rixos Almaty Hotel, 506/99 Seifullin Avenue, Almaty, Kazakhstan