World Bank Provides US$13 Million to Higher Education and Scientific Research in Yemen

April 25, 2010

Sana’a, April 25, 2010 — The Yemen Higher Education Quality Improvement Project (HEQIP) has been approved by the Board of Directors on April 29, 2010 for the amount of US$13 million. The proposed support aims to create the enabling conditions for the enhancement of the quality of university programs and graduate employability. 
The aims and interventions of the proposed project are consistent with the objectives of the 2010-2013 Country Assistance Strategy which aims to: (i) promote human and social development; (ii) build the human capital needed for economic growth; and (iii) improve governance.
The project will finance four components:  (i) Quality Improvement in University Programs for the amount of US$8.2 million to facilitate the establishment of a fully sustainable mechanism that will channel financial resources to higher education institutions in Yemen leading to significant qualitative improvement in teaching and learning, consonant with the social, economic, and employment priorities of the country; (ii) Quality Assurance for the amount of US$1.3 million to enhance the accountability of higher education institutions by bolstering the development of instruments and procedures for assuring quality and by contributing to the promotion of a quality assurance culture; (iii) Institutional Capacity Development for the amount of US$1.4 million to foster the planning and monitoring capacity of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MoHESR) and nurture the capacity of public universities regarding fiduciary management to enhance accountability; and (iv) Monitoring and Evaluation and Project Management for the amount of US$2.1 in relation to the activities undertaken under the other three components.
“The government confirms its commitment to improve the higher education sector but can only do that with much of the help from its development partners. We look to the Bank for its experience and knowledge to provide support to the higher education sector in Yemen” said Dr. Saleh Basura, the Minister for Higher Education and Scientific Research.
The higher education sector in Yemen is expanding, but its quality and relevance is still at low levels. There are currently 8 established public universities and 13 private universities. Enrollments in higher education have grown rapidly in recent years due to the establishment of new private universities and the introduction of fee-paying parallel programs. In addition, enrollments are disproportionately concentrated in social science streams with little relevance to either local or regional labor markets.
Although the physical, pedagogical, managerial, human and financial conditions needed to improve the learning environment are still missing and the low academic standards attained by students do not make them easily employable, the government is conscious of those severe shortcomings of the system, and has developed a Higher Education Strategy to address them. Similarly, the MoHESR developed a National Strategy for the Development of Higher Education designed to address the challenges faced by the sector.
“The global experience of IDA staff in higher education , provides compelling grounds for the resumption of IDA support to the sector and its involvement in response to the government’s request, and  will contribute to the holistic vision outlined in the higher education sector strategy” commented Lianqin Wang, the Task Team Leader.
The project will be located in Aden, Amran ,Dhamar, Hadramout, Hodeidah, Ibb,  Sana’a and Taiz,  universities.

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