WASHINGTON, May 26, 2011 – The Board of executive Directors of the World Bank approved today a US$101.3 million credit to contribute to enhance the efficiency and quality of the higher education system and the oversight and accountability of the higher education institutions (HEIs).
According to Atou Seck, World Bank Task Team Leader, the tertiary education governance and financing for results project “will support investment and policy reforms that will improve the Government’s capacity to improve the effectiveness of the tertiary education system.” He added that the project will also “create incentives by introducing new financing mechanisms to improve the financial accountability in the service delivery by HEIs, the efficiency of the institutions by reducing the average time to graduate, and the learning environment in tertiary education institutions”.
Mr. Seck emphasized that “with this project, Senegal is going to create incentives for better effectiveness and efficiency of HEIs in public resources utilization through performance-based contracts between the Government and the universities to improve accountability and efficiency in resource management”.
A financial mechanism has been set up to make sure that each university that signs a contract will be adequately allocated with resources and will submit an independent evaluation that measures results achieved under the performance-based contracts, he explained.
The credit will also allow the country to diversify its tertiary education system and the increase in access to short-term tertiary education by creating a new Tertiary Education and Vocational Institute in Thies (70 km from Dakar) and establishing an information communication technology (ICT)-facilitated network. Senegal will also use the credit to finance costs related to feasibility studies for a second university in Dakar that would be financed by the World Bank when the results are conclusive.
The rehabilitation and expansion of Senegalese HEIs is also a key element of the project in a country where the largest university, University Cheikh Anta Diop of Dakar (UCAD) has currently more than 60,000 full-time students enrolled in facilities that can a accommodate a maximum of 30,000 students. Amphitheatres in UCAD will be rehabilitated and equipped and additional learning facilities built in Bambey, Thies, St-Louis, and Ziguinchor universities to improve the learning environment.
Mr. Seck declared that Senegal will use the credit to implement higher education governance bodies including the General Directorate of Higher Education, the National Quality Assurance Authority and University Boards of Directors.
Atou Seck indicated that during the 5-year project, the Bank will also support the Government of Senegal to carry out specific studies to generate more knowledge for the system, including an evaluation of the effectiveness in the service delivery by the Centres des Oeuvres Universities de Dakar, and Saint-Louis (COUD and CROUS), specific surveys and assessments for student satisfaction, LMD (Licence Master Doctorat) implementation, etc.