World Bank to Support South-South Knowledge Exchange on Higher Education Reforms

May 20, 2013

Kuala Lumpur, May 20, 2013 – Officials from Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia working on higher education reform will exchange experiences with Malaysian counterparts at a 4-day workshop beginning today, supported by the World Bank and the British Council Malaysia. The event is part of the Bank’s ongoing effort to encourage countries across regions to learn from each other to find innovative solutions.

“The final goals of higher education are much the same across countries,” said Annette Dixon, Country Director for the World Bank in Malaysia. “We hope our support to bring policy-makers, members of academia and advocates from Malaysia, Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia together will enable them to learn from each other and explore new ideas that will help improve the quality of higher education in their countries.”

Malaysia acted early to take on many key reforms in its higher education system including the establishment of the Quality Assurance System in the 1990s. Algeria, Morocco and Tunsia will share their experience in improving institutional autonomy and accountability measures for universities.

“Policy-makers from developing countries are learning about how Malaysia successfully implemented key reforms in higher education.  The recent development on institutional reform, which focuses on granting key research universities more autonomy, together with much strengthened accountability, is of particular interest to them,” said Dandan Chen, World Bank Senior Economist. 

The 15-member visiting delegation is meeting with Malaysia’s Ministry of Higher Education and other government agencies to discuss issues such as higher education accreditation, quality assurance, and strengthening governance in universities and colleges. They are also visiting selected public and private universities and colleges to exchange lessons drawn from institutional reforms.

This knowledge event is funded by the Bank’s “South-South Experience Exchange Facility,” which was established in October 2008 to support global knowledge exchange projects that draw directly upon the expertise of developing countries and provides a platform for countries to share lessons.

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