WASHINGTON, April 28, 2015 — The World Bank Board of Executive Directors today approved an additional financing in the amount of US$45 million to support the implementation of the Government of Mozambique’s Higher Education, Sciences and Technology project.
Continuous education expansion and high population growth has resulted in an increase in primary and secondary education enrollment and completion rates, which, in turn, has increased pressure to expand opportunities for Higher (HE) and Technical and Vocational Education (TVET). From 2004 to 2012, the number of upper secondary graduates increased from less than 8,000 to 41,500. The Government of Mozambique (GoM) estimates that the number of graduates of secondary education will increase to over 140,000 in 2016 and further double to 280,000 by 2020.
While the HE system in Mozambique expanded from only three institutions in 1992 to 48 in 2014, and evolved from an entirely public system to a mixed one including private providers, the level of resources is inadequate to meet the system’s growing needs. System expansion has led to inadequate provision of access to laboratories, modern technological tools, and computers, and challenges have emerged regarding overall quality and relevance of training provided.
“Mozambique’s rapid economic growth has increased demand for graduates even more than supply has been able to provide, especially for graduates within applied sciences and engineering, and skilled technicians,” said Mark Lundell, World Bank Country Director for Mozambique. “Promoting more equitable access to post-basic education is critical for shared prosperity.”
More specifically, this International Development Association (IDA) financing supports the GoM programs to: (a) increase the number and raise the quality of graduates at the undergraduate and graduate levels; (b) strengthen the national research capacities to produce research outputs of relevance to strategic economic sectors; and (c) reinforce the country’s institutional framework for TVET. This additional financial complements and expands the reach of the ongoing GoM’s Higher Education, Sciences, and Technology project.
“More than 300,000 people enter the labor market each year and this number is poised to increase to about 500,000 by 2025. Preparing the young generation adequately for a productive life through education, including TVET and higher education options, is critical for job-creation, productivity, competitiveness and poverty reduction,” said Ana Ruth Menezes, Task Team Leader of the project.
Improving access to and quality of higher education for youth from middle and low-income families is a central GoM policy to promote shared prosperity by qualifying youth from those families to well-paid employment. This project is in alignment with the GoM’s priorities and poverty reduction agenda. By improving access to TVET and HE, in particular short term professional-oriented higher education, Mozambique will be better positioned to promote shared prosperity and overall economic growth.