WASHINGTON, June 30, 2015 – The World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved today an allocation of US$15 million from the International Development Association for the Tajikistan Higher Education Project with a goal to develop mechanisms that improve and monitor the quality and labor-market relevance of higher education.
“International evidence suggests that higher education enhances earnings of individuals, contributes to economic development and makes a significant contribution to poverty reduction,” said Patricia Veevers-Carter, World Bank Country Manager for Tajikistan. “The new project will support Tajikistan to further modernize its higher education system, so that young people are equipped with knowledge and skills required in the local and regional labor market.”
The project will support reforms both at institutional and system levels. For institutional-level improvements, a competitive grants program will be made available to higher education institutions for improving labor-market relevance through updated curriculum, teacher development, career services, refurbishing laboratories, and other relevant measures, identified by universities. These grants will also help strengthen mechanisms that encourage female students’ enrollment and completion of higher education and their transition into the labor market. Furthermore, the project will provide grants to eligible education institutions to develop and deliver short-term courses to job-seekers, including returning migrants and secondary education graduates, to strengthen skills and competencies in immediate demand in the labor market.
At the system-level, to continuously improve the quality of the higher education system, the project will support capacity development of relevant government agencies and higher education institutions to implement a quality assurance system consistent with the European Standards and Guidelines as well as the reform of state-defined curriculum to make it more relevant to the labor market demands. It will also support an assessment of higher education financing. The project will be implemented by the Ministry of Education and Sciences of Tajikistan from 2016 to 2021.
The World Bank is Tajikistan’s long-standing partner in education sector development. In collaboration with other development partners, it has supported such key reforms, as per-capita financing in general education and introduction of the Unified University Entrance Examination in 2014.
The World Bank’s active portfolio in Tajikistan includes 21 projects with a net commitment of US$ 323.4million (including regional projects) that aim to support economic growth through private sector development, while investing in better public services for people, such as education, health, municipal services and social protection. Since 1996, the World Bank provided over US$1 billion in grants and highly concessional credits from the International Development Association and trust fund resources to Tajikistan.
The World Bank Group is committed to continue supporting Tajikistan as it strives to improve the lives of its people and meet the aspirations of its young and growing population.