New $300 million investment will accelerate innovation and transformation in Higher Education and Scientific Research
WASHINGTON, December 14, 2023 – The World Bank’s Board of Directors approved a US$300 million Program-for-Results loan to support the Government of Morocco in implementing its ambitious National Plan to Accelerate the Transformation of the Higher Education, Ecosystem Scientific Research, and Innovation. The program will drive forward a range of innovative and transformative approaches to increase the impact of higher education and scientific research for the benefit of Morocco’s people now and into the future.
"Morocco’s New Development Model highlights the importance of investing in higher education and research for the country to achieve low-carbon, sustainable growth, and employment creation," says Jesko Hentschel, Country Director for the Maghreb and Malta at the World Bank. "This program will improve both the relevance and quality of Morocco’s public higher education system. It will benefit students, teaching staff, and researchers from Moroccan public universities."
The program is designed to improve the labor market relevance of university programs, promote scientific research based on international standards and national priorities, and enhance governance at the central and university levels. It will support key dimensions of the sector’s transformation and train future generations of researchers and professionals capable of meeting development challenges and providing solutions for the country's socio-economic development.
The program will contribute to establishing a mechanism for tracking graduate employability, mainstreaming transferable skills in academic programs, certifying over 200,000 students in language or digital skills, and boosting student enrollment and graduation in priority degree programs responding to the needs of socio-economic sectors by 2029. The program also aims to enroll over 4,000 new PhD students in key disciplines, promote a critical mass of researchers in priority sectors, and facilitate national and international research networking and collaboration.
"The selection of priority sectors responds to national and international current and future labor demand and the priority skills identified by the New Development Model, particularly for digital, green, and resilient economy jobs,” relayed Cornelia Jesse, Senior Education Specialist and Team Leader for this program at the World Bank.
Building on and enhancing existing mechanisms, the Program will also contribute to improving the targeting of student scholarship programs for greater equity, institutionalizing and monitoring multi-year university development contracts, and strengthening capacity and performance at public universities.
"Global evidence suggests that university governance is an important driver of change and the most decisive factor in achieving its goals. The Program will contribute to strengthening governance, and in particular, encourage greater autonomy and accountability of public universities in achieving results,” says Lea Iungmann, Education Specialist and Co-Team Leader at the World Bank.