WASHINGTON, January 31, 2024—The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved today $25 million for the Higher Education Quality and Innovation Project for the Kyrgyz Republic to help improve the quality of research and strengthen labor market alignment of higher education programs.
“The Higher Education Quality and Innovation Project is fully aligned with the National Development Strategy of the Kyrgyz Republic and the Education Development Strategy. We are happy to support the efforts of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Kyrgyz Republic to enhance high-level skills and knowledge for sustainable and accelerated economic growth,” said Shiro Nakata, World Bank Senior Economist and Task Team Leader.
In total, about 160,000 students, along with professors, researchers, government, and business and industry employees will be impacted by the project.
The project focuses on the following main areas:
(i) Enhancing the institutional capacity of selected higher education institutions for high-quality applied research with a focus on industry collaboration and commercialization of outputs and strengthening market-relevant academic programs. The project will also support the modernization of academic programs and the introduction of market-relevant short courses at different certification levels. The initiative will prioritize research on climate-related science and green transition as one of the priority areas of high relevance to the country’s sustainable development pathway;
(ii) Establishing an academic innovation fund to promote research and innovation in higher education by providing competitive grants to public and private higher education institutions. The grants will be open to all disciplines and will prioritize topics related to climate change and green technologies, especially led by female researchers;
(iii) Strengthening the quality of higher education by improving quality assurance and accreditation systems and introducing a student tracking system.
The Higher Education Quality and Innovation Project is provided through the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s concessional lending arm, in the form of a zero-interest credit, with repayments spread out over 50 years and a 10-year grace period. The project will be implemented through 2030 by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Kyrgyz Republic together with all public and private higher education institutes and accreditation agencies. Strict international standards, including procurement and financial management regulations and anti-corruption guidelines, will be enforced.
The World Bank’s overall mission is to end extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity on a livable planet. The World Bank’s program in the Kyrgyz Republic currently consists of 23 projects supporting the modernization and development of various sectors, with commitments exceeding $1.1 billion.