WB allocates $42M to modernize higher education in Uzbekistan
Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Apr. 17
By Demir Azizov– Trend:
The World Bank (WB) allocated a $42.2 million loan to Uzbekistan for the implementation of the Modernizing Higher Education Project in the country, a source in the Ministry of Higher and Secondary Specialized Education of Uzbekistan told Trend Apr. 17.
The loan agreement was signed last week, according to the source.
The total cost of the project is $50 million. The government of Uzbekistan will allocate $7.8 million for its implementation.
The objectives of the Modernizing Higher Education Project for Uzbekistan are to strengthen the country’s higher education system managerial capacity, and to improve both the labor market relevance and the learning environment of selected higher education institutions.
The Ministry of Higher and Secondary Specialized Education of Uzbekistan will be responsible for the implementation of the project, with technical support from the WB for the period from 2017 to 2022.
The loan is from the International Development Association, the WB’s concessionary lending arm, with a maturity of 25 years, including a 5-year grace period.
The project will finance the implementation of a higher education information management system to support policy analysis and the development of a quality assurance function consistent with good international practices.
At selected higher education institutions, the project will also finance the modernization of basic teaching laboratories and advanced scientific research laboratories in priority areas of the economy.
This includes updating the curriculum to optimize the use of the updated laboratories, including training for faculties and staff.
The project will also finance an Academic Innovation Fund, which will be created at the Ministry of Higher and Secondary Specialized Education of Uzbekistan. This fund will allow higher education institutions to submit their own innovative proposals for new initiatives that align with the fund’s objectives.
The proposals will be evaluated by a selection committee based on criteria such as the impact, innovation, and sustainability of the initiatives.
The project will also support the establishment of a national e-library to improve the learning and research environment at Uzbekistan’s higher education institutions.
The project will benefit not only students, teaching staff, and administrators of higher education institutions, but also the staff of educational government agencies.
Employers and industries in Uzbekistan will benefit from research programs that are more relevant and collaborative, as well as from future higher education graduates who will be better prepared with the appropriate skills and knowledge expected of employees.
The project aligns with goals associated with the government of Uzbekistan’s strategy to reaching upper-middle-income status by 2030.