The World Bank today approved a US$81 million interest-free (International Development Association) IDA credit to Bangladesh, designed to improve the quality and relevance of teaching and research in the country’s higher education institutions.
The project is named Higher Education Quality Enhancement Project and will support both innovation and accountability within universities. Gross primary school enrolment rate in Bangladesh is around 90%, and secondary school enrolment has more than doubled since independence. Gender parity has been achieved at both levels.
However, similar progress has not been realized at the higher education level. Bangladesh’s tertiary enrollment rate is one of the lowest in the world at 6%. The project’s main component is to establish conditions that will stimulate teaching, improve learning, and boost research in universities, and introduce an efficient instrument for the allocation of public funds to universities with an emphasis on innovation and accountability.
The project also aims to integrate Bangladesh’s universities in the globalized world of knowledge. In this regard, the project will establish a Bangladesh Research and Education Network (BdREN), a high performance Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) network providing connectivity among education and research institutions in both public and private sectors to enable academics, scientists, and researchers to communicate with their peers within the country and globally.