World Bank (WB) Board of Executive Directors approved a $191 million credit to Bangladesh to help strengthen the higher education sector and respond better to the corona pandemic.
The Higher Education Acceleration Transformation Project – the first World Bank-supported regional education project in South Asia – will support regional collaboration in the higher education sector, including student mobility through equivalence programs, credit transfer schemes, and university twinning arrangements within the region.
It will also help more women access quality higher education, which will result in increased female labor force participation, said a press release on Friday.
The corona pandemic has hit hard the higher education sector in South Asia, causing more dropouts and fewer enrolments. Female students are likely to be disproportionately impacted, further exacerbating the existing gender gap in higher education.
The project will support pandemic and emergency response and build systemic resilience in the higher education sector with a specific focus on digitization.
“For our collective future, higher education is a necessity, not a choice. As Bangladesh aspires to achieve upper middle-income status, the country needs to invest in its youth to create a skilled and globally competitive workforce” said Mercy Tembon, World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh and Bhutan.