World Bank approves $81 mn for Bangladesh’s higher education sector

March 18th, 2009 - 7:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, March 18 (Xinhua) The World Bank Wednesday approved an $81 million interest-free credit to Bangladesh to improve the quality of teaching and research in the country’s higher education institutions.
The credit from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s concessionary arm, will support Bangladesh’s Higher Education Quality Enhancement Project, the World Bank said in a statement.

The project will support both innovation and accountability within universities and enhance the technical and institutional capacity of the higher education sector, the statement said.

In Bangladesh gross primary school enrolment rate is around 90 percent, and secondary school enrolment has more than doubled since independence in 1971. However, similar progress has not been realised at the higher education level.

World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh Zhu Xian said in the statement that higher education is vitally important to energise Bangladesh’s economy and to boost its investment climate.

He said the project will fund activities which can bring rapid and visible benefits to the academic community, and help more Bangladesh youth enrol in universities.

The project also aims to integrate Bangladesh’s universities in the globalised world of knowledge.

Under the project, a Bangladesh Research and Education Network, a high performance Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) network, will be set up.

The network will provide 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.

The credit has 40 years to maturity with a 10-year grace period and it carries a service charge of 0.75 percent, the statement said.

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