World Bank approves $60m to strengthen Nepal’s higher education

WASHINGTON: The World Bank has approved $60 million to improve the quality of Nepal’s higher education, scale up online learning, and expand access to academic institutions for underprivileged students.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the critical importance of building back better and prioritizing human capital development,” stated Faris Hadad-Zervos, World Bank Country Director for Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.


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“Improving access to quality higher education and helping students acquire the skills that are in demand in the labor market will contribute to Nepal’s Covid-19 recovery and strengthen its resilience.”

In a press release published on Friday, World Bank said that the Nurturing Excellence in Higher Education Program builds on Nepal’s previous successful higher education projects supported through results-based financing.

It will help the government of Nepal align its higher education sector with labour market needs, boost collaborative research and entrepreneurship, improve governance, and access to quality higher education, especially for disadvantaged students, the release said.

The Covid-19 pandemic has created strong incentives to expand online platforms and blended learning, which the program will help scale up across Nepal’s universities.

“A key priority of the program is to promote the inclusion of disadvantaged students, including those facing economic hardship due to Covid-19,” stated Mohan Aryal, World Bank’s Program Task Team Leader.

“The program will expand targeted scholarships to help disadvantaged students pursue labor market-driven academic programs and support equity grants to higher education institutions in needy and disaster-affected areas in Nepal.”

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