$100M WB aid for higher education

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By 2017-07-18

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In a bid to improve higher education in the country and increase enrolment in higher education programmes that are important for an aspiring Upper Middle Income Country, the International Development Association (IDA) and International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) of the World Bank (WB) will mobilize funds through a credit of USD 100 million to accelerate the Higher Education Expansion and Development (AHEAD) Operation. The project will be implemented by the Ministry of Higher Education and Highways throughout the period of 2017 – 2022.

It is also aimed to develop the higher education sector in important areas for future economic development such as modern teaching and learning, which blends academic achievement with good socio-emotional skills and a vibrant research and innovation culture that supports expansion and growth of higher-value industries and services.

1. Increasing enrolment in Higher Education in priority areas for economic development (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM))
2. Improving the quality of higher education
3. Promoting Research and Development, Innovation
Depending on the availability of WB funds to Sri Lanka, it has been proposed to obtain two financing facilities from IDA and IBRD such as a Credit of Special Drawing Rights (SDR) being the equivalent of USD 33 million from the International Development Association (IDA) and a Credit of USD 67million from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)of the WB.
Ministry of Finance and Mass Media Secretary, Dr. R. H. S Samarathunga signed the Financing Agreement and Loan Agreements on 17 July 2017 at the Ministry of Finance on behalf of the Government and Country Director for Sri Lanka and the Maldives Ms. Idah Z. Pswarayi – Riddihough signed on behalf of the WB.

AHEAD focuses on three result areas;

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