The International Development Agency (IDA), an arm of the World Bank Group approved a five million dollar Learning and Innovation Credit (LIC) to the Republic of Yemen to support the government’s reform of the higher education system. The overall project cost is $5.3 million.
IDA provides interest-free development assistance to the poorest of countries. The funds will be disbursed on standard IDA terms with a 10-year grace period and a maturity of 40 years. The Government of Yemen will contribute $300,000 to the project.
The LIC will be applied towards developing a higher education reform strategy aimed at expanding enrolment in non-traditional academic fields and responding to the needs of Yemen’s labor market, confirmed a press release.
Yemen’s higher education sector experienced a dramatic expansion in the last decade, with annual enrolment rate increasing by 16 percent each year since 1990. Most of the enrolment – as many as 88 percent of students – however, is concentrated in the social sciences and arts field. In an effort to develop relevant curricula that would meet the demand for specific skills in the economy, the Government of Yemen decided to undertake a major reorientation of higher education. The Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MHESR) was established last year to spearhead this effort.
The LIC responds to the Government’s request for assistance in developing the capacity of the newly created Ministry to implement the higher education reforms. It will introduce financial tools to strengthen resource management in two pilot universities. The LIC will also seek to improve learning and increase opportunities for students and faculty in select faculties such as medicine, education and commerce. This will include the piloting of a network that would facilitate faculty and student exchanges through the Internet as well as providing access to information and resources on the Internet. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )