Responsible and dynamic higher education systems – A view from the World Bank
Higher education provides important economic and non-economic opportunities for individuals and societies. While the economic benefits of higher education receive significant attention, higher education also contributes to social cohesion and well-functioning societies. Training graduates for the labor market - the local or a global one, the existing or a future one, or one that is emerging for industries yet to be created by these and future graduates - and employability more broadly are key aspects of higher education, together with research and innovation and contributions to regional development. Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) also serve to promote democratic values like fairness, justice, the preservation of culture, and support of minorities.
The World Bank has been active in higher education since 1963 and between 2000 and 2018 has managed a portfolio of more than 259 higher education projects amounting to US$5.93 billion, as well as numerous analytical and advisory tasks. Its activities cover all regions of the world, from fragile, post-war states and low-income countries to high-income countries, including EU and OECD member states. In terms of the scope of its activities, the World Bank is, globally, the largest agency working in higher education.
The World Bank supports the development of equitable and efficient higher education systems and dynamic higher education institutions. The keynote will discuss how this development is enabled by goal-oriented steering, effective financing which is increasingly geared towards performance and purposeful quality assurance. The aim is a strong contribution of higher education to equitable growth, social cohesion and societies with strong democratic foundations as well as the success and advancement of individual students.