World Bank to provide Rs 7.12 billion concessional loan to strengthen higher education sector

NL Today

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Kathmandu: The World Bank has agreed to provide USD 60 million (equivalent to Rs 7.12 billion) for the Nurturing Excellence in Higher Education Program meant to improve the quality of higher education, scale up online learning, and expand access to academic institutions for underprivileged and vulnerable students.

An agreement to this end was signed at the Ministry of Finance on Thursday.

Finance Secretary Madhu Kumar Marasini and World Bank’s Country Director Faris Hadad-Zervos signed the agreement, the Ministry of Finance said. 

On the occasion, Secretary Marasini said that investing in human capital was a key priority of the government to help young people realize their development potential.  “This project supports the government’s focus on recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic by strengthening the higher education sector and ensuring students all across Nepal including those from disadvantaged groups have access to quality education amid the pandemic’s challenges,” the World Bank country office stated in a press release quoting the Finance Secretary.

The Nurturing Excellence in Higher Education Programme builds on Nepal’s successful higher education projects supported through results-based financing.

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

Likewise, World Bank’s Country Director Faris Hadad-Zervos said that an important aspect of Nepal’s recovery efforts from the pandemic is to ensure that quality higher education was accessible, inclusive, and relevant to the demands of the labor market. “This is a key to helping Nepal build back better and strengthen its resilience,” he added.