Today, the Nepalese government and the World Bank signed a $60 million financing agreement for the Nurturing Excellence in Higher Education Program, which aims to improve the quality of higher education in Nepal, scale up online learning, and increase access to academic institutions for underprivileged and vulnerable students.
Mr. Madhu Kumar Marasini, Finance Secretary, remarked, “Investing in human capital is a critical goal of the Government of Nepal to help young people in Nepal realise their development potential.” “By improving the higher education sector and ensuring that students across Nepal, including those from disadvantaged groups, have access to quality education despite the pandemic’s hurdles, this initiative supports the government’s commitment on recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The Nurturing Excellence in Higher Education Program builds on Nepal’s outstanding higher education projects, which have been supported by results-based finance. It will assist the Nepalese government in aligning its higher education system with labour market demands, boosting collaborative research and entrepreneurship, improving governance, and increasing access to high-quality higher education, particularly for disadvantaged students. The COVID-19 pandemic has provided strong incentives to grow online platforms and blended learning, which the initiative will assist Nepalese universities in scaling up.
The programme will also provide equity grants to higher education institutions in Nepal’s needy and disaster-affected districts, as well as enhance targeted scholarships to help disadvantaged students pursue labour market-driven academic programmes.
“Quality higher education is accessible, inclusive, and relevant to the demands of the labour market is a vital part of Nepal’s recovery efforts from the pandemic,” said Faris Hadad-Zervos, World Bank Country Director for Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. “This is critical in assisting Nepal in rebuilding and strengthening its resilience. The World Bank has pledged to assist Nepal in this endeavour.”