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World Bank supports quality improvement for labor force in Uzbekistan

29 April 2016

The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors on April 27 approved International Development Association credit in the amount of US $42.2 million for the Modernizing Higher Education Project in Uzbekistan. 

The Project will support Uzbekistan in achieving its ambitious goal to become an industrialized high-middle income country by mid-century. This transformation will require the development of a highly skilled workforce that can use its entrepreneurial talent to improve the competitiveness of the economy and catalyze its modernization, the World Bank said.  

“The Project is well-aligned with the World Bank’s twin goals of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity," said Junghun Cho, World Bank Country Manager for Uzbekistan. "Education is a fundamental building block of human capital, and a high-quality education is linked to poverty reduction, productivity growth and economic development more broadly. The higher education in particular, is critical to the supply of innovative ideas, technology development and adoption, as well as preparation of quality graduates to meet the country’s economic development objectives.”

The Project aims to strengthen the country's higher education system and to improve both the labor market relevance and the learning environment of selected higher education institutions, thus benefiting not only students and teaching staff of technical institutions and government educational agencies, but also employers and industries working in Uzbekistan.

Ministry of Higher and Specialized Secondary Education will be responsible for the implementation of the Project with the technical support from the World Bank from 2016 to 2023.  

The Project consists of four components that are focused specifically on strengthening higher education management, improving the learning environment in higher education institutions, enhancing the relevance of higher education by establishing a Competitive Academic Innovation Fund in the Ministry of Higher and Specialized Secondary Education that will finance innovative projects, as well as the Project’s management, monitoring and evaluation, all of which will support operating expenses, as well as technical assistance and outreach activities.