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Morocco Receives $300 Million WB Investment to Boost Higher Education

Rabat – Morocco has received a $300 million investment from the World Bank (WB) to boost Higher Education and Scientific Research.

According to a statement from the World Bank, the bank’s board of directors approved a $300 million “Program-for-Results loan to support the Government of Morocco in implementing its ambitious National Plan to Accelerate the Transformation of the Higher Education, Ecosystem Scientific Research, and Innovation.”

The program is set to propel the implementation of a range of innovative and transformative approaches to increase the impact of higher education and scientific research in Morocco, the statement explained.

Commenting on approving the investment, Jesko Hentschel, Country Director for the Maghreb and Malta at the World Bank said that “Morocco’s New Development Model highlights the importance of investing in higher education and research for the country to achieve low-carbon, sustainable growth, and employment creation.” 

According to Hentschel, the program will improve both the “relevance and quality of Morocco’s public higher education system.” 

“It will benefit students, teaching staff, and researchers from Moroccan public universities,” he added.

The program aims to make university programs more market-oriented, promote scientific research based on international standards and national priorities, and enhance governance at the central and university levels. 

The program is equally set to support key dimensions of the sector’s transformation and train future generations of researchers and professionals capable of meeting development challenges facing the country’s socio-economic development.

The statement explains that the program would contribute to establishing a mechanism for tracking graduate employability and mainstreaming transferable skills in academic programs. 

It equally covers certifying over 200,000 students in language or digital skills and boosting student enrollment and graduation in priority degree programs responding to the needs of socio-economic sectors by 2029. 

The program also aims to enroll over 4,000 new PhD students in key disciplines, promote a critical mass of researchers in priority sectors, and facilitate national and international research networking and collaboration.

“The selection of priority sectors responds to national and international current and future labor demand and the priority skills identified by the New Development Model, particularly for digital, green, and resilient economy jobs,” said Cornelia Jesse, Senior Education Specialist and Team Leader for this program at the World Bank.

The Program will also contribute to improving the targeting of student scholarship programs for greater equity and strengthening capacity and performance at public universities.

“Global evidence suggests that university governance is an important driver of change and the most decisive factor in achieving its goals,” said Lea Iungmann, Education Specialist and Co-Team Leader at the World Bank.

He continued: “The Program will contribute to strengthening governance, and in particular, encourage greater autonomy and accountability of public universities in achieving results.” 

Source : Morocco World News