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The World Bank: Financing higher education in Africa

The World Bank. Financing Higher Education in Africa. The World Bank, Washington, DC, 2010. ISBN: 978-0-8213-8334-6. Pages: 184.

In their 2008 document Accelerating Catch Up: Tertiary Education for Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa, the World Bank advocated the importance of tertiary education in the establishment of more “knowledge-intensive growth” in the region. Now, in this new follow-up document, the World Bank warns that in most sub-Saharan countries the combination of rapidly growing demand for higher education and flat public funding will soon result in a severe decline in the quality of instruction and in the capacity to innovate. In the face of these threats, the Bank has found that some countries have successfully implemented a full range of financing options, such as private higher education and cost-sharing arrangements like student loans and financial aid for low-income students. Additionally, attempts at diversification of institutional types and curricular delivery methods were praised as well. Backed by new data and analyses, this report proposes a range of policy options that could be explored by those sub-Saharan countries facing a looming higher education financing crisis.  

The World Bank