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tertiary education

2017 in review: The top ten World Bank education blogs

Anne Elicaño-Shields's picture

The variation in investment among developing countries is truly remarkable. Over the course of the 30-year period between 1980--2010---a period of relative calm in the global economy that is often referred to as the "Great Moderation"[*]---the investment rate in developing countries ranged from a whopping 90 percent (Armenia in 1990) to a dismal 1 percent (Liberia in 2003). This variability is more than twice that of variance in economic growth---a topic that has preoccupied many more generations of researchers---and much of this variability stems from the developing world.

The next generation of African scientists need a more sustainable career path

Rama George-Alleyne's picture


Photo Credit: Tim Wang via Flickr Creative Commons

According to the World Bank Group’s Private Participation in Infrastructure (PPI) Database, an estimated 10-30% of global infrastructure projects with private-sector participation in low- and middle-income countries are unsolicited, meaning the proposal was submitted by a private sector entity without an explicit request from a government to do so. The considerable use of this alternative procurement method, where the private sector rather than the government takes the leading role in initiating and developing a project, raises important concerns for public infrastructure practitioners at both technical and political levels due to the nature of unsolicited proposals (USPs). USPs offer potential opportunities for governments, but experience shows they can introduce several challenges, such as diverting public resources away from the strategic plans of the government, failing to attract competition, and ultimately leading to opportunities for corruption.

The most effective services for well-rounded higher education students in India

Jessica Lee's picture
Photo Credit: Whity via Flickr
As an engineer on large-scale infrastructure PPP projects, I typically get involved after the advisory portion of the transaction is completed. This has given me some valuable insights. For example, I worked on a major airport in the Middle East, where the lessons we learned on the engineering side would greatly benefit similar projects as early as the advisory phase.

Are we obsessed with university rankings?

Francisco Marmolejo's picture
Man in field with cattle. Pakistan. Photo: Curt Carnemark / World Bank


Disease Outbreaks: A Constant Threat
 
The World Health Organization called for “heightened vigilance and strengthened surveillance efforts” last week to prevent and detect human transmission of a highly pathogenic strain of avian influenza or ‘bird flu’. And while no human cases have been reported and WHO itself called the risk “relatively low,” we know the potential devastating impacts of diseases spread from animals to humans.

The Road to Academic Excellence: Lessons of Experience

Jamil Salmi's picture
It is always exciting to learn from innovators. With its vibrant and competitive ICT sector, Internet penetration levels among the highest in the world and advanced ICT infrastructure, Singapore is a global information-communication hub and leader in ICT-enabled solutions.
 
The Infocomm Development Authority (IDA), together with other agencies are working towards Singapore’s vision to becoming the world’s first smart nation. That’s why World Bank Group colleagues were eager to hear from Mr. Chan Cheow Hoe – IDA’s Government Chief Information Officer (CIO) – and his team during their visit to World Bank on September 24, 2014, about their vision of a “smart nation”.
 
Mr. Chan opened the conversation by offering his understanding of the basics: what is “innovation”? Innovation, according to him, is a means to very concrete ends: solving people’s problems. When pursuing innovation in certain areas of life, we should first ask ourselves “what problems are we going to solve?” The answer to this question should guide our search for technologically enabled solutions.
 
A “smart” nation is one whose government employs innovative technologies to effectively respond to its peoples’ needs, improving their social and economic prospects. It does so inclusively, so that all sub-segments of the population benefit. This citizen-centric approach is the key to understanding governance in a smart nation; unlike business entities, the government cannot choose its customers and must serve all citizens. In doing so, the government has to deal with diverse subjects and issues, which adds complexity to the task. For this reason, the government should have a long term view and plan.   

Tertiary Education: Blind Spot or System Failure?

Shanta Devarajan's picture


إننا نعيش في واحدة من أندر لحظات التاريخ حين تشير الدلائل الاقتصادية والبحوث العلمية إلى الاتجاه ذاته: الاستثمار في تنمية الطفولة المبكرة يحقق عائدات عالية طوال الحياة.  فالأدلة الاقتصادية، استنادا إلى تقييمات دقيقة للأثر قام بها جيمس هيكمان وآخرون، تشير إلى أن الطفل الذي يقرأ له أهله ويلتحق برياض الأطفال ويجد عموما أنشطة محفزة  منذ مولده وحتى سن الخامسة، صبح  أكثر احتمالا للانتظام في الدراسة ويكون أداؤه وصحته أفضل وإنتاجيته أعلى وهو بالغ.  

Evolution of a World-Class University: Balancing Local Growth and Global Appeal

Jamil Salmi's picture

International Youth Day is a time to celebrate the youth of countries from around the world. The United Nations announced the theme for this year as Dialogue and Mutual Understanding, emphasizing the importance of communication not only within their generation, but among different generations as well. Only through conversation and open dialogue can opinions and perspectives be understood, cultivating ideas for change and developing aspirations for the future.

Going the Distance: Sustaining and Growing a World-Class University

Jamil Salmi's picture

Pundits in the financial press have been asking an intriguing question: if too much debt and insufficient equity was partly responsible for the financial crisis, might Islamic banking be part of the solution? After all, Islamic principles require that financial transactions cannot include interest rate payments on debt, but rather have to rely on profit-loss risk-sharing arrangements (as in equity). For example, demand deposits that do not pay interest are fine, but savings deposits generally participate in the profits of the bank since these cannot accrue interest. Lending also generally follows a partnership model where the bank provides the resources and the client provides effort and expertise, and profits are shared at some agreed ratio. So can the heightened risk-sharing required by Sharia curb excess risk-taking by banks?

In practice Islamic scholars have also developed products that resemble those offered by conventional banks, replacing interest rate payments and discounting with fees and contingent payment structures. Nevertheless, Islamic banking still retains a strong element of equity participation. How does this affect bank risk-taking? Conceptually, the answer is not immediately clear. On the one hand, the equity-like nature of savings instruments may increase depositors’ incentives to monitor and discipline banks. On the other hand, if deposit instruments are equity-like, banks’ incentives to monitor and discipline borrowers may also be reduced since banks no longer face the threat of immediate withdrawal. Similarly, the equity-like nature of partnership loans can reduce the important discipline imposed on entrepreneurs by debt contracts.

An Uphill Struggle? Equity in Higher Education for People with Disabilities

Jamil Salmi's picture

Open Data in UruguayDoes open data have economic value beyond the benefits of transparency and accountability? Does it have the power to fuel new businesses and create new jobs? Does it have the potential to improve people's lives by powering new services and products? If so, what should the World Bank be doing to help this along? These were questions we had in mind as we set out to bring together open data entrepreneurs from across Latin America for an Open Data Business Models workshop in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Call for Action: Help Shape Our Work on Equity in Higher Education

Jamil Salmi's picture

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Dans cette vidéo, Makhtar Diop, vice-président pour la région Afrique de la Banque mondiale, explique, alors qu’il traverse le fleuve Congo, pourquoi ce voyage du président de la Banque mondiale et du secrétaire général des Nations Unies, est une occasion historique de renforcer le processus de paix dans la région.


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