April 5, 2018
2:00pm – 3:30pm | Room J B1-080 Word Bank, J Building

Higher education lies at the nexus of growth, jobs, and competitiveness and has the potential to serve as a catalyst for economic transformation. As developing countries expand basic education systems and increasingly transition into the knowledge economy, higher education will play a key role serving as an incubator for the knowledge base and human capital needed to promote and sustain development across many sectors.

Our panel of experts discussed the issues of assuring quality, supporting equity and enhancing employability in higher education systems. The event will also highlight findings from IEG’s recent evaluation on Higher Education: Higher Education for Development: An Evaluation of the World Bank Group's Support.

Watch the re-play of the live event

Watch interviews with event panelists Dr. Salvador Malo Alvarez, Roberta Malee Bassett, and with Eva Egron-Polak.


Caroline Heider
Director-General, IEG, and
Senior Vice President
World Bank Group


Jaime Saavedra
Senior Director, Education Global Practice
World Bank Group

The World Bank Group’s Support to Higher Education: Findings & Main messages

Emanuela di Gropello
Manager, Human Development and Corporate Programs Unit
Independent Evaluation Group


Auguste Kouamé
Director, Human Development and Economic Management Department
Independent Evaluation Group
World Bank Group


Eva Egron-Polak
Former Secretary General, Senior Fellow
International Association of Universities

Roberta Malee Bassett
Sr. Higher Education Specialist
World Bank Group

Salvador Malo Alvarez
Director General of Higher Education
Ministry of Education of Mexico

Keiko Miwa
Education Practice Director
World Bank Group


Submitted by Lucy Mbugua , … on Tue, 04/03/2018 - 10:58


Thanks Caroline for holding a discussion on such a high platform for such an important topic.Education without borders, advocates for successful completion of international students in UK. In UK, most non- EU students are faced with various challenges like visa problems, fees problems, lack of practical experience etc most of them are from British Ex-colonies the Commonwealths, and they are young democracies. One problem with visa problem is the definition of an immigrant by United Nations'' Any one who moves away from their mother countries to another are classified as migrants'' this problem is in UK where international students are classifies as migrants as opposed to international students. Please can we have this definition ratified by United Nations so that international students don't suffer oppression. Secondly, World Bank, United Nations, IMF, Deloitte etc are the beneficiaries of these international students especially in United Kingdom. How can organisation like World Bank, UN etc support the activities of Education without Borders (EBB).In the upcoming common wealth Heads of State meeting in April in UK, this organisation has been allowed to highlight the problems international students are facing in UK in their quest for higher education. How can World Bank, UN etc partner with Common wealth Secretariat and Education Without Borders to help Commonwealth students struggling financially?

Submitted by Ashwini Sathnu… on Wed, 04/04/2018 - 02:39


The primary focus of the countries currently is based on the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Basically there is a necessary requirement of knowledge building and awareness creation initiatives on the subject areas of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. One of the causes of raising information dissemination to the wider public would be in the form of imparting knowledge in the educational system. Building upon the educational curriculum portfolio to include the ideologies of Sustainable Development - related science and technology would be a plus point in the efforts of this implementation. Educational policies and educational reforms would be required to be created to achieve the UN goals, which would lead to the broad and wider public good!

Submitted by Jamie Charlebois on Thu, 04/05/2018 - 12:27


What is the evidence base for the assumption that investing in higher education causes increased economic growth, jobs and competitiveness? Can you please point us towards research that shows that higher education is a catalyst for economic transformation?
Thank you,
Jamie Charlebois

Submitted by Francisco Marmolejo on Thu, 04/05/2018 - 13:59


What it should be the role of development agencies such as the World Bank in supporting higher education improvement in low and middle-income countries? How to avoid the risk of being seen as too directive or even intrusive?

Submitted by Jeff Tanner on Thu, 04/05/2018 - 14:54


One missing element in this conversation seems to be accreditation. It underlies issues of quality, and from an international migration perspective, issues of access and equity.
The World Bank seems to be uniquely poised to work on the issue of international accreditation. Clearly the challenges are tremendous, but so are the potential benefits. What progress has been made, and what are plans for further engagement?

Submitted by Anonymous on Thu, 04/05/2018 - 15:05


Public sector labor market in still dominant force, because of easier access to the public goods and weak public sector. So my question is to what extent do the world bank project propose to create sophisticated job market which can absorb variety of skilled labors in the countries where public sector is the most popular job among the student who graduate from higher education?

Submitted by Jeff Tanner on Thu, 04/05/2018 - 15:25


Accreditation, including international accreditation, is an issue that seems to be integrally related to tertiary education, and inherently tied to issues of quality, equity, and access--particularly for international migrants.
The challenges to international accreditation are tremendous, but so are the benefits. The World Bank Group seems to be uniquely poised to make progress in this area. What is the Bank doing to make progress on international accreditation, and how does it figure into the forthcoming strategic plan?

Submitted by dahrane abdelh… on Thu, 04/05/2018 - 17:23


so i think we must to give for the children and all the family a very good education human and scolary it's more important
thank you

Add new comment