Higher Education Project

Project Overview

Project Title Higher Education Project
Project Number P148291
Country Tajikistan
Overall Project Value(USD) More than 4 000 000
Project Start – Project End June 30, 2015–October 31, 2021
Project Status Active

Funding and Implementing Organizations

Origin of Funding World Bank
Project Budget(USD) 15.000.000
Implementing Organization / Consortium

Not Assigned

Contact / Team Leader / Project Team
  • Laura Tuck (Regional Vice President),
  • Saroj Kumar Jha (Country Director),
  • Claudia Maria Costin (Senior Global Practice Director),
  • Mario Cristian Aedo Inostroza (Practice Manager/Manager),
  • Jason Weaver/Sachiko Kataoka (Task Team Leader).
Beneficiary Ministry of Education and Science on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan

Project Summary, Objectives and Results

Project Summary

The project seeks to strengthen the quality of higher education in the Republic of Tajikistan by focusing on institutional-level improvements and system-level interventions. The project focuses on various aspects of higher education and its linkage to employment.

Project will support HEIs in engaging the private sector to improve the relevance of programs to the labor market demand. Second, it will support piloting programs and projects that aim ensuring under-represented students have access to and success in HE. Third, it will support transformation of correspondence part-time programs into modern distance education and on-line courses that connect Tajik HE students to world knowledge. To establish a strong institutional foundation to support all these reforms, the project will also support strengthening quality assurance mechanisms at system and institutional levels.

The overarching objective of the project is to strengthen the capacity of the HE system and its education institutions to provide high quality and relevant education to its graduates. The project development objective is to develop mechanisms that improve and monitor the quality and labor-market relevance of higher education. This will be accomplished through policy, program, and governance reforms that (i) provide more equitable access and retention, (ii) enhance internal and external quality assurance capacity, and (iii) enhance relevance of academic programs to better reflect labor market demand.

Project Objectives
  • To develop mechanisms that improve the quality and labor-market relevance of higher education
  • To develop mechanisms that monitor the quality and labor-market relevance of higher education
Education Sector HE, VET (IVET & CVET)
Components of the Education Process Career planning, Education Management, Education Policy Advice & Development, Examination, certification and accreditation, Institutional strengthening & capacity building, Quality assurance, Social Partnership, Standards and curriculum development
Occupational Field Not applicable
Target Groups Politicians/decision-makers in economics, labour, employment & education policy, Decision-makers and managers in VET and HE institutions, Developers of standards, programs, curricula etc., Employers and employer organisations, Learners (scholar, student, apprentice etc.), Lecturers, teachers, instructors, trainers, Standardisation, Certification, Accreditation Bodies
Related Projects

Not Assigned


Component 1: Institutional-Level Improvements

This component supports institutional-level improvements through the following two sub-components: (i) Just-in-Time Grants to Re-/Up-Skill Workforce – using existing data on employer demand, grants will be awarded to eligible education institutions to develop and deliver short-term programs/courses that align with the sectors, skills, and competencies in immediate demand; (ii) Competitive Grant Program for Universities – the objective is to support the design and implementation of a Competitive Grant Program (CGP) that will fund demand-driven improvements at HEIs. HEIs will self-identify and propose initiatives as a way to foster institutional diversity across the system. The CGP will support the best proposals aimed at the following two objectives: 1) labor market relevance, and 2) female student support services.


Component 2: System-Level Interventions

This component supports interventions at the system-level through the following three sub-components: (i) Quality Assurance Enhancement – this sub-component supports capacity development for monitoring and improving the quality of higher education. Activities to be supported include: a) implementing minimum standards for conducting and reporting graduate tracer studies, b) building capacity of the relevant government authority and HEIs to operate in a manner more consistent with European Standards and Guidelines for quality assurance, c) developing, piloting, and approving new standards and guidelines for institutional accreditation and internal quality assurance; (ii) System-wide Higher Education Curriculum Reform – supports the reform of state-defined curriculum. Activities to be financed under this sub-component include: a) conducting a detailed employer survey, b) revising the state-defined curriculum for 5-7 clusters of academic specialities with input from local and international experts as well as private sector employers to reflect the cognitive and transversal skills in demand; (iii) Assessment of Higher Education Financing – support an assessment of Tajikistan’s approach to financing HE. It will produce recommendations for a more effective and performance-oriented allocation method that supports key policy objectives.


Component 3: Project Management, Monitoring and Evaluation

The activities to be financed support project management, communication, training, monitoring and evaluation, operating costs, and the project’s audits.

Project Results
  • A public consultation mechanism for students, parents, employers, and CSOs established
  • National quality assurance standards and guidelines developed and piloted for accreditation
  • Policies and regulations for distance education programs, incl. accreditation standards, developed and implemented
  • National quality assurance standards and guidelines developed in alignment with the European Standards and Guidelines

Links and Materials

Link to project relevant data