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Tertiary Education

Status: Active
  • Lead Organization

    The World Bank.



    Association of Arab Universities (AArU); Arab European Leadership Network in Higher Education (ARELEN); AlmaLaurea; Arab Network for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ANQAHE); Arab Organization for Quality Assurance in Education (AROQA); Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO); British Council; ministries of higher education within the region and universities across MENA.

    Close cooperation with the Lebanese Ministry for Higher Education, Universities Association of Lebanon and UNESCO for a major regional event in May 2015. 



    • Limited institutional capacity to initiate governance reforms.  
    • Limited sharing of best practices across the region.   


    Program Objective

    • To enhance universities’ governance and accountability through capacity-building measures, using an evidence-based and inclusive approach. To meet this objective a University Governance Screening Card (UGSC) has been developed by the program and applied across its 100 universities network. A second version of UGSC will be applied in 2015.
    • To foster regional integration through the development of a university network across seven MENA countries to enable university stakeholders, including regional and international experts, to exchange best practices in higher education through capacity-building workshops, high-level regional events, and publications.


    Selected Results

    • Generated innovative approaches: Development and application of a University Governance Screening Card with the network of 100 universities in seven countries. This tool enables Middle East and North Africa (MENA) universities to compare themselves to international standards, define their own set of goals, and establish benchmarks to assess progress in achieving them.
    • Increased client capacity: Development of action plans, January to May 2014. Working in close consultation with the World Bank team, 55 universities developed action plans to improve university governance.
    • Deepened knowledge through a regional event, held in Tunis in June 2014, with 170 participants from nine MENA/African countries, as well as international and European experts. Media coverage scored 33 hits across five countries (Egypt, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia) and in three languages (15 Arabic, 13 French, 5 English).  Additional coverage on three radio stations and one national TV channel.
    • Informed policy choice (decision making): Ministers, quality assurance agencies and institutions, have agreed to work together to reward best practices in quality assurance initiatives in the region.  


    Francisco Marmolejo, Tertiary Education Coordinator / Lead Tertiary Education Specialist, World Bank