Bangladesh will establish a South Asian Higher Education portal to facilitate virtual mobility of students with the help of financing received from the World Bank under its Higher Education Acceleration Transformation Project.The World Bank approved a credit of USD 191 million under the project for Bangladesh on Thursday. The project will allow National Research and Education networks (NRENs) and provide expanded access and connectivity for students. It will help upgrade the Bangladesh Research and Education Network (BdREN) and offer a subsidized connectivity package to students and the participating universities in BdREN.
The project will build a network of women’s universities and institutions, which will be initially anchored at the Asian University of Women in Chattogram, Bangladesh.According to a press release issued by the World Bank, the Higher Education Acceleration Transformation Project is the first WB supported regional education project in South Asia. The project will support regional collaboration in the higher education sector including student mobility through equivalence programmes, credit transfer schemes and university twinning arrangements. It will also help women access quality higher education.
The project will also help mitigate the impact of the COVID 19 pandemic in the regions which has caused large scale drop outs and fewer enrolments. It will support pandemic support and emergency response and build systemic resilience in the higher education sector by focussing on digitisation. World Bank Country director for Bangladesh and Bhutan Mercy Tembon said this financing will help Bangladesh strengthen the quality and relevance of tertiary education as well as ensure business continuity during the COVID 19 pandemic.