The World Bank has provided $150 million in funding to improve the capacity of Senegal’s higher education institutions, with the goal of producing graduates with job-market-relevant skills.
The funding will support the construction of eight additional higher education institutions in Senegal – Institut Supérieur des Etudes Professionnelles (ISEP) – and forms part of the Senegal Higher Education Project. It is also matched by a $1.9 million grant from the Early Learning Partnership Multi-Donor Trust Fund.
The initiative aims to improve the economic performance of Senegalese graduates of higher education in line with the goals of supporting inclusive growth, shared prosperity, and gender equality.
The money will leverage the successful outcomes of the ISEP in Thiès, previously funded by the World Bank. The newly constructed ISEPs will provide recipients with essential skills that will allow them to quickly integrate into the labor market.
According to preliminary projections, approximately 16,000 students will enroll in the newly established ISEPs. The specific socioeconomic features of each area will be considered in the selection of venues for these eight ISEPs. The aim is to tailor the vocational programs offered by each institution to the specific professional demands of the local areas, such as mining, fruit growing, fish processing, and textiles.
Aside from infrastructural improvements, the project will support existing and future higher education reforms. It aims to strengthen the sector’s governance structure and give strategic guidance to Senegal’s government. Immediate objectives include increasing access to tertiary vocational training programs and promoting the adoption of information technologies in higher education.