The overall goal of the Project is to reduce the supply-demand gap for educated labor in key economic sectors. In the short term, the Project aims to improve the quality of, and upgrade access to, postsecondary education. The number of applicants is increasing as a result of World Bank and other donor assistance to secondary education. The first objective of the Project will be to strengthen the institutional quality and capacity of the seven existing postsecondary education institutions by expanding in-country curricula choices and raising the level of courses leading to internationally recognized advanced diplomas. Quality will be improved through course and staff development, and facilities and equipment upgrading. In turn, improved quality resulting from a greater selection of advanced curriculum offerings taught by better trained teachers, especially through refresher courses for the Maldives College of Higher Education (MCHE) applicants, mobile training in branch centers, and open university distance education, will lead to a greater number of places for secondary school entrants. The second objective will be to establish MCHE to consolidate and coordinate postsecondary administration and academic programs for these institutions including admissions, accreditation, budgeting, planning, monitoring, student affairs, foundation and atoll extension, and external linkages to out-of-country universities with the view to meet international accreditation standards. The Project will have two parts.
Part A will focus on upgrading the quality of seven existing postsecondary institutions. Quality upgrading will include the provision of (i) local and overseas fellowships; (ii) civil works, furniture, equipment, and learning materials for the Institute of Hotel and Catering Services (IHCS), Maldives Institute of Technical Education (MITE), and Maritime Training Center (MTC); (iii) consulting services; and (iv) fellowships and consulting services for the Institute of Health Sciences (IHS), and assistance for distance learning education.
Part B will focus on capacity building of MCHE through the provision of (i) civil works, facilities, furniture, and equipment for the MCHE building with the administration offices, a student study center, a multimedia center, and a student dormitory; (ii) consulting services for MCHE; (iii) overseas study visits for MCHE staff; (iv) local fellowships for postsecondary education staff; (v) incremental recurrent costs for MCHE; and (vi) establishment of the Project implementation unit (PIU) and provision of Project management, including incremental recurrent costs for PIU.