43007-023: Higher Education Reform Project | Asian Development Bank

Mongolia: Higher Education Reform Project

Sovereign (Public) Project | 43007-023 Status: Active

ADB is helping Mongolia improve the quality of its higher education system and increase enrollment by youth from poor, remote communities. The project will enhance the quality and relevance of higher education programs and address issues such as governance and management, financing, and access. It will fund research facilities and staff training, and support public-private partnerships.

Project Details

Project Officer
Lonjid, Itgel East Asia Department Request for information
  • Mongolia
  • Loan
  • Education
Project Name Higher Education Reform Project
Project Number 43007-023
Country Mongolia
Project Status Active
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Loan
Source of Funding / Amount
Loan 2766-MON: Higher Education Reform Project
concessional ordinary capital resources lending / Asian Development Fund US$ 20.00 million
Strategic Agendas Inclusive economic growth
Drivers of Change Gender Equity and Mainstreaming
Governance and capacity development
Sector / Subsector

Education / Tertiary

Gender Equity and Mainstreaming Gender equity
Description The project will institute needed reforms in higher education (HE) to improve the quality and relevance of HE programs; governance, management, and financing of HE institutions (HEIs) and the entire subsector; and promote equitable access to HE. Project interventions include institutional capacity building, human resources development, provision of learning and research facilities, equipment and materials, consultant services, minor civil works, support for public-private partnerships (PPP), and improvement of the HE policy environment.
Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy Rapid economic expansion has led to increased demand and supply for HE in Mongolia. The government has emphasized the value of HE as a principal investment option for the country's long-term economic competitiveness. Gross enrollment ratio for HE rose from 27% in 2000 to 47% in 2007, buttressed by the entry of private institutions offering HE in the 1990s. Over 100 HEIs are now in operation but only around 40% of graduates are employed. Persistent rural-urban inequalities also undermine Mongolia's competitiveness in HE. Poverty serves to destabilize children's school performance in rural areas and even if poor households manage to send their children to HEIs in urban areas, there is no guarantee of employability after the graduation. The government's vision is of an effective HE system that can help accelerate sustainable economic development, improve people's livelihood, ensure social equality, and reduce poverty. However, the system is currently constrained by (i) low quality and relevance, (ii) weak governance and management, (iii) inadequate financing, and (iv) limited opportunities in the HE subsector particularly for the poor and those in rural areas.
Impact The project impact will be an increased number of Mongolia's globally competitive higher education graduates responsive to labor market demands.
Project Outcome
Description of Outcome The outcome will be an improved, well-managed, and equitable higher education system. The project primarily involves capacity building of the entire subsector to improve its performance.
Progress Toward Outcome 7,215 (4,406 or 61% were female) administrators, managers, higher education specialists, experts, teachers, and faculty members from MECSS, NCEA and selected HEIs attended 134 in-country trainings, workshops in areas such as international quality assurance, governance/management and financing of HEIs, methodology of graduate tracer study, employer satisfaction survey, labor market study and CDIO standards.
Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

Quality and relevance of higher education programs improved

Effectiveness of HEIs' management and financing improved

Access to higher education improved.

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)

- A total number of managers in public HEIs including directors, deputy directors, branch school directors, branch school deputy directors, academic affairs director was 210 (75/35.7%) in 2017. The number of female board members and manager increased by 6.8% from 2009 to 2017. The draft advocacy plan for increase of women's share in HEIs' board and top management as well as policy recommendation for promotion of gender equality in higher education is prepared.

- On 25 January 2018, MECSS officially opened the five distance education centers at MSUE. MSUE has successfully taught several trial classes by connecting learners in Arkhangai, Dornod, Zavkhan and Khovd locations. Two individual consultants to assist in development of e-Learning Platform, and implementation of e-Learning at the distance education centers have been working since December 2017.

- Six individual consultants were recruited to develop Higher Education Management Information System in January 2018. Foundation Frameworks subsystem and enterprise components subsystems of HEMIS are being developed.

- The accreditation of 20 programs are being done by the National Center for Education Accreditation (NCEA). Currently, 4 programs (Teacher, primary education program of MNUE, Zoo-engineering and Agronomy programs of MULS, and Information technology of NUM) are audited by national experts and their reports discussed at respective Field Committees that made decisions for accrediting those 4 programs.

- So far 6 programs have been accredited internationally: (i) the General medicine program of Mongolian National University of Medical Science (MNUMS); (ii) the Geodesy program of the Mongolian University of Science and Technology (MUST); (iii) the Software Engineering (and Information Technology as a cluster) of National University of Mongolia (NUM); (iv) the Telecommunications Engineering Technology (and Wireless Communications Engineering Technology as a cluster) of MUST.

- Labor Market study, Employers Satisfaction survey and Graduates Tracer study were conducted at selected 6 HEIs (the NUM, the MNUE, Institute of Engineering and Technology, Etugen University, Shine Anagaah Medical School, Gurvan Erdene Institute) in 2016. Additional trainings have been conducted for the HEIs on the methodologies for these studies.

- The twinning program between the Accreditation Agency for Degree Programs in Engineering, Informatics, the Natural Sciences and Mathematics of Federal republic of Germany (ASIIN) and the NCEA, are progressing with good results. Under the Twinning program, the new criteria and procedures for institutional, program and initial accreditation were developed and approved by Governing Board of the NCEA in May 2017. The guidelines and manuals for institutional, program and initial accreditation were developed in May 2017. In total, 492 (of which 359/72.9% female) experts of professional council, school faculty members and administration attended the ASIIN supported workshops and trainings on new standards, procedures and internal quality assurance. The NCEA successfully conducted pilot initial, institutional and program accreditations at selected 6 HEIs.

- The project provided the following grant through the competitive selection process: (i) 13 partnership grants were awarded to 104 researchers from 6 HEIs with aim to promote Industry and HEIs partnership; (ii) 2 grants for the joint research and capacity building partnership with foreign universities; (iii) 60 research grants were awarded to 312 teachers and students from 12 HEIs to strengthen a research capacity at the HEIs; (iv) 117 grants to support students' initiatives.

- The project supported improving the teaching and learning environment at schools: (i) the office furniture and equipment were supplied to 7 rural HEIs in 2014; (ii) minor renovation was done at 8 HEIs; (iii) lab equipment were supplied to 6 HEIs; (iv) 6 software applications were supplied to Mechanical and Transportation School of MUST and the distance learning center at MNUE; and (v) laboratory equipment and tools will be supplied to 2 rural HEIs in the second quarter of 2018.

- The MECSS has signed a cooperation agreement with MUST for implementation of CDIO standards in telecommunication, textile and industrial automation technology in August 2016. Renovation work of 8 CDIO workshop rooms were completed in May 2017. 43 course syllabus of Industrial automation program, 30 course syllabus of Textile technology program, 25 course syllabuses of Telecommunication program were selected to be revised in accordance with the CDIO standards. Initial training on program revision was conducted at Textile technology program. 11 lecturers from MUST, NUM, MULS, MNUAC and 2 MECSS officials took part in CDIO 2017 Forum in Singapore. A guideline for lecturers, administrative staffs on implementation of CDIO in HEIs was developed in August 2017. A set of 6 training manuals were printed and distributed to HEIs for use in training. A closing ceremony of initial phase of CDIO standards implementation was conducted on 16 March 2018. MECSS is planning to commence _Advancing CDIO_ in April 2018, which aims to advance the application of CDIO Teaching and Learning framework with a strong focus on edu-tech applications, multi-disciplinary projects, and faculty capability to sustain CDIO initiatives.

- A report on _Gender sensitivity of liberal arts courses_, policy recommendations to improve the gender sensitivity of the core curriculum and liberal arts courses of Mongolian universities, report on "Gender analysis on higher education legislation and policy documents", policy recommendations for increasing gender sensitivity in higher education legislation and policy documents, manual and guideline on _Ensuring gender equality in higher education_ have been completed and ready for publication.

Geographical Location Nation-wide
Safeguard Categories
Environment C
Involuntary Resettlement C
Indigenous Peoples C
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects The simplified environmental management plan, prepared during the project design phase, to ensure full mitigation of any environmental impacts of limited civil works, have been followed for the minor civil works such as rehabilitation of existing facilities.
Involuntary Resettlement No impact on environment and resettlement is anticipated. Neither acquisition of land nor relocation of people is planned.
Indigenous Peoples No negative impacts on indigenous peoples are expected. Targeting approaches under the project will be applied nationwide and benefit indigenous peoples.
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design All the relevant stakeholders have been consulted during the project processing, and their views and recommendations have been incorporated in the project design.
During Project Implementation The MECSS and PIU conduct consultation meetings and workshops with various stakeholders including the higher education institutes, other higher education sector projects in order to coordinate activities and exchange experiences. The PIU prepares and circulates a weekly briefing on project implementation for the MECSS.
Responsible ADB Officer Lonjid, Itgel
Responsible ADB Department East Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Mongolia Resident Mission
Executing Agencies
Ministry of Education, Culture, Science & Sports
[email protected]
Government Building-III, Suite # 514, Baga toiruu-44, Sukhbaatar district
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Concept Clearance 10 Aug 2010
Fact Finding 30 Aug 2010 to 14 Sep 2010
Approval 28 Jul 2011
Last Review Mission -
Last PDS Update 26 Mar 2018

Loan 2766-MON

Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
28 Jul 2011 09 Sep 2011 10 Jan 2012 30 Jun 2017 31 Dec 2018 -
Financing Plan Loan Utilization
Total (Amount in US$ million) Date ADB Others Net Percentage
Project Cost 22.22 Cumulative Contract Awards
ADB 20.00 28 Jul 2011 13.53 0.00 76%
Counterpart 2.22 Cumulative Disbursements
Cofinancing 0.00 28 Jul 2011 13.75 0.00 78%
Status of Covenants
Category Sector Safeguards Social Financial Economic Others
Rating - Satisfactory - Satisfactory - Satisfactory

Project Data Sheets (PDS) contain summary information on the project or program. Because the PDS is a work in progress, some information may not be included in its initial version but will be added as it becomes available. Information about proposed projects is tentative and indicative.

The Public Communications Policy (PCP) recognizes that transparency and accountability are essential to development effectiveness. It establishes the disclosure requirements for documents and information ADB produces or requires to be produced.

The Accountability Mechanism provides a forum where people adversely affected by ADB-assisted projects can voice and seek solutions to their problems and report alleged noncompliance of ADB's operational policies and procedures.

In preparing any country program or strategy, financing any project, or by making any designation of, or reference to, a particular territory or geographic area in this document, the Asian Development Bank does not intend to make any judgments as to the legal or other status of any territory or area.

Title Document Type Document Date
Higher Education Reform Project: Procurement Plan Procurement Plans Nov 2017
Amendment to the Loan Agreement (Special Operations) for Loan 2766-MON: Higher Education Reform Project Loan Agreement (Special Operations) Aug 2016
Loan Agreement for Higher Education Reform Project between Mongolia and Asian Development Bank dated 9 September 2011 Loan Agreement (Special Operations) Sep 2011
Higher Education Reform Project Summary Poverty Reduction and Social Strategies Jul 2011
Higher Education Reform Project: Gender Action Plans Gender Action Plans Jul 2011
Higher Education Reform Project: Project Administration Memoranda Project/Program Administration Manual Jul 2011
Higher Education Reform Project Reports and Recommendations of the President Jul 2011

Safeguard Documents See also: Safeguards

Safeguard documents provided at the time of project/facility approval may also be found in the list of linked documents provided with the Report and Recommendation of the President.

None currently available.

Evaluation Documents See also: Independent Evaluation

None currently available.

Related Publications

The Public Communications Policy (PCP) establishes the disclosure requirements for documents and information ADB produces or requires to be produced in its operations to facilitate stakeholder participation in ADB's decision-making. For more information, refer to the Safeguard Policy Statement, Operations Manual F1, and Operations Manual L3.

Requests for information may also be directed to the InfoUnit.


Tender Title Type Status Posting Date Deadline
Monitoring and Evaluation Consultant Individual - Consulting Closed 26 Jan 2018 04 Feb 2018
e-Learning Platform Consultant Individual - Consulting Closed 25 Sep 2017 08 Oct 2017
E-Learning Consultant Individual - Consulting Closed 25 Sep 2017 08 Oct 2017

Contracts Awarded

Contract Title Approval Number Contract Date Contractor Contractor Address Executing Agency Contract Description Total Contract Amount (US$) Contract Amount Financed by ADB (US$)
Procurement of Laboratory Equipment and Supplies for National University of Mongolia, ICB 16/22 Loan 2766 15 Jun 2017 Various Various, Mongolia Ministry of Education,Culture,Science_& Sports Supply of Goods 1,222,342.00 1,111,220.00

Procurement Plan

Title Document Type Document Date
Higher Education Reform Project: Procurement Plan Procurement Plans Nov 2017