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 The project has been supporting implementation of the government higher education reform policy since its inception, and providing various capacity building activities. As of September 2017, in total 7,910 university administrators, faculty and staff received training in topics supporting the higher education reforms in the country, out of whom 4,672 (59%) were women. In total 185 policy makers, administrators and faculty members attended 23 trainings, capacity building activities overseas.
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)

Progress under Output 1:

- The project is planned to support three programs to be internationally accredited. As of September 2017, General Medicine Program of the Mongolian National University of Medical Science (MNUMS), and Geodesy Program of the Mongolian University of Science and Technology (MUST) have been accredited internationally in 2016-2017.

- The Twinning Agreement was signed between the Accreditation Agency for Degree Programs in Engineering, Informatics, the Natural Sciences and Mathematics of the Federal Republic of Germany (ASIIN) and the National Council for Education Accreditation of Mongolia (NCEA) in June 2016. The aim of the partnership is to strengthen the NCEA's capacity. Under the Twinning program, new criteria and procedures for institutional, program and initial accreditation were developed and approved by Governing Board of NCEA in May 2017. Guidelines and manuals for institutional, program and initial accreditation developed were developed. Over 500 staff and accreditation experts attended workshops and trainings on new accreditation standards and procedures, and internal quality assurance.

- The Labor Market study, Employers Satisfaction Survey and Graduates Tracer Study were conducted at pilot 6 higher education institutes (HEI) in 2016. The project plans to disseminate the approaches and methodologies to other universities.

- The project awarded 208 competitive grants to 59 public and private HEIs, 560 students and 312 researchers. 60 grants were awarded for research works, 13 grants were awarded for the industry and HEI partnership, 18 grants were awarded for the institutional development, and 117 grants were awarded for the students initiated projects.

- Physical learning environment of 3 rural and 5 public HEIs including their branch schools were improved with modern research facilities, equipment and supplies. The laboratory facilities and equipment were supplied to 5 public HEIs.

- The project has been supporting the MUST in applying the CDIO standards in telecommunication, textile technology, and industrial automation technology programs of MUST since 2015.

Progress under Output 2:

- Reforms in sound corporate governance were piloted in two public (National University of Mongolia and MNUMS) and two private (Otgontenger University and Ider Institute) HEIs.

- 335 representatives from MECSS, HEIs, and NGOs attended trainings, seminars and discussions on governance, management and financing of higher education, organized under the project. Around 280 program management staff participated in in-country training between 2015-2016. In total 56 participants attended training on _Higher Education for Tomorrow_ of the University of Hong Kong between 2014-2017.

Progress under Output 3:

- The project provided furniture, tele-conferencing and classroom interactive observation equipment, and software for establishment of distance education centers at the Mongolian State University of Education (MSUE), MSUE, Arkhangai branch school of MSUE, Khovd University, Dornod University, and Zavkhan branch school of NUM.

- In 2017, proportion of female board members and management of public HEIs (director, deputy, branch school director, branch school deputy director, academic affairs director) increased by 8% above 2009 level.

In 2017 the enrollment of rural students decreased by 3% from its 2009 level. There is no statistics available regarding to enrollment of students from disadvantaged groups such as poor, rural and urban.

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 conducts 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.
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 28 Sep 2017

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 12.94 0.00 72%
Counterpart 2.22 Cumulative Disbursements
Cofinancing 0.00 28 Jul 2011 13.08 0.00 73%
Status of Covenants
Category Sector Safeguards Social Financial Economic Others
Rating - 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 Consultant Individual - Consulting Closed 25 Sep 2017 08 Oct 2017
e-Learning Platform 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 1222342 1111220

Procurement Plan

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