fbpx ADB's Focus on Education: Higher Education | Asian Development Bank

Education

Most developing countries in Asia and the Pacific have increased primary education enrollment rates in the last three decades, but daunting challenges remain. ADB is assisting its developing member countries achieve the goal of quality education for all.

Higher Education

Library of the University of the South Pacific, also called Laucala, in Suva, Fiji
Library of the University of the South Pacific, also called Laucala, in Suva, Fiji. Photo: Eric Sales/ADB

Most countries in Asia and the Pacific are middle-income countries. They recognize that they need a growing cadre of people with advanced skills to move up the value chain and for their economies to compete in a globalized world.

Higher education contributes significantly to the technological and innovation capacity and overall competitiveness of developing member countries (DMCs). As such, the region's fast-growing economies are exerting pressure on higher education. There is an increasing trend for DMCs to establish world class universities and "centers of excellence." Higher education is now experiencing both the "push" of large numbers of secondary education graduates, and the "pull" of labor markets demanding more workers with higher level skills in different growth sectors. This requires ensuring high quality of teaching and learning, promoting relevant research and development in partnership with industry and private sector, and addressing development challenges such as the need to develop high quality teachers, promote advanced digital skills, and support the ecosystem for entrepreneurship and innovation.

As these developments appear more frequently on the higher education landscape across the region, it will be important to support measures that ensure more inclusive access to higher education so that no sector of society is neglected in the development of human capital.

Related resources

Pages

Featured Multimedia

Reforming Mongolia's Higher Education Sector

Mongolia is reforming its higher education sector, improving the quality and relevance of the courses on offer in its Universities, which is driving up graduate employment rate.

Contacts/Experts

Other Education Issues in Asia and the Pacific

Asia is a global success story when it comes to educating children. Overall, 9 out of 10 children in the region, since 2018, are enrolled in primary school. Significant progress in attaining quality education was globally reported during the first quarter of 2020. For a continent that contained two-thirds of world’s out-of-school children in the 1970s, the progress has been nothing short of remarkable.

Basic and Secondary Education

Basic and Secondary Education

Primary education enrollment averages around 90% in the region. However, this high rate masks serious deficiencies in student retention, quality of education, and foundational literacy and numeracy acquired.

Technical and Vocational Education

Technical and Vocational Education

Developing Asia and the Pacific provides a rich array of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) experiences, but too often these have recorded only modest results.

Education Reform

Education Reform

In an expanding and diversifying sector, developing member countries (DMCs) need to implement reforms to strengthen governance. In particular, reforms should focus on attracting and developing talents of education workforce, improving governance and accountability, and improving financing and system efficiency.

Promoting Equity

Promoting Equity

Unequal access to education in the region remains pronounced, beginning at the basic education level, and compounded at the secondary level and above.

Sustainable Education Financing

Sustainable Education Financing

Sustained investments in education are important for the productivity and resilience of economies. Funding for education is provided not only by the state, but also by households and the private sector.