Educational institutions in the developing world are also trying to produce a competitive global workforce. Facing unique economic, political, and social challenges to development, these countries often partner with international organizations such as the World Bank in efforts to finance educational endeavors. From 1990 to 2009 the World Bank lent over US$7.64 billion for 337 education projects with higher education components in 106 countries (The World Bank Group, 2010).
One World Bank-funded project is the Second Higher Education Project (HEP2) in Vietnam. The goal of HEP2 is to increase the quality of teaching and research in universities to improve the employability of graduates and the relevance of research in Vietnam. The project works at the government and university levels to create policies and capacities that will foster higher education (The World Bank Group, 2007). Like HEP2, many of the World Bank education projects recognize the development of a nation’s knowledge economy as a vital component to its overall economy stability.
Beyond higher education, the World Bank also supports projects for primary, secondary, and information communication technology (ICT) education. Currently the World Bank has active projects in countries such as Argentina, Cambodia, and Egypt.
Like many other international organizations, the World Bank faces criticism on the terms and agreements developing nations must adhere to in order to obtain funding for projects. There are ongoing debates about whether the World Bank creates conditions that truly help developing nations build stronger economies.