IIEP receives high level visit from Lao PRD in Paris

13 February 2011
Exchanging on higher education reform

Within the framework of a study visit to France and Germany, the IIEP received the visit on 10 February 2011 from a group of higher education decision-makers from Lao PDR. The group was composed of the Vice Minister of Education, Lytou Bouapao, the Director General of Higher Education Department, the Director of Personnel, both from the Ministry of Education and three university presidents.

Reforming Higher Education in Laos

Higher education in the Lao PDR has been undergoing rapid expansion and diversification.  While there was only one national university in 1995, today there are five universities and 103 higher education institutes, 82 of which are private. With support from the Asian Development Bank, Lao is currently in the process of designing a major reform of its higher education sector. This reform goes hand in hand with the new vision for economic and social development which aims to turn Lao into a middle income country by the year 2020. A draft Master Plan for Higher Education has been developed whose main objectives are 1) to widen equitable access, 2) to enhance the quality and relevance of higher education, and 3) improve governance and management of the sector.

The visit of the group of decision-makers was an opportunity to organize a structured exchange around selected issues addressed in the Master Plan. They were the envisaged reform of the governance system at both the national and institutional levels, the envisaged strategy for financing the plan and the development of a quality assurance mechanism. Mention was made also of the need to design a new higher education law which will provide a new regulatory framework for both the public and private higher education institutions in the country.