Demand for education is soaring in a globalized world of rapid technological change. The number of higher education students around the world is projected to more than double to 262 million by 2025, and most of this growth will come from the emerging markets. While the global number of children out of school may have dropped sharply during the 1990s, it remains unacceptably high, especially for girls. Meanwhile, hundreds of millions of unemployed people around the world search for jobs, even as employers report difficulty in finding workers with the right skills.
IFC invests in private education to create opportunities for children, youth, and working adults. At the end of June, 2013, IFC’s portfolio of active projects was just over $650 million. IFC is working with clients and partners who are using technology and new delivery models to reach more students, more effectively. They are using new methods for gathering and analyzing vast amounts of data to measure value for students and improve quality and relevance for employment.
IFC brings together education expertise and analysis from around the world to foster partnerships and collaboration. As part of the World Bank Group, IFC connects private sector innovation with public education policy and goals.
In poor countries where governments may not have the resources to offer education to all of its citizens, parents often depend on private education to fill the gap. Innovation is showing us new ways to scale up education delivery at reasonable cost. In addition to financing, IFC helps educational institutions manage efficiently, making them attractive to investors and capable of expansion. Finally, private education providers are particularly effective at linking together with industry to upgrade workforce skills and drive employment.