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International Investment Forum on Private Higher Education

On January 21, 2004, the International Finance Corporation hosted a major international forum on investment in private higher education. Discussions focused on how the private sector can strengthen the role it plays in the financing and delivery of good quality higher education in developing economies and the need to share ideas about best practices. See agenda for more details of speakers and panel discussions.

IFC Chief Peter Woicke opened the forum on January 21. Dr. Mamphela Ramphele, managing director of the World Bank, spoke at the opening dinner. Other distinguished speakers included Paulo Renata Souza, former Minister of Education of Brazil; John Dawkins, former Minister of Education and Minister of Finance from Australia; Jorge Klor de Alva of Apollo Group, USA; and Joseph Duffey of Sylvan International Universities.

Some of the more thought-provoking debates will focus on the following issues:

  • why is it that India, a developing country, has become one of the world's IT leaders, despite its high rates of illiteracy and many economic challenges;
  • are there potential pitfalls of investing in China’s growing higher education market; the country has one of the world's largest distance education universities but only a few foreign higher education investments have been successful; and
  • whether the globalization of higher education and whether it will really open new windows of opportunity for the sector across the globe; and will foreign providers also be looking at the North American market.

The Education Forum, which is by invitation only,will be held at IFC headquarters: 2121 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington DC.

On Friday, January 23 there was a live debate on the issues of globalization. For further information on the questions raised and responses, see the Learning Times web site. The debaters were the Hon. John Dawkins, former Treasurer and Minister of Education of Australia and Dr. Terry Ryan. Dr. Ryan, who is Director of the African Center for Economic Growth (ACEG), is a former Economic Secretary, in the Kenyan Ministry of Finance, and professor, at Strathmore University.

For further information please contact Suzanne Roddis, Manager, EdInvest at: educationforum@ifc.org or sroddis@ifc.org.

For media inquiries please contact Elizabeth Price


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