IFC has decided to maintain its freeze on investments in K-12 private, fee-charging schools, in line with a June, 2022 recommendation by the World Bank’s Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) . This decision applies to our direct investments, advisory work, and indirect investments in K-12 schools resulting from new investments in private equity funds. We initially took this step in response to concerns by external stakeholders about the impact of private schools on education quality and access and we requested that the IEG evaluate IFC investments in K-12 schools, reviewing impacts on educational outcomes, access, poverty and inequality. In its report, released in June, 2022, the IEG concluded that investments should not resume unless IFC makes changes in how it approaches investing in this sector. We support this conclusion.
This freeze does not impact our work to invest in education technology, the provision of ancillary services to K-12 schools and the development of infrastructure PPPs in K-12 that can help improve access and learning for all students, with a focus on the most vulnerable. IFC also continues its work in tertiary education, including universities and vocational schools, and in early childhood services.
Demand for education is soaring. The number of higher education students is projected to more than double by 2025. Most of this growth will come from the emerging markets. While the number of children out of school globally may have dropped sharply during the 1990s, it remains unacceptably high in some regions, especially for girls. Meanwhile, youth unemployment continues to grow globally, even as employers report difficulty in finding workers with the right skills.
“Collaboration is the way to meaningfully transform higher education across Africa.”
Higher education institutions that want to prepare graduates to enter the workforce must collaborate to design programs in line with today’s labor market, says Jonathan Louw, CEO of Honoris United Universities, the largest pan-African private higher education network. In an interview with IFC, Louw talks about working closely with employers, the benefits of operating in a competitive environment, and the three pieces of advice he would give administrators trying to improve student achievement.
The impact of IFC clients in Health and Education in 2020:
- 7.9 MILLIONSTUDENTS EDUCATED
- 259.4ThousandJOBS SUPPORTED
- 135.6ThousandJOBS FOR WOMEN SUPPORTED
A company or entrepreneur seeking to establish a new venture or expand an existing enterprise can approach IFC directly.
The investment proposal can be submitted to the IFC field office that is closest to the location of the proposed project.