Future of Private Education in Emerging Markets Is Focus of IFC-Led Conversation

May 14, 2008 -- IFC, the largest multilateral investor in private education in emerging markets, is holding its biennial education conference May 14 to May 16 in Washington. Key stakeholders will discuss critical themes such as emerging models for private education; student lending facilities; public, private, and philanthropic partnerships; quality assurance; and working with governments to create positive environments for private investment.

“Global spending on education has risen substantially over the past decade,” said EVP and CEO Lars Thunell, who will open the conference. “There is a demand for more and better services, and governments are embracing private sector participation as a way to increase quality and efficiency. Nowhere is this felt more keenly than in the emerging markets, where demand is presenting significant opportunities.”

In the past five years it has become evident that private education can have a significant impact on emerging countries. Many governments are promoting private sector growth to increase educational capacity at all levels, while working to meet relevant standards and quality benchmarks. Entrepreneurs are also increasingly investing in the sector, bringing new perspectives and fresh approaches.

Why is IFC Involved in Private Education?

  • To support socially responsible and sustainable development through for-profit and not-for-profit institutions.
  • To expand access to quality education to people from all income groups.
  • To introduce innovative means of financing and delivering education services.
  • To improve quality standards in education.
  • To help students and institutions obtain access to financial support.
  • To complement public financing and provision to achieve public education goals.

A Vision for the Future

IFC Director Guy Ellena said, “The conference is an excellent opportunity for participants to focus on current practices and emerging trends across all levels of education and consider how new models might be used in other countries and contexts.”

More than 100 participants from over 30 countries, including private investors, IFC clients, government representatives, philanthropic organizations, and public sector providers, are expected to attend the conference. International panelists from various backgrounds will discuss how private education will change in the next five years and beyond. Participants will also discuss how IFC and the World Bank can work more effectively with clients, governments, foundations, and other stakeholders to develop environments where new approaches to private investment can flourish.

Other speakers will include Douglas Becker, Chairman and CEO of Laureate Education; Sir Graeme Davies, Vice Chancellor and President of the University of London; and Sandeep Kumar, President, Edumatics Corporation. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Moisés Naím, editor and publisher of
Foreign Policy magazine.


Ludi Joseph
Communications Officer

Health and Education Department, IFC
Phone: 202-473-7700
Website: www.ifc.org/che