By Tabora Bojang
The Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology is set to establish a Tertiary and Higher Education Trust Fund that will provide equal opportunities for all accredited public and private tertiary and higher education institutions to have access to financing.
Moherst recently presented a cabinet paper on the Fund that was approved by the cabinet. If passed into legislation, the Fund will create a sustainable and reliable pathway for institutions to access funds to deliver on their mandates of education and training and help increase enrollment in tertiary institutions, boost productivity, quality and relevance of their programmes.
Currently, only 4 public tertiary and higher education institutions receive subvention from the government; the University of The Gambia, Gambia College, MDI and USET formerly GTTI.
However, in light of the growing commitment and transformative agenda of the Ministry to ensure equity and inclusiveness in the distribution and utilisation of public funds, the Fund will provide equity and inclusivity for all public and private tertiary and higher education institutions in The Gambia to access funds for programs based on performance and competitiveness.
“The National Development Plan places great emphasis on building the human capital stock of The Gambia; thus, the establishment of this Fund will serve as an enabler to the attainment of a skillful and knowledge-based economy and society in The Gambia. The Gambian government aims to build a mass of viable and competitive productive capacities, especially for the youth, women, girls, and differently-able as enshrined in the MoHERST Strategic Plan, 2021 – 2025 and related policies,” the Ministry said in a note shared with The Standard.
The Fund will be managed by a Secretariat, which will be established by the Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology in due consultation with the President.
There would also be a Board of Trustees which will develop a performance and monitoring framework to ensure institutions are responsive and utilise funds for the purpose they are disbursed.