Salmi, Jamil

Education, East/Southern Africa, World Bank
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Higher Education Reform
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Education, East/Southern Africa, World Bank
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Last updated January 31, 2023
Jamil Salmi is a global tertiary education expert providing policy advice and consulting services to several governments, universities, multilateral banks and bilateral agencies.  Until January 2012, he was the World Bank’s tertiary education coordinator. He wrote the first World Bank policy paper on higher education in 1994 and was the principal author of the Bank’s 2002 Tertiary Education Strategy entitled “Constructing Knowledge Societies:  New Challenges for Tertiary Education”.  In the past twenty years, Dr. Salmi has provided policy advice on tertiary education reform and strategic planning to governments and university leaders in more than 80 countries all over the world. Dr. Salmi is a member of the international advisory board of several universities in Europe, Asia and Latin America.  He is also a member of the International Advisory Network of the UK Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, and the Editorial Committee of OECD’s Journal of Higher Education Management and Policy.  Between 2008 and 2011, he represented the World Bank on the Governing Board of the International Institute for Educational Planning. Dr. Salmi’s 2009 book addresses the “Challenge of Establishing World-Class Universities”.  His latest book, co-edited with Professor Phil Altbach, entitled “The Road to Academic Excellence: the Making of World-Class Research Universities”, was published in September 2011.  

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 5 of 5
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    The Growing Accountability Agenda in Tertiary Education : Progress or Mixed Blessing?
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2009-01) Salmi, Jamil
    The purpose of this paper is to examine the accountability agenda in the tertiary education. Author proposes three principles of good accountability. First, accountability should not focus on the way institutions operate, but on the results that they actually achieve. Second, accountability works better when it is experienced in a constructive way, rather than being imposed in an inquisition-like mode. Tertiary education institutions are more likely to appreciate the value of reporting obligations if their relationship with stakeholders, especially government authorities, is based on positive incentives rather than punitive measures. Third, the most effective accountability mechanisms are those that are mutually agreed or are voluntarily embraced by tertiary education institutions. The paper concludes that the successful evolution of tertiary education hinges on finding an appropriate balance between credible accountability practices and favorable autonomy conditions.
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    Improving Higher Education in Malawi for Competitiveness in the Global Economy
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-06-02) Mambo, Michael M. ; Meky, Muna Salih ; Tanaka, Nobuyuki ; Salmi, Jamil
    As the Government of Malawi investigates options to expand access to higher education and improve the quality of higher education provision, the objective of this report is to contribute to an improved understanding of the challenges confronted by the higher education sub-sector in Malawi. The report summarizes the key findings of an in-depth study of factors affecting access and equity in the Malawian higher education sub-sector, the quality and relevance of educational outputs, the financing of the sector, and the frameworks structuring governance of the sector and its management. The study was initiated in response to a request from the Government of Malawi, to the World Bank, to support the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST) in its pursuit of financially sustainable policy options to increase equitable access to higher education, and to improve the quality of higher education provision in alignment with the needs of the labor market.
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    Improving the Performance of Ethiopian Universities in Science and Technology
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017) Salmi, Jamil ; Sursock, Andrée ; Olefir, Anna
    The Government of Ethiopia (GoE) has demonstrated commitment to expand higher education science and technology (S and T) programs to spur and support its growth and transformation agenda. Ethiopia has made a tremendous advance in access to higher education over the past decade. This rapid expansion, however, has raised concerns about quality. Many students are entering universities with a low level of academic preparation and a weak mastery of English. Qualified faculty are in short supply, especially in science and technology. The higher education relevance and quality agency (HERQA) was established in 2003 to implement a quality assurance system for higher education, but it lacks the resources to carry out its mission. The purpose of this report is to identify the main challenges facing the sector and propose a policy agenda to address them. The analysis is based on information from the ministries of education and of S and T of Ethiopia, a review of relevant literature from Ethiopia and elsewhere, and an analysis of data and information collected from stakeholders at public and private universities through semi-structured interviews. The report contains five chapters. Chapter one presents background information and the study’s methodology. Chapter two provides broader analysis of demand for skills, graduate employability, feedback from employers on skill supply, and the relationship with the economy at large. The third chapter analyzes the recent developments in S and T higher education. Chapter four assesses the research performance of Ethiopian universities. Chapter five summarizes the key reform options and policy measures to improve the performance of the higher education S and T system.
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    The Road to Academic Excellence : The Making of World-Class Research Universities
    (World Bank, 2011-09-21) Altbach, Philip G. ; Salmi, Jamil
    For middle-income and developing countries as well as some industrial nations a major challenge for building and sustaining successful research universities is determining the mechanisms that allow those universities to participate effectively in the global knowledge network on an equal basis with the top academic institutions in the world. These research universities provide advanced education for the academic profession, policy makers, and public and private sector professionals involved in the complex, globalized economies of the 21st century. In addition to their contribution to economic development, these universities play a key societal role by serving as cultural institutions, centers for social commentary and criticism, and intellectual hubs. The positive contribution of tertiary education is increasingly recognized as not limited to middle-income and advanced countries, because it applies equally to low-income economies. Tertiary education can help these countries to become more globally competitive by developing a skilled, productive, and flexible labor force and by creating, applying, and spreading new ideas and technologies. A recent study on how to accelerate economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa spells out the crucial contribution of tertiary education in supporting this endeavor (World Bank 2008). It observes that the key for success in a globalized world increasingly lies in how effectively a country can assimilate available knowledge and build comparative advantages in areas with higher growth prospects and how it can use technology to address the most pressing environmental challenges. The main chapters of this book are nine case studies that illustrate what it takes to establish and sustain research universities and help validate the analytical model outlined above, including the paths to building research excellence.
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    The Challenge of Establishing World-Class Universities
    (World Bank, 2009) Salmi, Jamil
    There are many important questions to ask about the widespread push toward world-class status for universities around the world. Why is 'world-class' the standard to which a nation should aspire to build at least a subset of its tertiary education system? Might many countries be better served by developing the most locally relevant system possible, without concern for its relative merits in a global comparison? Is the definition of "world-class" synonymous with "elite Western" and therefore inherently biased against the cultural traditions of tertiary education in non-Western countries? Are only research universities world-class, or can other types of tertiary education institutions (such as teaching universities, polytechnics, community colleges, and open universities) also aspire to be among the best of their kind in an international perspective? To answer these questions, the report starts by constructing an operational definition of a world-class university. It then outlines and analyzes possible strategies and pathways for establishing such universities and identifies the multiple challenges, costs, and risks associated with these approaches. It concludes by examining the implications of this drive for world-class institutions on the tertiary education efforts of the World Bank, offering options and alternative perspectives on how nations can develop the most effective and relevant tertiary education system to meet their specific needs.