MANILA, PHILIPPINES (14 December 2021) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $112 million loan to strengthen skills education and training through the establishment of the Assam Skill University (ASU).
Despite its abundant natural resources and high proportion of young population, Assam has yet to unleash its growth potential. Assam’s economy is dominated by low value-added, natural resource-based products and is poorly integrated with global and regional value chains. The state is prone to natural hazards, which are likely to intensify because of climate change. Fewer growth prospects have propelled out-migration for jobs and education, exacerbating shortages of skills in Assam.
“ADB’s assistance for the ASU will create pathways for skills progression and mobility and raise skills levels to enhance the productivity and competitiveness of Assam’s economy and industries,” said ADB Senior Education Specialist for South Asia Asako Maruyama. “The project will improve skills and employability of youth and adults, especially women and disadvantaged groups, and their prospect of getting higher-paying, decent jobs.”
The project will help develop the ASU’s management and operating systems, business models, and faculty and staff, and support the design and construction of environmentally sustainable and climate-resilient university campus and facilities to ensure efficient and sustainable operations. It will also support the design and delivery of industry-aligned and flexible skills education and training programs, including cutting-edge digital skills programs, career development programs and services, and continuing education programs.
The project will develop the capacity of the ASU faculty to support and manage entrepreneurship, applied research and development (R&D), and technology transfer and promote professional development of trainers and faculty members of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions. The project will further enhance collaboration between the ASU and TVET and higher education institutions in neighboring countries to establish programs for common strategic industries.
An additional $1 million grant from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction will support the introduction of technologies for smart campus management and integrated teaching, learning, and career development management. It will also help the ASU develop higher-level skills education and training programs and applied R&D projects to address infrastructure and industrial development needs, as well as entrepreneurship programs and business development services for students and local entrepreneurs; business startups; and micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.