NPT [Archives:2004/797/Community]

December 9 2004

The Netherlands Programme for the Institutional strengthening of Post-secondary Education and Training Capacity (or NPT in short) is a co-operation programme, in which Dutch and academic and training organisations based in other countries in the region help developing countries in building their capacity for providing post-secondary education and training. The Netherlands' Ministry of Foreign Affairs finances this programme and the Netherlands' Foundation for International Co-operation in Higher Education (Nuffic) manages the NPT.
Yemeni organisations providing post-secondary education can propose initiatives to be included in the NPT programmes. Since January 2004, the NPT has a co-ordinating office under the Vice-Minister of Higher Education. This office has close links with the Higher Education Development Project (HEP) financed by a Learning and Innovation Credit of $5 million of the World Bank. The NPT Co-ordinating Office assists, on behalf of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MoHESR), the individual Post-secondary Education Organisations in the further development of project outlines. These outlines are then sent to Nuffic for tendering among Dutch Institutions of Higher Education. After the selection of the Dutch institutions the implementation of the programme is the responsibility of the Yemeni and Dutch institutes with little interference from MoHESR, Nuffic or the Royal Netherlands Embassy.
NPT projects are a mixture of institution building on the one hand, with emphasis on the organisation and management of the programmes, and capacity building on the other, with a focus on the training of the higher education staff members who will conduct the new programmes. Most of the present NPT projects in Yemen are concerned with universities introducing new fields of study. That means that staff members focus on writing new courses, pilot training and the organisation and management of the new programmes. The projects are a mix of Dutch experts working with their Yemeni counterparts in Yemen and Yemenis going for short term training, masters' or PhD studies in the Netherlands or where appropriate and needed (because of difficulties with the English language) in the region. Closely connected to the training is a material component for teaching equipment and books to a maximum of 20% of the total budget.
The first three NPT projects started in January 2004, and during the year another five were identified of which three have already started and two will start in January 2005.
Two more NPT projects are expected to be drafted before the end of the year 2004: one project to assist the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research in its further strengthening of the capacity to supervise the developments in the higher education sector and one extension project for the Information and Computer Technology project. Where the first phase of this project focused on the development of an ICT National Master Plan for all higher education institutions, the follow-up of this project will be the implementation of the Master Plan. The first calculations of this programme point to a total sum of _ 25 million, which cannot be borne by the NPT programme alone. A donor conference on the ICT implementation will be organised by the MoHESR in March 2005.
Yemen belongs to the 15 NPT countries selected by the Netherlands' Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The programme officially started in January 2003. The Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, the Royal Netherlands Embassy, and the Nuffic decided to start with four areas of NPT cooperation for the first commitment 2003-2007. These areas are: Basic Sciences, Gender, Information and Computer Technology (ICT) and Public/Business Administration. The total committed amount for the 15 countries over this period is _100 million. There is no commitment per country, projects from the 15 countries just compete on relevance. Yemen has profited by being fast in proposing relevant projects. From the _100 million, already more than _ 12 million is approved to Yemeni projects.