Progressing access to and delivery of better education 
through public and private sector initiatives.

Raising Educational Standards Worldwide

In most countries, education is by far the biggest item in the public-sector budget. 85% of the costs are recurrent and 95% of that is teacher’s salaries, but, in almost all cases, there is considerable scope for increased efficiency.

The key issue for most governments is the trade-off between efficiency and equity. In the developing world, with its severe financial constraints, there’s a second trade-off – coverage vs quality.

Both situations demand answers to the same two questions. What is the best way to provide education? And who is best to provide it? We have no ideological agenda. There is a role for both public and private providers. Public on grounds of equity, private on grounds of efficiency. The ideal balance varies, not only country by country but also within countries.

Our role is to present and evaluate the options clearly, to develop a strategy based on our client’s decision and to drive the programme through to completion.

We have an exemplary track record in developing and implementing solutions in education and in developing human resources. In Least Developed Countries (LDCs), where data, other than basic enrolment figures, is virtually non-existent, our extensive experience has proved indispensable.

Most of our work involves assessing education and training needs at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels (including vocational training); estimating the infrastructure investment and operating costs, and implementing the plans.

But our comprehensive service ranges from sector planning to needs analysis to the design and provision of training courses. We are also highly experienced in developing institutional support and establishing and monitoring quality standards.

We are at home in remote communities with limited access to basic services and have developed innovative ways of increasing access to education using both the public and private sectors. We have developed programmes to raise school attendance levels amongst adolescent girls and to increase the capacity of basic, secondary and higher education.

Promoting Educational Efficiency, Equity and Coverage

We help governments and education authorities to:

  • get the right balance between educational planning and market signals;
  • develop appropriate payment structures and processes;
  • focus education resources where national benefits are greatest;
  • promote efficient delivery, including remote teaching and greater use of technology;
  • foster productive employment opportunities by ensuring that courses cater for wealth creating sectors, especially in technical and vocational training (TVET);
  • predict the demand for education establishments and infrastructure by social group and by location;
  • establish how best to train teachers and retain them in the profession;
  • improve decision-making by measuring performance in student flow, class size, dropout rates, achievements and use of space;
  • improve qualitative efficiency by developing curricula, improving teacher training and specifying better teaching materials and technology; and
  • improve management efficiency and capacity through research, planning and investment.

It’s not all academic

We don’t drop out the moment our plans have been accepted. We don’t consider the job done until everything is up and running. And all the needs of all the stakeholders – politicians, administrators, educators and students alike – have been satisfied.

Here are a few examples:

  • We developed and implemented a new girls’ education strategy in Malawi as part of the ‘Keeping Girls in School’ initiative.
  • We designed, funded and implemented a Public Private Partnership (PPP) that trebled the on-campus student accommodation at four Kenyan universities.
  • Our plan for an Arabian Gulf government enabled major educational advances across social groups, regions and neighbourhoods.
  • We helped a UK industry training board forecast industrial employment so they could determine the best way to develop their programmes.
  • Thanks to our technical assistance, the British Council was able to assess the business and financial training needs in Eastern Europe.
  • We analysed the education policy and its budgetary management process in the Seychelles.
  • Our detailed education sector strategy for the Maldives set out practical actions that allowed realistic and measurable objectives to be achieved within the specified time frame.
  • The Government of Zambia commissioned us to assess and plan its education infrastructure needs at primary level and beyond.
  • We helped Saudi Arabia develop a human resources plan for both for general and higher education and also for vocational training.