Mongolia targets higher education quality assurance and accreditation to overcome skills mismatch

Mongolia targets higher education quality assurance and accreditation to overcome skills mismatch

Around 40% of university graduates in Mongolia are unemployed and unable to find work in their fields. It’s a situation that Ms. Ts. Tsogzolmaa, Minister of Education, Culture, Science and Sport, attributes in part to a skills mismatch between education and the labour market and quality not keeping pace with quantity in Mongolia’s rapidly expanding higher education sector.

The minister met recently with a delegation from UNESCO Bangkok to discuss ways that the organization can collaborate with the ministry to improve higher education policy in Mongolia.

“Quality assurance and accreditation are the key instruments to improve the quality of higher education and solve the skills mismatch in the job market,” said Minister Tsogzolmaa.

On 29 March, she met the delegation, led by Dr. Libing Wang, Senior Programme Specialist in Higher Education and head of UNESCO Bangkok’s Section for Educational Innovation and Skills Development (EISD), to discuss how the organization can support Mongolia’s efforts to strengthen these two key policy areas.

Since its transition from a planned to open-market economy, Mongolian higher education has expanded rapidly, with the number of higher education institutions growing from 14 to 95, and the gross enrolment ratio at the tertiary level increasing from 14% to 69%. As is the case with most countries, the quantitative expansion has come with quality challenges.

Recognizing this, the Mongolia National Council for Education Accreditation (MNCEA) designated 2018 as "Internal Quality Assurance Year", and invited UNESCO Bangkok’s collaboration.

Dr. Wang said UNESCO would provide technical support for quality assurance in higher education, and asked for Mongolia’s active participation in higher education events, such as the Asia-Pacific Seminar on MOOCs for Higher Education in June as well as the Asia-Pacific Meeting on Education 2030 (APMED) in July. He also strongly encouraged Mongolia to ratify the Asia-Pacific Regional Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications in Higher Education (Tokyo Convention) in order to boost cross-border mobility, which will the country develop students’ competencies and global competitiveness.

UNESCO is committed to supporting Member States’ efforts to improve the quality of their higher education systems as an integral part of advancing the goal of the global education agenda to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.”