Flag of the Philippines


USAID/Philippines' Higher Education portfolio works with Philippine government, university, and private sector partners to address key constraints to broad-based and inclusive economic growth.

USAID’s earlier work in education focused on large-scale shortages of teachers, learning materials, out-of-school youth, and engaging parents and communities to support children’s education. In response, USAID trained teachers, provided computers, textbooks, and other materials, and developed Parent Teacher Associations. Because USAID made great strides in these areas, activities have shifted towards improving higher education and ramping up public-private partnerships to boost the country’s ability to leverage support and build upon its accomplishments.

USAID recognizes that higher education can be an engine for innovation, productivity, competitiveness, and inclusive growth. As such, USAID is focusing on bringing a culture of entrepreneurship into the engineering and science programs in the Philippine higher education system. It brings a market-oriented lens to university curriculums which will strengthen human capacity and effectiveness of workforce skills in the country. Meanwhile USAID is working to support the Philippine Government’s early grade reading program to improve the reading skills for at least one million early grade students in English and Tagalog.


Higher Education

  • USAID strengthens the research and innovation capacity and develops the faculty of local universities through partnerships with U.S. universities.
  • A special focus has been given to science, technology, and innovation disciplines that are relevant to high-growth and high value-added sectors, such as information technology and manufacturing.
  • USAID helps establish links between the academia and industry to ensure the workforce is trained to provide the necessary human capital for economic growth.
  • USAID improves the regulatory environment in higher education by fostering dialogue between stakeholders and by making information on the labor market and university performance more transparent and accessible to the public.
  • USAID supports the Government of the Philippine’s goal to improve the ability of university programs to produce a workforce with relevant skills to support country development goals by 2015.
  • USAID supports the Philippine Development Plan by upgrading the quality of higher education programs and encouraging a local brand of innovation called “Filipinnovation”.

Basic Education

  • USAID focuses on improving reading capacity in the early grades to improve education outcomes. It works closely with the Department of Education and other stakeholders in selected divisions and regions nationwide to support the Philippines’ Every-Child-A-Reader Program.
  • USAID helps improve instruction quality for primary teachers, strengthening reading systems such as reading recovery and development of appropriate materials, and institutionalizing reading assessments such as USAID’s Early Grade Reading Assessment.
  • U.S. assistance supports the Government of the Philippines’ goal to improve reading skills for 100 million children in primary grades by 2015.
  • USAID supports activities to strengthen local governments’ capacities to implement locally-funded education programs to support reading improvements.


  • USAID continues to develop workforce readiness, literacy, and livelihood skills for youth in conflict-affected areas in Mindanao.
  • USAID seeks to strengthen local government and service providers in the area to improve access to educational and training opportunities.
  • Training and internship programs are conducted to prepare the youth to engage in enterprise and business development, address the knowledge gaps created by incomplete schooling, establish social connections, and develop life skills.
  • USAID supports peace-building in Mindanao through learning camps and exchanges for the youth.
  • USAID aims to involve the youth in governance processes through civic education, civil society strengthening and the promotion of mechanisms for community participation.
  • USAID focuses on these “next generation leaders” by developing social consciousness that demands accountability from government leaders, and by strengthening the youth leadership, civic knowledge, skills and attitudes to make them empowered members of the community.

Last updated: June 20, 2014

Share This Page