The World Bank yesterday announced that China will receive two loans totaling $200 million to bolster its programs in higher education. The credits -- one of $100 million at 9.6 percent interest, the other an interest-free loan of an equal amount -- are the country's first from the international lending agency.
But the funds are not yet assured because the interest-free loan, a "soft credit" from the bank's International Developmental Association, depends on congressional approval of a $3.24 billion contribution to the IDA, a World Bank spokesman said. The other loan depends in turn on the IDA credit.
Some members of Congress want to cut the IDA funds, which were requested by the Reagan administration, so they can restore some domestic programs. The Senate has authorized the funds but the House of Representatives has not. Other countries' contributions to the IDA facility are frozen until the U.S. grant is authorized.
The World Bank said the two credits are to be used to help increase enrollments in science and engineering at 26 Chinese universities, introduce graduate programs, improve teaching and research and strengthen educational management in the government and at universities.
The IDA loan has a 50-year term, while the 9.6 percent credit will stretch 20 years, including a 5-year grace period. The Chinese government will put up the additional $95 million budgeted for the expansion program.
The Reagan administration has requested the $3.24 billion contribution to the IDA, which makes loans on easy terms to poor nations.