TU seeks donor supportLacking funds to begin reconstruction of its earthquake-damaged infrastructure, the Tribhuvan University on Saturday organised a donor conference to seek aid for rebuilding its offices and colleges as well as bettering the quality of education.
Lacking funds to begin reconstruction of its earthquake-damaged infrastructure, the Tribhuvan University on Saturday organised a donor conference to seek aid for rebuilding its offices and colleges as well as bettering the quality of education.
Representatives from the embassies of India, the United States, Pakistan, China and Japan and representatives from the Asian Development Bank, World Bank and the United Nations Development Programme participated in the conference though no fresh pledge was made.
The country’s oldest and largest university lost property worth Rs9.43 billion to the April 25 earthquake and its aftershocks. Over two dozen college buildings, the central office with some 20 departments and a building of the Examination Controller’s Office were destroyed in the disaster while an equal number of buildings suffered minor damage.
TU officials said the earthquake had given them an opportunity to develop a state-of-the-art infrastructure. The TU has sought long-term support from donors not just for reconstruction of the earthquake-wrecked buildings. Prof Rhidesh Kumar Pokharel, chief of the university’s Planning Council, said all the donors were positive about supporting the TU if it submits proposals after bilateral meetings. Indian Ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae said India was ready to allocate some money for TU’s development from the $1 billion Indian line of credit if the Nepal government agrees to it.
“We have developed a 50-year master plan to place TU among the best universities in Asia,” said Pokharel. “We sought support for infrastructure development as well as boosting the quality of education.” The TU needs an estimated Rs10 billion for reconstruction of buildings while the total cost for implementation of the master plan would be tens of billions.
The TU, on May 25 last year, set up the TU Reconstruction Fund, and appealed to its well-wishers and Alumni for support. There was, however, cold response to the call. Even the government has prioritised school-level reconstruction with little support for higher education.
“We had no alternative but to seek donor support in the lack of internal resources,” said Pokharel. “This is a beginning. We are planning to hold similar conferences with concrete plans in future.”