Reversing the brain drainStudents seeking international degrees now no longer have to travel abroad as the numbers of domestic educational institutions running their programmes with the global universities is increasing every year.
Students seeking international degrees now no longer have to travel abroad as the numbers of domestic educational institutions running their programmes with the global universities is increasing every year. The trend of establishing colleges with foreign affiliation started in the early 2000s with a tremendous increase in the number of students flying abroad for higher studies. Though most of such colleges affiliated to the foreign universities are providing A Level courses, around four are providing bachelors and masters level courses with the affiliation from the institutions from the UK, the US, Switzerland, Austria, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and India.
According to the data of International Education Providers Association of Nepal (IEPAN), an umbrella organisation of colleges providing international education at the bachelor’s and Master’s levels around 15 colleges are providing MBA degree with the affiliation from the foreign universities. “Students looking for the foreign MBA don’t need to travel abroad. Today there are numbers of colleges providing foreign degree in the homeland,” said IEPAN Chairman Pankaj Jalan adding some 700 graduates are produced annually from such colleges.
He believes that exposure to international curricula makes students more competent and qualifies them for job options globally. It is also easier for graduates from such colleges to transfer their credits when they move to foreign colleges. Many of such colleges have made an arrangements under which last of years of their degree can been done in the foreign universities with which they are affiliated to. Jalan claims graduating from the colleges with foreign affiliation also opens the job prospect
for the Nepali students in the international market.
College operators say that though the fee structure of foreign-affiliated colleges is higher than that of other colleges, however it is still very low compared to what it would cost to get the same degree abroad. They claim they have been providing global education at an affordable fee within the country. The affiliation granting universities always keep on close eye to their colleges students never have be worried about the quality.
Officials from these universities visit the colleges twice a year to check the quality of the education being provided. As the qualification of the faculty and the teaching-learning methodology used plays a crucial role in determining the quality of the degrees awarded, these universities have set the criteria for the teachers appointed. The teachers should be competent to deliver the knowledge as demanded by the curricula. Therefore, some of the universities themselves provide training
to the teachers. Apart from that, colleges should have the appropriate infrastructure including labs and libraries as specified by the respective universities to get their affiliation.
“A student can get same degree in homeland paying much lesser,” Suman Shrestha marketing manager at The British College told adding the cheaper cost is also attracting the foreign students even in the management courses. The college currently has two foreign students pursuing EMBA degree.
The college operators offering the foreign education claim such colleges are doing dual job:
first retaining the students who wish to travel abroad and second attracting the foreign students. Jalan claims that hundreds of students who used to seek the foreign degree including MBA now are studying in the universities affiliated with the foreign degrees. This has saved millions of rupees from going abroad in the name of the foreign degrees.
He claims that Nepal can be developed into an academic hub if there’s political stability and government plays a constructive role towards it.