Law revision to allow University Grants Commission to issue equivalence papersThe job is being done by Tribhuvan University and there were calls to change the arrangement.
Ending Tribhuvan University’s prerogative to issue equivalence certificates, the government is shifting the authority to the University Grants Commission. The government has registered an amendment to the University Grants Commission Act with a provision to transfer the authority for equivalence to the commission from the oldest varsity.
The amendment bill has a clause that says “the commission will issue equivalence certificates”. Equivalence certificate validates one’s degree earned from foreign boards and universities. There were debates that the Tribhuvan University shouldn’t be getting the authority for the validation of foreign universities as they are of the same status. Based on the demand that a higher authority be entitled with the responsibility for issuing the equivalence certificate, the government initiated the process for a change in the legislation.
The Nepal government started the process for the transfer of authority a year after the Indian government made similar efforts. The Indian University Grants Commission last prepared guidelines on the basis of which academic equivalence will be provided to degrees offered by foreign universities with the degrees offered by their Indian counterparts. In India, the union education ministry had entrusted the Association of Indian universities, an organisation of major universities in India, with the charge to issue equivalence certificates to students who completed their schooling or higher education from foreign boards and universities.
Producing equivalence certificates is a must for Nepalis for applying for jobs or for higher study in the country. Devraj Adhikari, chairperson of the commission, said they will start providing the equivalent certificates once the amendment gets through Parliament.
“There were voices from academics that the commission should get the authority for the equivalence certification. The government has addressed it now,” Adhikari told the Post. “Now we need additional human resources for the task. We expect the government to depute additional staff soon.”
Thousands of students apply for the equivalence certification every year. The number is increasing with a rise in the number of students opting to study abroad. A record 121,000 students acquired No Objection Certificates to join a foreign university last year.