Universities of Nepal: Is Tribhuvan University Being Replaced?

Tribhuvan university

Tribhuvan University is a pioneer university of Nepal, established in 1959 (2016 BS), the oldest and largest national institution of higher education in Nepal. It supports the educational needs of nearly 400,000 students nationwide through its constituent campuses, central departments, and affiliated colleges. The faculties encompass education, humanities and social sciences, law, and management. The institutes include science and technology, engineering, medicine, forestry, agriculture, and animal science.

In addition, TU conducts cutting-edge research through its four research centers—Center for Economic Development and Administration (CEDA), Center for Nepal and Asian Studies (CNAS), Research Center for Educational Innovation and Development (CERID), and Research Center for Applied Science and Technology (RECAST).

TU is dedicated to providing high-quality education at a low cost to all communities. Their reform agenda includes integrating ICT into educational administration, empowering faculty to stay current in their fields, collaborating with government and industry on program development and research, upgrading infrastructure to improve learning environments, and globalizing their programs to attract talent from diverse backgrounds.

You may also like this: Sumana Shrestha’s Contribution to Education Reform in One-month Tenure

Other Universities in Nepal

After Tribhuvan University, Nepal Sanskrit University is the second university that was established with the aim of providing higher education in the Sanskrit language within the country for the development of the Sanskrit language.

Kathmandu University was established in 2048 BS as the third university. Recognizing the need for skilled manpower in a variety of fields, the government of Nepal has begun to establish regional universities with private support. Purbanchal University, founded in 2051 BS, played a key role in developing highly skilled individuals in higher education, addressing the challenges of manpower shortages through a regional focus and private partnerships.

Pokhara University was established in 2054 BS. BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences (BPKIHS), established in 2055 BS with technical and financial support from the Government of India, is a university-like higher educational institution.

Other Universities in Nepal include Lumbini Buddhist University, Agriculture and Forestry University, Far Western University, Mid Western University, Nepal Open University, and Rajarhi Janak University.

According to University Grants Commission (UGC) data, there are a total of 466,828 students enrolled in universities and health academies during the academic year 2076/77. Tribhuvan University has the highest enrollment, accounting for 76.4% of all students, followed by Pokhara University (6.98%), Purbanchal University (5.9%), and Kathmandu University (3.99%). Other universities and health academies represent less than 3% of the total student population.

Source: Total Number of Students Studying in Various Universities of Nepal

Academic and Global reputation of the Universities

Though students have multiple options for higher education, they choose Tribhuvan University as their first choice because it is the oldest university in Nepal and has national as well as international recognition when compared to other universities in the country.

After the introduction of foreign university-affiliated colleges in Nepal such as Softwarica, Islington, Herald, ISMT, IST, etc, the reputation of Nepal’s Universities including TU is degrading in terms of quality of education. Nepal’s universities lag in curriculum design and research. For example, other (foreign) universities provide simulations that resemble real-world circumstances for their students, but our universities continue to remain in the same old rote learning mode.

However, TU is the world’s 12th largest university where more than 4.6 lakh students are pursuing their higher education. It not only includes students from Nepal but also foreign countries, meaning that the global presence of TU is pretty good. Degree obtained from TU has a high value as compared to foreign university-affiliated colleges as TU is the oldest higher education institution that is officially credited by the Ministry of Education, Nepal.

In addition to accreditation, TU has relationships with 160 well-known international universities in the 30 most desirable countries. It has an incomparable “international network”, any international degree that can be obtained in Nepal does not have such a comprehensive network.

For more information, please visit this site: Why Tribhuvan University Affiliation is Better Than an International Affiliation?

Advantages and Disadvantages of Studying At Tribhuvan University

TU being the oldest and largest university in Nepal, offers a diverse range of undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs across various fields, providing students with diverse choices to pursue their interests.

Compared to private and foreign university-affiliated institutions, tuition fees at TU are generally more affordable, making education accessible to a large number of people regardless of their socio-economic background.

Studying at TU allows students to interact with peers from diverse cultural backgrounds each having different cultures and traditions, promoting cultural exchange and understanding which is lacking in foreign university-affiliated colleges.

However, insufficient investment in the university has resulted in outdated facilities, inadequate resources, and a lack of modern teaching methods. There are so many problems including the delay in the publication of exam results and issues related to question papers.

Also, the curriculum of TU is very outdated, leaving graduates ill-prepared for the job market. So, the students prefer foreign university-affiliated colleges over Tribhuvan University or any other university in Nepal.

Even students pursuing a higher level of education are only getting theoretical knowledge and do not have practical experience. Also, the education system doesn’t provide the youths with the skills that are in demand in the market. As a result, the students will have a degree but no necessary knowledge of how to do the work.

Also, the admission process of TU is quite hard and complex. To join Bachelor and Master programs, the students have to take tough entrance examinations that will decide their future. However, in foreign affiliated colleges, the admission process is hassle-free.

Political Influence at Tribhuvan University

Political influence in education is a deep-rooted problem in Nepal. Even the regulations governing universities have been formulated in a way that allows for political interference. The government-run universities and colleges have suffered the most in this regard.

A major challenge in Nepali universities is the practice of political appointments. Universities are frequently led by political party leaders rather than academics. This weakens the institution’s goal and hampers its progress. From the appointment of the Dean to the Staff of any TU-affiliated college, political parties play a crucial role.

The presence of political favoritism at TU has repeatedly reduced academic freedom, subjecting the university to political influences that limit the diversity of thought and expression within the broader academic community. Additionally, many immoral activities are done in the name of politics in the university.

Conclusion

Tribhuvan University, established in 1959, is Nepal’s oldest and largest higher education institution, serving nearly 400,000 students in various faculties and institutes. Despite its historical significance and vast academic offerings, TU has several obstacles, including outdated buildings, curriculum, and teaching methods, as well as administrative issues such as delayed exam results as well as complex admission procedures. However, it won’t be replaced by foreign-affiliated colleges anytime soon. Furthermore, political influence in academic appointments and governance impacts the institution’s autonomy and academic autonomy, creating a cycle of inefficiency and unsatisfactory educational outcomes.

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