With the growing need for managers in different sectors of the economy, the Kathmandu University first introduced a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) programme back in 1993. The establishment of industries, expansion of the service sector and infrastructure development increased in the 90s, compared to the Panchyat Regime, which in turn increased the demand for good managers. The democratic set-up also provided the healthy environment needed for entrepreneurship. This helped the course to excel in a very short span of time. In two decades since, the course introduced by KU alone has produced around 5,000 MBA graduates.
Today, some 1,000 students take the entrance for just 30 seats at the Tribhuvan University, while around 500 students compete for 38 seats at the KU. This means that just three percent of the applicants get the placement in the two first-choice universities in the country. The colleges under Purbanchal and Pokhara Universities also get a large number of applications each year, as do colleges affiliated with the foreign universities. “The charm of an MBA degree is ever increasing,” says Bijay KC, dean at Kathmandu University School of Management (KUSOM). “The regular updating of the course in view of the changing demand of the market is one of the crucial factors that make MBA the most sought after management course there is.”
The MBA programme in Nepal has been broadly segregated into three major categories: the regular MBA, which is best suited for regular students; Evening MBA programmes, which work for regular students as well, but are targeted more towards job holders who can attend school after work; and the Executive MBA degrees, which cater to professionals who have already held a job for at least for two years. Primarily the courses offered by all the colleges are similar, though there are slight changes depending on the university.
The students willing to pursue MBA at TU need to have secured at least 45 percent or 2.0 CGPA in their Bachelors. The benchmark is slightly higher for the KU, where students must have secured 50 percent in their Bachelor’s degree. That requirement is generally on par with colleges affiliated with the foreign universities as well. Currently around two dozens of colleges, including ones affiliated to international universities, are offering MBA courses in the country. An estimated 1,300 to 1,400 MBA graduates are produced every year, which is increasing every year. The increasing numbers of MBA colleges has also increased the competition, thereby further helping to produce qualified human resources for the economy.
However, owing to the sluggish economic development, the prospect of good jobs for MBA graduates has remained fairly stagnant. “Though the demand of MBA continues to grow in the market, it is not as it was in the past, mainly due to the high number of MBA graduates compared to the jobs prospect in the market,” KC added. “However, there are more and more graduates interested in entrepreneurship than taking regular office jobs. This means they are creating jobs not for just themselves but for others as well.”
Despite the growing competition among colleges, the tuition fee for MBA courses also continues to remain fairly competitive. Depending on a college or a university, affiliated students are charged between Rs 300,000 to Rs 600,000 for a two-year, four-semester course. The college managers say that the high demand for courses with a practical education aspect and the demand for qualified lecturers is a major factor that makes the course costly. At the same time, they claim that the fee isn’t exorbitant when compared to the job prospect the course offers to the graduates.
Executive Masters in Business Administration is a post-experience management education programme that helps managers to advance in their jobs. Ones opting for the EMBA course needs to have at least two years of work experience Despite being a relatively new course in Nepal, it is becoming very popular among students. The course is designed for those with prior experience in managerial work, who want to improve their leadership and management skills. The EMBA and MBA curricula are largely similar, although, EMBA places higher priority on a practical education. The MBA is more of an academic course, while the EMBA is a specialised corporate professional course.
Similarly, EMBA is more interactive and involves case solving, group discussions and presentations, field visits and regular project works. “Most of students pursuing EMBA are managers in banks and financial institutions,” said Suman Shrestha, marketing manager at The British College, which offers the EMBA with an affiliation from the Leeds Beckett University, UK. He said there are even two American students taking the course in the college.
Having targeted working professionals, the course is largely offered in the evening and also during weekend and holidays. Currently Kathmandu, Purbanchal and Pokhara Universities are offering EMBA courses. The colleges affiliated to different international universities are also offering the courses to Nepali students. The two years course costs around Rs 650,000, both in the domestic universities and colleges affiliated with the foreign universities.
Source: This article was published originally in The Kathmandu Post on 28 Dec, 2017.