Enrolments dwindle in higher education

2015-07-21

Binod Ghimire

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The ever increasing departures for foreign jobs and study have led to a gradual decline in the number of students signing up for higher education in the country.

According to the government’s economic survey published last week, enrolments in higher secondary schools dropped 12.12 percent year-on-year while there was a 30 percent decrease in the number of university students.

A total of 516,166 students were enrolled in Grades 11 and 12 in the fiscal year 2013-14 which fell to 453,597 last fiscal. While 678,037 students were studying in universities in 2013-14, the number came down to 480,891 last fiscal year.

Among the nine existing and three proposed universities, student numbers are dwindling in Tribhuvan, Nepal Sanskrit, Mid-Western and Purbanchal Universities while Kathmandu, Agriculture and Forestry, and Far-Western Universities posted a growth. In the remaining universities, the figures are in the same level as previous years. The survey shows that the sharp decrease in the TU student  numbers led to the overall drop. Around 90 percent of total university students are in the TU. “There are fluctuations in TU enrolment,” says the survey.

The oldest and largest varsity in the country had 604,437 students in the fiscal year 2013-14, which dropped around 33 percent to 405,341 within a year. Both the constituent and affiliated colleges of TU faced significant decline in the number of students in the period.

The survey shows the Purbanchal University  lost over 1,200 students from 25,720 in the period.

Nepal Sanskrit University which no longer remains a centre of attraction is losing students every year. There were 4,039 students studying in 25 colleges under the university in the 2013-14, which tumbled to 3,862 last fiscal.

University officials blame the increasing trend of students going abroad for study and work for the situation. Additionally, the adoption of semester system in the TU which fixes a quota on student intake is also responsible. “We have also noticed that students are quitting study after completing their bachelor’s,” said Dev Raj Adhikari, acting registrar at the TU.

This could also be due to the decreasing number of students in the school level. The survey shows student enrolment from grades 1 to 10 has fallen by around 400,000 in the past four years.

Source: The Kathmandu Post