Higher education in doldrums: Experts rue policy, insufficient budget


Himalayan News Service

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Establishing a sound policy framework and adequate government financing is essential to upgrade the country's higher education, according to experts.

Speaking at an interaction organised to mark the Golden Jubilee of Ratna Rajya Laxmi Campus in the Capital on Sunday, the experts laid stress on the need to review and update the existing higher education policy and to allocate sufficient budget for the education sector.

The successive governments have failed to prioritise higher education and budget allocated for it is less than ten percent of the total education budget, said Mahdav Sharma, vice-chancellor of the Tribhuvan University. “The budget is enough only for paying salaries and running administration,” said Sharma, adding 20 per cent of the total budget should be allocated for the education sector and one fourth of it in the higher education. In fiscal year 2010/11, the government had allocated around 17 percent of its budget for education sector.

According to Tirtha Khaniya, former member of the National Planning Commission, lack of appropriate education policy has made it difficult to impart quality education in the changed context. “Our universities have failed to produce the globally competent human resources due to adherence to decades-old teaching techniques and approaches,” Khaniya said. He expressed dissatisfaction over the government's decision to

establish new universities without required homework.

Addressing the programme Education Minister Ganga Lal Tuladhar expressed his commitment to bring changes in the sector of higher education to make it accessible to the people from all walks of life. "Every year hundreds of students go to the foreign land for higher education as we have failed in providing quality education," Tuladhar said. He also informed that the country lost around Rs. 60 billion to capital flight in the education sector last year.

(Source: The Kathmandu Post)