Foreign degrees have become the desire of many Nepali students and they have traveling to various countries across the world in droves. Records from the Department of Scholarship at the Ministry of Education Nepal show that the Nepali students have acquired No Objection Letters for 64 countries across the world. However, Australia, Japan, the United States, China, the United Kingdom, India and Germany are popular destinations for Nepali students. The Post profiled some of the most sought-after academic destinations for Nepali students.
With the third largest international student enrollment, behind only the US and UK, Australia is among the top destinations for Nepali students who are looking for a more comprehensive and cosmopolitan exposure in their educational experience. The number of Nepali students flying to Australia soared between 2007-2009 after the country liberalised visa regulations.
However, the numbers fell remarkably after the Australian government adopted stringent policies while granting student visas. The introduction of a more
streamlined visa policy from March 2012 has led to a rise in figures yet again. According to Narayan Bajaj of Global Reach, the student friendly environment, global recognition of universities and post-study working permit after a two years degree are the main factors behind students’ attraction to Australia.
In the last few decades, Australian education has flourished with many respectable institutions adopting cutting edge curricula. International students will find a number of universities that offer courses at every level in every imaginable field—whether it be medical, technical, management or related to the arts.
There are 42 universities in Australia, including two that are private, and students can apply to the hundreds of colleges affiliated to them. Students going to Australia have the luxury of enrolling in flexible courses at the choice of their institution. Universities under Group 8 are renowned for their academic excellence. These include the Australian National University, Melbourne University, Sydney University, University of Queensland, University of New South Wales, Monash University, University of Western Australia and Adelaide University.
As the education system in Australia is designed to promote creative and independent thinking, it equips students with unique skills and practical learning that can prove to be assets later on in life. Teamwork is emphasised within the classroom and students learn to communicate effectively within the context of a multicultural demographic. With a decade-long experience as a consultant, Buddha Shakya of Australia Studies said that most students are going for post-graduate education in fields like engineering, IT, hospitality and nursing.
Although the fee structure varies among specific courses and universities, Australian education can be acquired at a relatively reasonable price. Students have to spend around Rs 800,000 to Rs 1.3 million per semester as tuition fees and the Australian government has prescribed a living expense of AUS $18,600 per year. However, most international students manage with less than half that amount. The facility of part-time jobs, including that for a dependent partner, is another factor that lures international students to Australia. Saroj Basnet of Netco Technology said that students should, however, focus on their studies instead of looking for jobs as they can get much better jobs after graduating, if they complete their degree with good results.
India has been most preferred education destination for Nepali students for a long time. Apart from its proximity to Nepal and affordable tuition fees, the fact that the two countries share a similar culture makes parents feel that it is a secure destination for their children’s higher education. There has been enormous progress in the Indian education system in the last few decades. It has managed to establish itself as a leading education hub in Asia as India has made huge investments in research, laying emphasis on an educated workforce with a commitment to lifelong learning. A world-class education system, with strong government monitoring, makes for a popular destination for Nepali students pursuing higher education. According to SK Nayak from Wide Range Consultancy, most students going to India prefer Engineering and IT, followed by Management and Nursing.
Engineering and IT
Though around 10,000 Plus Two graduates from Nepal aspire to study engineering every year, academic institutions in the country can hardly take in around 4,000, making India a natural and affordable choice to many.
In the last two decades, no country in the world has flourished like India in the field of engineering and IT. Many Indian universities have close ties with the industrial sector, which provides students with exposure to the practical aspects of courses and the possibility of job placements. The cost of a four-year programme ranges from Rs 1 million to Rs 1.5 million, including room and board.
Both BBA and MBA courses of study are attuned to ensuring practical and theoretical skills in students. These programmes enhance a student’s leadership skills through rigorous training, assignments, reports, presentations and group projects, all in order to build skills that will be crucial in real life business situations. The courses are designed to develop entrepreneurship in students so that they can start and run businesses of their own. India is also an attractive destination for other management courses like Bachelors in Hotel and Hospitality Management and Bachelors in Travel and Tourism Management. A two-year MBA programme costs around Rs 500,000 and over Rs 1 million for a four-year BBA.
Nursing courses in India started in late 1880’s. Since then, they have grown in number and quality. Medical Surgical Nursing, Community Health Nursing, Pediatric Nursing, Obstetrics and Gynecological Nursing and Psychiatric Nursing are some of the nursing courses available in India. Due to the limited availability of seats for nursing in Nepal, many students choose India, mostly in the southern state of Bangalore. On average, students pay around Rs 700,000 to Rs 1 million, including room and board, for nursing courses.
After the US, UK and Australia, Nepali students choose Japan as their destination. Academic programmes in Japan are liked by thousands of young Nepalis. Japan’s success in modernising the country and its advancement in science and technology in a short time are luring international students for higher studies.
Japanese language training
All students eyeing admissions in Japanese colleges/universities have to get through Japanese language training. The language course is determined according to the capacity of students, ranging from 12 to 24 months. Since most universities teach students in Japanese, mastering the language is a must for further education. Conducted for 20 hours a week, language classes cost between Rs 800,000 to Rs 1 million per year, inclusive of accommodation.
After Japanese language training, students are eligible to apply for undergraduate or graduate level courses. Most language schools in Nepal take care of the application process to help prospective students enroll at Japanese colleges/universities. “Students first go to language school for around one year and then go to respective universities to find the subject of their interest,” said Rama Kandel of the Nepal Japan Sewa Centre.
BBA and MBA programmes, run by Japanese universities, have been popular among Nepali students. Various universities based in different Japanese cities concentrate on management programmes. The plus point is that students applying for Management courses can change their core subjects according to their interest. Students can choose Finance, Economics or Business Communications as their majors. Another popular programme offered by Japanese universities is Hotel Management.
A large majority of Nepali students is interested in technical education. Japan, a leading country for innovation and technology, is also a mecca for students pursuing technical courses. Japanese engineering degrees are world class and focuses on pragmatic approaches. Fieldworks assigned by professors help students develop technological antenna. Other popular courses include Software Development, Animation and Design. “Technical courses are drawing Nepali students. By acquiring technical degrees, students can find good jobs, even after returning to Nepal,” said Kandel.
While the United States, Australia, India and Japan are the most popular destinations for Nepali students going abroad, education opportunities in Germany are emerging as a popular choice for their unique feature that every level of education is free. The majority of German universities provide courses free of cost as all the academic institutions are state-funded. Though there are some universities and colleges that charge fees, they are far lower when compared to many other countries.
International students who want to pursue their higher education in Germany have to learn the German language. Basically, one has to take about six months to one year of language course before getting admitted to universities. With the passage of time, some universities are providing courses in management and technical subjects in English but most of the faculties are run in German. Sandeep Mishra of Education Park said the trend of Nepali students going to Germany has been increasing because of the quality education and the free education system. "Since the colleges are state regulated, they impart quality education and also offer scholarships to deserving students," Mishra said. Besides, the fact that students are allowed to work 90 days a year means that they have ample opportunities to earn some extra cash while they study.
German universities work in close cooperation with industries and research organisations. This link helps students gain insight into the world they will one day be working in. Generally, international students are also given an additional year after graduation to stay in the country, giving them an opportunity for earning. This can help them gain permanent residency if that is what they desire.