Student unions’ protest against the semester system has delayed new academic session for the master’s level in public colleges under Tribhuvan University.
The TU had invited applications from students by January 4 for enrolment but no application has been filed owing to the protests of 15 students unions. They have been barring the colleges from distributing forms saying that the university cannot implement the new system “without preparations”.
They claim that the TU launched the system without managing trained and competent teachers, proper syllabi and other required infrastructure. The TU was scheduled to hold an entrance test on January 13 and begin classes from January 29.
The students have threatened to distribute forms for the existing annual system if the university fails to ensure the required infrastructure. “The TU introduced the system without homework,” said Deepak Gautam of the All Nepal National Free Student Union.
The oldest varsity in the country introduced semester system in its 38 central departments last year in an effort to improve the quality of education. It plans to expand the system to about two dozen constituent colleges across the country from the new academic session in this phase.
The TU has 61 constituent colleges and 1,111 affiliate colleges where about half a million students are enrolled. One third of these students and colleges are in the Capital. In the semester system, students are required to sit entrance exams and take all tests in English medium. The unions have also protested the enrolment quotas demanding that every one fulfilling the criteria must be allowed to study.
As per its five-year strategic plan, TU will limit the intake of students and make entrance tests mandatory in all subjects by 2017. Concluding that the high number of students had hampered its efforts to produce quality and competitive human resource, the university decided to replace its annual system by semester system, fix the class size and limit student intake.