How many universities Nepal really needs?



At a time when three universities are yet to come into operation even a year after the parliament approved bills to establish them, various education related bodies have taken initiative to set up yet another new university.

Agriculture and Forestry University, Far Western University and Mid-Western University could not come into operation even after the parliament approved their bills when the government failed to appoint the officials.

An application was submitted by an Ad hoc committee in the Ministry of Education (MoE) Sunday to set up an Engineering and Technical University.

The committee submitted the application claiming that it has adequate infrastructure to set up the purposed university at Mastaar in Dhading district.

Chairman of ad hoc committee Shiva Prasad Adhikari said that the university would be set up in an area of 224 ropanis 50 kilometres away from the capital.

Similarly, applications were submitted in different agencies of MOE to set up other six universities including St. Xaviers University, Public Campus University, Open University, Kirati University two Dean Universities on Health and Law.

Likewise, bills to set up four universities-- Nepalgunj University, Birgunj University, Rajarsi Janak University and Madan Bhandari Industrial University are in the parliament.

The MoE would send all new applications to the University Grants Commission (UGC), which will constitute a feasibility study committee to find whether the proposed universitiescan be set up. It will later send its recommendation based on the reports of the committee to the Ministry.

If the UGC sends a positive report, the Ministry will table a proposal in the cabinet before it tables the bill in parliament. By passing these lengthy processes, bills to set up four universities have already been to the parliament

Dr. Roj Nath Pandey, Deputy Secretary at MoE, said that because of the growing awareness among the citizens, the ministry was receiving proposals to set up more new universities. He added, "If the new universities get good leadership, many Nepalese youths will benefit from them."

The UGC has already allocated budget for the seven universities. However, the budget of four universities is in the freezing condition as the parliament has not yet passed their bills and of the three due to lack of officials.

Meanwhile, the government Sunday appointed Ganesh Gurung to the post of chairman of the UGC and Bhola Pokharel as its member secretary. The UGC was without leadership for the past ten months.

(Source: The Rising Nepal)