United Academy

Nepal Government Initiates Action to Limit Brain Drain to Foreign Universities

May 13, 2024
Nepal Government Initiates Action to Limit Brain Drain to Foreign Universities
KMC Lalitpur

Significant discussions were held during today’s (Baisakh 31) meeting of the Education, Health, and Information Technology Committee of the House of Representatives, regarding the retention of Nepali students in domestic universities for higher education. The committee proposed various measures to address the increasing trend of students opting to pursue higher education abroad, despite the availability of universities within Nepal.

The decision to focus on creating an environment conducive to retaining students within the country was made during deliberations on the Nepal University Bill, 2079. Committee members expressed concerns over the escalating expenditure on students studying abroad and the subsequent brain drain on the nation's talent pool.

During the session, Member of Parliament Thakur Prasad Gaire of the Nepal Communist Party (UML) highlighted the alarming statistics, revealing that within the nine months of the current fiscal year, a staggering Rs. 95 Arab had been spent on students going abroad. This expenditure marked a significant 43% increase compared to the previous year, indicating a growing reliance on foreign universities among Nepali students.

Gaire urged Education Minister Sumana Shrestha to prioritize the implementation of the "President Educational Reform Program" to address these concerns effectively. Additionally, he emphasized the need to prevent political interference in academic affairs and ensure that scholarships meant for specific fields, such as medical studies in Bangladesh, are utilized appropriately.

In response, Minister Shrestha assured the committee that discussions with the Bangladesh Ambassador regarding medical education opportunities for Nepali students in Bangladesh were already underway, indicating proactive steps to explore alternatives to foreign education.

Furthermore, Member of Parliament Teju Lal Chaudhary of the Nepali Congress emphasized the urgency of swiftly implementing decisions to open Nepal University in various disciplines. Chaudhary argued that this initiative would not only attract students but also curb the outflow of capital and talent from the country.

Similarly, Member of Parliament Sher Bahadur Kunwar of UML called for a comprehensive government study to understand the reasons behind the lack of attraction towards domestic universities for higher education. Kunwar stressed the importance of addressing the underlying issues contributing to the flight of capital and talent from Nepal.

In light of these discussions, Former Education Minister Devendra Poudel proposed a bill aimed at transforming education into a catalyst for producing capable manpower. The bill seeks to make education more scientific, technical, vocational, skill-based, and people-oriented, with the establishment of a new university envisioned to contribute to public education and research in non-governmental sectors.

While acknowledging that the proposed university will not bear the financial responsibility of the government, the bill underscores the government's commitment to providing funding for infrastructure development. The bill, which has been passed by the National Assembly, underwent amendments on 182 topics through a joint effort of 19 members of parliament, signaling a unified approach towards addressing the challenges in Nepal's education sector.

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