MBA Education: Passport to Success

The fact that Nepali corporate houses are now hiring more Nepali managers, Nepali MBA graduates are now working in the top management of multinational companies speaks volume of the country’s B-Schools.

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Rajesh Khanal
With business schools announcing admission for the 2013-15 session, MBA aspirants these days are a busy lot. Be it doctors, engineers or those in other professions, everyone is making a beeline to institutions offering an MBA degree, which is considered a passport to higher career progression.

At the same time, business schools are also doing their bit to attract the best students in order to maintain and enhance their reputation amid strong competition.

Master of Business Administration is a postgraduate degree that equips students with knowledge that can be applied to a variety of real world business situations. It includes the study of the theory and practical application of business and management principles.

With the expansion of the service sector, emergence of new corporate houses and growing preference for management education, B-Schools have become a thriving business.

The fact that Nepali corporate houses are now hiring more Nepali managers, Nepali MBA graduates are now working in the top management of multinational companies speaks volume of the country’s B-Schools.

They may not be like Indian B-Schools where graduates are hired even before they complete their final year, but the trend of on-campus interviews and placement has begun in Nepal.

Now, more Nepali business houses are visiting B-Schools scouting for professional managers. Modern management education began in Nepal in the form of commerce education in 1954 with the establishment of a commerce department in the state-owned Tri- Chandra College.

The college ran two programmes— Intermediate of Commerce (ICom) and Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) programmes— in affiliation with an Indian university until the establishment of Tribhuvan University (TU) in 1959. And in 1960, TU began offering a post-graduate programme in commerce—Master in Commerce (MCom). It was only after 1991 when the private sector Business schools (B-schools) started offering the master degree in management education in the country. Kathmandu University (KU) set up a management school—KU School of Management (KUSOM)—in August 1993. The pace was further intensified with the establishment of Purbanchal University in 1995 and Pokhara University in 1996.

B-Schools offering MBA, EMBA in Nepal Courses Tribhuvan University Pokahara University Kathmandu University Purbanchal University MBA 1 6 1 12 EMBA - 1 1 3

B-Schools in the country can be classified into two categories— those affiliated with domestic universities and those affiliated to international universities


Although MBA education in Nepal is just around 20 years old, there are around three dozen B-schools offering an MBA degree today. The private sector has led this growth story by setting up state-of-the-art institutions, faculty and world class syllabus. Some of the early B-Schools in the country are Kathmandu University School of Management (Kusom), Ace Institute of Management and Apex College. KUSOM, a pioneer in the field, has produced more than 1,300 MBAs in the last two decades. The institution began MBA education in 1993 with an aim to ‘enhance entrepreneurship in the country’. Subash KC, dean of the Kathmandu University School of Management (KUSOM), defines MBA as a career-oriented degree. “The faculty members with high research experience are vital in making the learning practice more effective in MBA,” he says. B-Schools in the country can be classified into two categories— those affiliated with domestic universities and those affiliated to international universities. With competition getting fierce, B-schools are differentiatingthemselves from others by offering degrees through affiliation with international universities. They have made it possible for Nepali students to acquire an international degree from home. “Our main aim is to offer a globally-recognised degree at an affordable cost,” said Narottam Aryal, principal,

King’s College, which is affiliated with International American University of the US. Kathmandu Frontier’s Associates (KFA), which is affiliated with Vinayak Mission University of India, claims their MBA programme transforms students directly to managers. “MBAs are the ones who transform the society, develop entrepreneurship,” said Kishu Jha, general manager of KFA. Besides the regular two-year full-time MBA programme, Nepali B-schools also offer EMBA (Executive MBA), evening MBA and other customised programmes. Tribhuvan University, the oldest university of the country recently introduced an MBA programme. Apart from the banking and financial system, the demand for professional managers is equally felt in other sectors such as tourism and hospitality, energy, agriculture, IT and social and public sectors. With growing relevance of MBA in other areas, many institutions have started diversifying their specialisation areas.

Unlike traditional MBA that used to offer specialisation in Finance, Marketing and HR, many B-shools have also come up with electives in Information Technology, Management Information System and Operation Management and Supply Chain Management, among others.

“Although the MBA has created a separate environment for entrepreneurship development, B-schools now need to focus more on the day, MBA graduates, in the days to come, should be able to face more challenges.”

Narendra Shrestha, executive director of Kantipur International College, says MBA promotes the entrepreneur culture in the society. “MBA graduates not only acquire the degree, but they themselves are a degree,” he said.

Curriculum
MBA programme covers a wide range of disciplines new specialisation areas,” said LP Bhanu Sharma, principal of Apex College. He said new types of elective courses should be added to the core MBA subjects. “As the market is getting more complex by such as marketing, human resource management, organisational behaviour and strategic management, among others.

The main aim of the programme is to make students understand management principles and apply them in the real world. This two-year program consists of 69 credit hours and is conducted in semester or trimester system.

Apart from regular core courses, Bschools also offer non-credit programmes like seminars, workshops, case studies and field visits to help students develop leadership and interpersonal skills in them.

In addition to traditional elective subjects, B-schools are also offering new disciplines such as MIS, IT, insurance, operation management and supply chain management to cater the market demand.

B-Schools in Nepal have miles to go in order to achieve international standard. But B-School promoters say over the year, there has been improvement in the way management education is being provided in the country.
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What is MBA?
MBA is a post graduate degree in business administration, which is considered one of the most prestigious and sought after degrees in the world. It has traditionally been considered as the golden ticket for professional success. Students of MBA programmes study the theory and application of business and management principles. The degree aims to equip students with knowledge that can be applied to a variety of real world business situations. Courses in finance, leadership, organisational behaviour, marketing, management, governance and economics are some of the courses typically found in an MBA curriculum.

EMBA

An executive MBA, or EMBA, is a graduate business degree which is primarily designed to educate working executives, managers, entrepreneurs, and other business leaders. EMBA is a great way for professionals and executives to pursue business education and still work. The programme tends to be flexible and allows students to attend class in the evenings and on weekends. EMBA is generally a two-year programme, but some colleges offer the degree even in one and half years depending on a student’s work experience. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Teaching-Learning Methodology

Besides traditional lecture system, MBA focuses on active participation of students. As the main aim of the programme is to create qualified managers, B-schools’ faculty members include leading professionals from the corporate world besides academicians. The students are encouraged to participate in seminars, group works and field visits for observationbased study to give them to the real world experience. Kishu Jha, general manager of Kathmandu Frontier’s Associates (KFA) says ‘an MBA without participatory study is incomplete’.

International Standard
Nepali B-schools claim to be on a par with international institutions. They are fully-equipped with modern infrastructure and the courses they offer are in line with international standards.

Many B-schools have now started offering MBA programmes in affiliation with foreign universities. They say their degrees are recognised in both domestic and international markets. It is not that only Nepali institutions are willing to get foreign affiliation, but foreign universities are also equally interested in giving affiliation to Nepali institutions in order to expand their outreach.

Some of such institutions are KFA which is affiliated with Vinayaka Mission University of India; The British College affiliated with Leeds Metropolitan University of England; Padmashree International College affiliated with Panjab Technical University of India and King’s College affiliated with International American University of the US. The colleges claim their degrees help students compete globally.


Future of MBA
Nepali B-schools are often criticised for producing more job seekers than job creators. Experts say MBA graduates are more confined to financial jobs. They said B-schools should now focus more on a MBA degree based on the market demand. “B-schools should now switch to hospitality management, IT, energy and health from traditional specialisation subjects like marketing, human resource and finance,” said Subash KC, dean, KUSOM.

Sharma of Apex College Principal LP Bhanu Sharma echœd KC. He said Bschools would struggle if they fail to bring courses as per the market demand. Besides traditional lecture system, MBA focuses on active participation of students.

source: Khanal, Rajesh (2013),"MBA Education: Passport to Success,The Kathmandu Post, 10 Jan 2013

2013-01-10 | EducateNepal

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