Management Education in Nepal : Milieu and Future Track

A time line of Management education in Nepal shows its beginning in 1954 and reached the present state with varied systems taking place during different time periods.

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Introduction
The history of higher education in Nepal has just marked nine decades. Tri Chandra College, established in 1918, affiliated initially to Calcutta University and later to Patna University is privileged to launch academic programs and set the record of beginning of modern higher education in Nepal. The pace of development of the then higher education was slow because of the beliefs that it was meant specifically for few privileged ones. After the advent of democracy in 1951, the then prevalent notion changed, and a number of public and community colleges emerged. The need for emergence of commerce education was felt during this period and hence initiated in September 1954 (Bhadra 17, 2011 B.S.). Tri Chandra College, the first college of the country, launched the Intermediate of commerce (I.Com) and Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com) programs in the beginning. Started initially with 27 and 4 students respectively at I.Com and B.Com, it gained popularity in a short span of time luring other colleges to start those programs as well. Public Commerce College (Kathmandu), Nepal Commerce College (Lalitpur), Thakur Ram College (Birgunj), Mahendra Morang College (Biratnagar) remained some prominent colleges to name in this context. Commerce education, one of the youngest disciplines in the context of Nepal, had its master level program; Master of Commerce (M.Com), in 1960 only after the establishment of Tribhuvan University (TU).


Time-line of Management Education
A time line of Management education in Nepal shows its beginning in 1954 and reached the present state with varied systems taking place during different time periods. After the establishment of TU, all matters of higher education including curriculum and examinations came within its purview, the only university of the country. The three tier academic program: I.Com, B.Com and M.Com remained unaltered and continued for about fifteen years successfully, with some legacy of Indian-based curriculum, though.


Introduction of the New Education Plan System (NEPS) in 1971 was yet another important period in the history of higher education. Management education being its integral part could not remain untouched. As a result higher education in total and management education in particular passed through a phase of complete revamp of curricula as well as the examination systems. Implemented in 1973, NEPS revolutionized the higher education through advanced curricular structure adding management subjects and subjects that were relevant and demanded. Different level academic programs were implemented under the umbrella of TU. The Institute of Business Administration, Commerce and Public Administration (IBACPA) was designated to implement, monitor and evaluate management education program in the country. Following this, major changes took place in the academic calendar and examination system. The practice of yearly education and biennial examination systems was replaced by semester system requiring completion of four semesters for the academic degree of Proficiency Certificate, Diploma and Degree level management programs respectively.


In spite of the positive attributes and relatively good performance in some pockets, the semester system could not go for a long time. Despite this, it would be unfair if NEPS is disassociated with the real start of management education in Nepal. The breakdown of semester system in 1981 was replaced by the annual system. Corollary to the change, the name of the institute was renamed as Institute of Management, and again changed to Faculty of Management. This way Faculty of Management (FOM) has emerged as an important responsible organ of TU so far management education is concerned in Nepal.

The Higher Education Project (HEP) under the soft loan scheme of the World Bank has further enriched management education by making it demanding and pragmatic to meet the sectoral needs as per international standards in the mid 80s. Overtime changes in the system brought different thrusts at different periods of time. The Faculty of Management at present has put forward a very specific and clear thrust.


Academic Programs
Based on the critical assessment of national and international needs of various sectors, FOM is continuously imparting management education programs, both professional and general in nature. The academic level programs of FOM at present are Proficiency Certificate level (phasing out), Bachelor, Post Graduate, Master along with M. Phil and Doctoral (Ph.D.) covering wide arena of management fields.


Visualizing a host of academic programs in operation in constituents and affiliated campus spread throughout the length and breadth of the country, it would not be an exaggeration to declare management education as a popular and demanding field of higher education. Currently, more than 376 campuses (26 constituents and 350) affiliated are present throughout the country including the remotest area like Jumla, in addition to ever pouring application for further affiliation till date. Management education is second in terms of students’ enrolment after humanities, but first in cost recovery and dynamism. With this trend, management education will undoubtedly hold top-position in all respects in near future. The multidisciplinary approach professed by management education has led to the concrete realization of the importance of it by people opting different professional fields.

Nomenclature of Academic Programs
Based on the critical assessment and scientific projection of emerging needs of various sectors, nationally and internationally, FOM is continuously involved in designing and launching management programs of different natures both professional and general. Currently, the FOM has following nomenclature of academic programs, some in operation and some in proposition.

I. Certificate Level (Two years, Annual System) Program
> Proficiency Certificate Level (PCL)

II. A. Bachelor Level (Three years) Program

> Bachelor of Business Studies (BBS), (Annual System)
> Bachelor Of Travel and Tourism Management (BTTM), (Semester System)
> Bachelor of Hotel management (BHM), (Semester System)

> B. Bachelor Level (Four years) Program
> Bachelor of Information Management (BIM), (Semester System)
> Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), (Semester System)

Post Graduate Diploma in Police Science (PGDPS), (Two Years, Semester System)


III. Master Level (Two years, Annual) Program
> Master of Business Studies (MBS)
> Master of Public Administration (MPA)
> Master of Business Administration (MBA), (Semester System) –Proposed
IV. M.Phil (Eighteen months, Semester System) Program
V. Doctor of Philosophy Program : Ph.D


Current Student Strength
An analysis of the examinees figure in management education for the last nine years, as shown in following table explains the positioning and share of management education (almost 35%) within higher education scenario of TU, accounting for more than 5,00,000 students.

 

Year

 

Proficiency

Certificate Level (I

and II)

 

Bachelor(I, II

and III)

 

Master (I and II)

 

Total

 

2056

78959

37825

12075

128859

2057

60208

48147

13027

121382

2058

67986

61120

12082

141188

2059

62417

64164

12305

138886

2060

53238

70856

13212

137306

2061

47661

76427

15076

139164

2062

42056

94795

17107

153958

2063

36481

98222

19090

153793

2064

30240

110191

20844

161275

 

Source: Office of the Controller of Examinations, TU, Balkhu.

 

The above table shows the number of examinees under annual system of examinations only. The recent data of examinees in different professional academic courses of Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), Bachelor of Information Management (BIM), Bachelor of Travel and Tourism Management (BTTM), Bachelor of Hotel Management (BHM), Post Graduate Diploma in Police Science (PGDPS), Master of Philosophy in Management (M.Phil) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs accounted to nearly 6555. Combined, the current data of studentexaminees in management education alone stood to 167830. The data in table above indicated the ever-increasing trend both in Bachelor and Master level programs but presented a gradual decline in case of Proficiency level due to phase out of this level by major management campuses on the one hand and ever increasing number of higher secondary schools imparting management courses on the other. The holistic view of students’ number cannot be obtained without the inclusion of student examinees in higher secondary level and thus is presented in the following table:

 

Year

 

Higher Secondary (XI and

XII)

 

2056

8902

2057

15062

2058

25928

2059

32054

2060

4197

2061

50284

2062

61387

2063

77345

2064

94053

2065

121704

 

Source: Office of the Controller of Examinations, HSEB, Sanothimi.

The consolidated data, thus present the increasing share of management students in higher education proving itself as a burgeoning discipline in the academic arena

Challenges Ahead
The increasing number has also posed underlined challenges for the FOM so as to\ meet the dynamic societal needs coupled with academic excellency in management education:
> Designing and implementing relevant and cost effective education programs
> Making programs result-oriented and blending them with new developments and innovations
> Standardizing the programs to meet the national needs as well as international parameters
> Timely modification and updating of curriculum to keep up with demands
> Maintaining close ties with accredited management institutions within and outside the country
> Enhancing better relations with the corporate world
> Promoting research activities and linking research with the teaching-learning process
> Boosting the faculty development programs
> Upgrading the academic programs up to the international mark
> Exploring the new and emerging areas for academic programs and teaching pedagogies
> Identifying and deploying resources
> Attracting, retaining and ensuring the qualified faculties
> Developing and implementing the short term but practical courses to meet the human resource requirements of different sectors
> Seeking collaboration with reputed institutions to twin the program and faculty exchange
> Promoting programs free from every impediments including politics
> Luring the programs towards greater autonomy from academic perspectives
> Excelling public-public as well as public-private partnership approach to actualize better results

In accession of membership of Nepal to the WTO, the days ahead for managementeducation, might prove to be tough. This new scenario however brings both opportunities and threats. Now on, Nepal will have to compete in knowledge and skill with the international market and it needs due preparation, supported by sufficient skills and resources. Otherwise, the entry of foreign investors with abundant resources and know-how may endanger the very existence of domestic institutions.

Future Track
In the light of all of the above, commemoration of the Silver Jubilee of management education in 2060 B.S., and celebrating Golden Jubilee by the TU ensuring uninterrupted success of management education in Nepal, the FOM needs to develop appropriate per se functional strategies with adequate consideration on the following aspects.


> Exploring new fields that act as panacea for the overall economic development.
> Continuing enhancement of competitive strengths of academic courses
> Addressing the needs of dynamic global environment
> Launching of rigorous research and management development programs
> Establishing linkages with leading universities and management institutes abroad and collaborating to design and implement world class programs
> Implementing result-oriented faculty development programs regularly
> Developing a functional but permanent monitoring and evaluation cell to enhance the credibility of programs as well as campuses
> Capacitating the internal structure of FOM and striving towards autonomy
> Establishing a close tie with business/corporate houses and other organizations to produce programs actually meaningful and useful to the world of work
> Innovating and promoting cost-effective, socially relevant and modern technology friendly educational programs.
> Developing sustainable resource acquisition and mobilization plan
> Collaborating with reputed institutions for faculty as well as student exchange
> Focusing meticulously and exploring public-public as well as public-private partnership programs to maximum extent
> Equity sharing of outside agencies in a sizable manner
> Participating and organizing international level academic gatherings and develop net working
> Reengineering and enabling FOM to act as autonomous entity within TU
> Developing and implementing short-term condensed and pragmatic Post Graduate academic course to meet sectoral needs
> Designing and organizing short-term training courses to bridge up skill deficiencies
> Linking research with class room teaching and learning process

2011-05-05 | Dr. Govinda Pd. Acharya

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Dr. Govinda Pd. Acharya

Prof.Dr.,Dean(Faculty of Management,TU) Kirtipur

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