While probing the history of engineering education in Nepal, we should go back to 1987 BS. Institutional technical education started in the year 1987 when a trade school was established with the aim at providing technical training for textile industry. Engineering sector of the school offered only trade and civil sub-overseer programs. It was the beginning point of engineering education in Nepal. Nepal Engineering School was established in Nepal in 1998 AD and started Diploma in Civil Engineering for the first time. It is the underpinning mainstay of establishment of engineering education. Later, in 1972 AD, technical training school was established with the aim to provide training for technical field. The institute started technician courses in General courses in General Mechanics, Auto Mechanics, Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Drafting courses. In 2029 BS, new education system was implemented in Nepal. In 1972, the Nepal Engineering Institute at Pulchowk and the Technical Training Institute at Thapathali were brought together under the umbrella of the Tribhuvan University to constitute the Institute of Engineering and the Nepal Engineering Institute and the Technical Training Institute were renamed as Pulchowk Campus and Thapathali Campus respectively. It is, in fact, the formal establishment of engineering education in Nepal. Higher technical education started in the year 1978 AD with intake of 22 students in bachelor of Civil Engineering. Expansion of Engineering Education was very fast after the establishment of Nepal Engineering Institute in the year 1994 AD.
Subsequently, Eastern Region Campus, Dharan started engineering education in 2034 BS and Western Region Campus, Pokhara was established in 2038 BS for the same purpose. After then, Kathmandu University was established in 2048 BS, Purbanchal University was established in 2050 BS, Pokhara University was established in 2054 BS, Mid-western University and Far-western University were established in 2067 BS. These Universities started engineering programs in diversified field of knowledge such as civil engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, electronics engineering, computer engineering, etc.
Engineering degree has become a highly adorable academic course in Nepalese society since the very beginning. No doubt, engineering colleges in Nepal are producing efficient and qualified engineers every year. Although Kathmandu valley boasts of having some recognized and well-established colleges, the colleges outside the valley have been working excellently in imparting quality engineering education. The engineering has a wide scope and is widely respected. The construction and development work is possible only through adroit engineers. In a developing country, it has a high scope. Now Nepal is in the process of political stability, but has to do a lot of tremendous work for economic prosperity. Therefore, in recent times, engineering or technical education is more demanded. The government has also given priority to technical education. These are the main reasons that more and more students prefer joining the engineering courses. Engineering is gaining more popularity with the increase in colleges and institutions that impart an array of engineering courses in Nepal and their efforts are worth commendable.
Development is possible when the courses, such as civil infrastructure, industry, hydropower, electronics, IT, etc. are imparted to the pupils to keep the spirit of country’s development at the apex level. Indeed, the universities and colleges in Nepal offer such courses in the varied subject areas. However, Nepal cannot go ahead in developmental work because of political instability. Ramesh Kumar Silwal, President of HISSAN and Chairman at Advanced Engineering College claims that Nepal will need more engineers for developmental work in future; as a result, our engineers will not be enough, so we will be compelled to recruit myriads engineers from foreign lands.
We have an enormous scope of engineering in Nepal regardless of threats. An excellent plus two graduate, who may serve the country as an engineer in the future, has been a victim of brain-drain in US, UK, Australia, Europe and so on. We have witnessed that a victim of brain-drain hardly returns to serve the country as a skilled engineer who has great responsibilities to reshape the infrastructure of the country.
Some of low-graded Indian universities and engineering colleges manipulate Nepalese students showing subsidized fees and other facilities; as a result, they manage to seduce them to get enrollment at Indian universities. Their fabricated promises eventually turn out to be specious resulting in dismal situations where those naïve students have to suffer perennially. ‘Mostly, Indian college representatives troll in Nepali swathes before the plus two results and take admissions, but the Nepal government is speechless against their illicit conducts’, says AECoN (Association of Engineering Colleges Nepal) Chairperson Er. Laxman Pokharel. He adds, “We have raised our voices against the misconducts of those university authorities several times, but they have been neglected and overlooked by the Nepal government.”
In Nepal, a variety of engineering courses are offered by domestic universities and colleges. There are a total of 51 engineering institutions in Nepal that are affiliated to six domestic universities. The total students’ intake capacity of the entire colleges is about 10633 in 24 different engineering programs. Out of 51 institutions, 32 institutions are in the Kathmandu valley whereas 19 colleges are beyond it.
The Institute of Engineering of Tribhuvan University is the country’s oldest engineering school. It has four colleges, and 13 private engineering colleges are affiliated to it. The IOE’s central campus is Pulchowk Campus, considered the best engineering college in Nepal. Pulchowk offers bachelor, master and Ph.D. degrees in engineering.
INTRODUCTION TO ENGINEERING PROGRAM
IOE—Institute of Engineering (Pulchowk Engineering Campus), a constituent campus of Tribhuvan University, is the oldest and largest campus in Nepal, which offers an array of engineering programs. It runs six bachelor programs in the arena of engineering. It has four constituent engineering colleges: Pulchowk Engineering Campus in Lalitpur, Western Regional Campus in Pokhara, Thapathali Campus in Kathmandu, and Eastern Regional Campus in Dharan. Ten private engineering colleges, affiliated to TU, are Advanced College of Engineering & Management, Kantipur Engineering College, Kathmandu Engineering College, Himalaya Engineering College, National College of Engineering, Kathford Int’l College of Engineering & Management, Janakpur Engineering College, Khwopa Engineering College, Sagarmatha Engineering College and Lalitpur Engineering College. Among TU affiliate engineering colleges, Kathmandu Engineering College is the largest engineering college that offers five BE programs for a total of 384 seats. All the constituent campuses have 1872 seats for BE engineering enrolments whereas private TU affiliated colleges have the capacity of taking 2304 enrolments in BE.
Pokhara University is the largest university in terms of BE programs since it runs nine engineering programs, and the second largest university with regard to its intakes in BE i.e. 3599. Pokhara University School of Engineering, Lekhnath, Pokhara has been running programs in BE Civil and BE Electrical and Electronics. Moreover, Pokhara University has 14 affiliated private engineering colleges—Nepal Engineering College, Changunarayan, Bhaktapur; Oxford College of Engineering & Management, Gaindakot, Nawalparasi; Nepal College of Information Technology, Balkumari, Lalitpur; Everest Engineering College, Buddhanagar, Kathmandu; Cosmos College of Engineering & Management, Satdobato, Lalitpur; Lumbini Engineering College, Bhalbari, Rupandehi; Pokhara Engineering College, Phirke, Pokhara; Gandaki Engineering College, Lamachaur, Pokhara; United Technical College; Universal College of Science & Technology, Lalitpur; NAST, Dhangadhi; Rapti Engineering College, Ghorahi, Dang; College of Engineering, Nepalgunj, Banke and Ritz College of Engineering and Management, Lalitpur.
Nepal Engineering College (NEC) in Changunarayan is the country’s first private engineering college to offer engineering courses from bachelor’s to Master’s level. It is the largest engineering college which has the capacity of 576 students’ enrollments.
Purbanchal University has one constituent engineering college that has been running BE Computer, BE Electronics and Communication and BE Architecture. It has fifteen affiliated engineering colleges: Khwopa Engineering College, Bhaktapur; ACME Engineering College, Sitapaila, Kathmandu; Kantipur City College, Kathmandu; Himalayan WhiteHouse International College, Khumaltar, Lalitpur; CIT College, Tinkune, Kathmandu; Himalayan Institute of Science & Technology, New Baneshwor, Kathmandu; Aryan School of Engineering, Mid Baneshwor, Kathmandu; Eastern Engineering College, Biratnagar; Hillside Engineering College, Koteshwor, Kathmandu; Morgan Engineering College, Basundhara, Kathmandu; Central College of Engineering, Janakpur, College of Biomedical Engineering and Applied Science, Kathmandu, Nepal Polytechnic Institute, Bharatpur, Chitwan, Kantipur International College, Labhu, Lalitpur and Geomatics Institute of Technology, Kathmandu. Among PU affiliated colleges, ACME is the largest engineering college for intake capacity i.e. 344. The constituent campus has 384 seats for BE engineering enrolments whereas private PU affiliated colleges have the capacity of taking 1922 students in BE.
Kathmandu University offers B.E. in Mechanical Engineering, B.E. in Electrical & Electronics, B.E. in Environmental Engineering, B.E. in Computer Engineering, B.E. in Geometrics Engineering, B.E. in Chemical Engineering, and B.Tech in Environmental Engineering. It has 425 seats in total.
Mid-Western University offers B.E. Civil (48 seats), BE Electrical and Communication (48 seats) and B.E. Computer (48 seats) whereas Far-Western University runs B.E. Civil (48 seats).
As far as students’ intake capacity is concerned, there are Civil, Electronics & Communication, Computer, Electrical, Architecture, Electrical & Electronics, Information Technology, Mechanical, Software, Geometrics, Biomedical, Civil and Rural, Industrial, Environmental and Agriculture (15 programs) are available in Nepal. Civil Engineering is the most preferred and demanded discipline amongst all. It has the highest scope not only in Nepal but across the globe. But in real sense of developing a nation, Electrical and Electronics engineering are most essential for hydropower and other alternative sources of energy development, energy management, etc. IT or Computer or Software Engineering is equally important and more demanded as it is for the automaton of individual personal record keeping to the nation’s public service and e-governance. IT officers are highly demandable nowadays.
As the government has made the policy of appointing an IT engineer in every municipality and rural municipality, we will need more IT engineers in the future. If industrialization gets better in Nepal, then there would be higher demand of computer and electronic engineers, too. Similarly, nowadays, every design work is given to the architectures, but civil engineers. So, the scope of engineering is increasing globally with the pace of time.
There are many other specializations in Engineering that are not much popular in Nepal. Some of them are: Biotech Engineering, Aeronautical Engineering, Geomatics Engineering, Geological Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Automobile Engineering and Agricultural Engineering.
Engineering is a dynamic field with lots of specializations. Engineering holds a bright and exciting future for career hopefuls in Nepal and abroad. One can make his/her career in governmental projects, private or public sector industries, construction companies and in many other fields.
Currently, Engineering is taught only in English in all engineering colleges of Nepal. There is no any provision to study engineering in Nepali language and it does not seem that this will happen soon in the future as well. So, students wishing to study engineering in Nepal must be prepared for this and should have a good understanding of English language. The Bachelor in Architecture courses takes five years to complete, and other bachelor-degree courses take four years.
PARENTS’ CONCERN OVER FEE STRUCTURE
Parents are still in dilemma concerning their pursuit of a suitable engineering college in Nepal and abroad. Engineering courses require a range of fee structures ranging from NPR 700000.00 to 1600000.00 in Nepal and a foreign campus may charge up to NPR 4000000.00 (country’s currency equivalency). Many eye-catching adverts in paper and electronic media have created confusions for decision on top-most colleges for the engineering course. Many educational agents (educational consultancies) in Nepal are agglomerating day and night into one in order to manipulate and send students to Indian universities. Moreover, such agents try to persuade students describing bogus rewarding aspects of studying engineering in a developed country. They speciously guarantee that studying in advanced countries bring far more opportunities to students than studying such courses in Nepal.
ACADEMIC SCENARIO IN NEPAL AND STUDENT MINDSET
Because of political instability, maelstrom and commotion, a large number of students try to bet on their fortune in foreign lands. As a result, the country is suffering a huge loss of brain-drain. However, there are myriads students who still feel that they can secure an award-winning career upon completing their engineering qualification in Nepal. If students are interested in studying engineering courses in Nepal, they should acquire factual details of the institution they are going to study in.
In Nepal, about eight thousand students study engineering courses, which is the available number of seats. Moreover, for the same course, around six to eight thousand students go to Indian universities and other universities across the globe. If we do not become sanguine enough to envisage the blatant future of the country because of an exodus of a large number of Nepalese students in foreign lands, we are sure to succumb to the crisis of adroit human resources that have a great role to develop the nation. Moreover, neither the government and university nor the concerned authorities have pondered this abysmal fate of Nepal which is drooping over its economical development. On one hand, the underpinning factor of the country, youths, are becoming expats in foreign lands, on the other hand, millions of Nepali currency has slipped from our hands. Therefore, we have to join our hands to promote Nepali education and harness the unauthorized intruders that are emasculating the spark of award-winning education that can be attained in Nepali swathes.
ENGINEERING INSTITUTIONS AND INTAKE CAPACITY
Although Higher Level Engineering Education started in 1978, it has taken today’s shape after the foundation of Nepal Engineering Institute in 1994. Enrollment capacity has increased from 96 to 10633. Single program in-Civil Engineering has expanded to 24 different ones. Hi- quality graduates are being produced and supplied to both national and international market. According to the source of Nepal Engineering Council, about 52 thousand engenderers have taken the engineering license. About thirty thousand students are pursuing their engineering education at different colleges in Nepal and abroad.
|No. of Colleges||No. of Intakes||No. of Programs|
|Far Western University||1||48||1|
Program-wise Intake Capacity
|Program||No. of Seat|
|Electronics & Communication||1641|
|Electrical & Electronics||300|
|Civil & Rural||48|
In conclusion, engineering education has many prospects not only in Nepal also in foreign lands; however, it also has some drawbacks which might spoil a career of a student if s/he ignores how much effort and dedication the course requires. Since engineers are the underpinning factor of country’s economic development, the government should consider preparing a high number of engineers from various disciplines for rapid and holistic development.