Mahendra Raj Kandel
Director, The British College
Could you tell us about the academic journey of British College?
Nepalese leaders, who visited Britain, had made a public appeal to NRN to invest in the academic sector in Nepal. So, we were greatly inspired and we planned to invest in establishment of a college with the motive of social service. We created the environment of imparting British education to Nepalese students in their native land. However, we had to undergo lots of hurdles at the time of college registration. So, it took more than one and a half years for the registration in the ministry of education. After completing all the procedures, we officially inaugurated our British education from British College. We have reached this condition due to our untiring and diligent efforts.
British College offers international courses in Nepal. Could you share with us what type of courses they are?
We offer BBA, MBA and B.Sc. (Hons.) Computing affiliated to the University of the West of England. The college offers the world-class courses that equip graduates with required knowledge, skills and values they need to succeed in the global market as incumbents and entrepreneurs. Moreover, we impart highly acclaimed UK qualifications and curricula which are relevant to the current job market for enhancing each and every student’s employability. In a foreign education system, particularly in British education system, university has separate market department which makes a survey on what type of workforce is required for the global market. It, therefore, designs the curricula by analyzing the market. Till date, the courses of Oxford and Cambridge Universities have stood the best in the world. British College is offering these courses with the view to provide world class education to Nepalese students. The course is timely updated and revised as per the need and requirement of the international market and changing business and academic spheres.
British College has been running international programs in Nepal for the past seven years. How have you maintained the quality?
The British College offers undergraduate and graduate which are awarded by the University of the West of England. The college has both local and global approaches to programs and internship. Its staff and administrative personnel are appointed by the Universities themselves. In addition, it provides reading materials of the Universities through electronic access. The college is bound by the rules and regulations of the Universities. Both the Universities strictly inspect all our activities, i.e. teaching pedagogy, evaluation system, credit hour etc. The college has also made a provision of organizing faculty-exchange programs with the Universities. We send our faculty to Britain for essential training. Similarly, the college helps students to transfer their course credit to any colleges affiliated to the University of the West of England and Leeds Beckett University.
Could you highlight the special features of the British College?
British College has unique features that distinguish it from other colleges. All the functioning body and management team are the residents of Britain. It follows the syllabus of British system and has credit transfer facility for collegiate. That is, students studying in the first semester in Nepal can be transferred to Britain for the second semester and so on. Similarly, IT programs, BBA and MBA, are based on the British education system. Our graduates have shown phenomenal performance in the global market.
British College has been offering foreign qualifications in Nepal for seven years, but the message has not reached the grass root level. What is your response ?
British College offers foreign degrees in Nepal, but its message has not reached up to the grass root level. The government policy is not clear and we are not getting support from the government for the expansion of our branch across the country. There are a numbers of procedures which have created hurdles in the smooth development and expansion of the college. We need support and cooperation of the government to develop trust of the public. Only our efforts cannot be effective for reaching the message up to the grass root level. In fact, British College has created a wealth of opportunities for Nepalese nationals to receive an international degree in Nepal. In this regard, this message should reach throughout the country and the role of media and government should be advantageous for this campaign.
What are the possible factors, you think, that have obliged Nepalese hopefuls to go abroad for higher studies?
British college has been successful in ensuring above 95% results in every exam. The students studying get an international degree after completing the courses successfully. But students who go to foreign lands show hardly 20%-25% results due to various reasons, i.e. accommodation, transportation, and other miscellaneous expenses. Therefore, the number of dropouts is persisting which is really embarrassing.
British College is one of the leading academic institutions in Nepal. What efforts have you made to retain the flagship?
British College is run and managed by a group of professionals who have gained ample experience in their respective vocations. And they are driven by the motive of social service, too. The college has invested a huge amount in its infrastructural development and academic upliftment. We are guided by the principle of social service rather than accruing wealth. Since most of the faculty and management staff members are residents of Britain, they have mastery on seeking multiple ways to be financially opulent. So, they have invested immensely in Nepalese educational institutions with a long-term vision. Furthermore, we never compromise on quality as the college has recruited qualified instructors and mentors. Overall, it has adopted a long term vision to develop and expand the British education in Nepal.
Could you possibly tell us about your further plans?
We are planning to run engineering courses in near future, for we’ve completed all the tasks, i.e. infrastructure development for classes, procedures for running hotel management courses, recruitment of instructors etc. Similarly, running of Cyber Crime Controlling courses is in the pipeline. In addition, we have also made a survey on the feasibility of extending our branch to as many areas as possible in various provinces beyond Kathmandu valley.
In your opinion, how should the IEPAN go ahead in the future?
IEPAN has been working for the assurance of rights and sustainability of foreign university affiliated colleges. It has created a safe platform for those institutions to hold discussions on existing problems and their gateways. So, IEPAN should make further plans to solve problems instantaneously. Primarily, it should prioritizes table talks and negotiations with the government on bringing appropriate policies for a convincing environment for the establishment, development and expansion of foreign university affiliated colleges.