Ashish Tiwari is Principal and Director on the Board of Ace Institute of Management. The institute offers an array of courses that include BBA and BBA-BI at bachelor level and MBA, MBA Evening, and Executive MBA at master’s level. Mr. Tiwari shares his view on quality, which is a requisite for management education; and growing reputation of Pokhara University not only in Nepal also in the global sphere. Excerpts:
What factors inspired you to be involved in the academic sector?
When I joined the academic sector in 1999, it was not by choice, rather it was by chance, but looking back at my career as an academician that spans over two decades, I am happy that got into the academic sector. The experience has been rewarding and it is indeed heartening that I have been able to touch so many lives in the process of teaching and managing an academic institution. Being involved in the academic sector is fulfilling because I get a chance to learn continuously and also help in bringing change in lives of people through education. It is satisfying to know that being in academic sector, one is preparing the future workforce and conducting research which benefits society. I believe the academia is a great place to be in as it provides an intellectually stimulating environment and is constantly evolving. It is an amazing place where people can continuously keep growing through learning, un-learning and re-learning.
To what extent do you think the objective of establishment of college was fulfilled?
Ace Institute of Management has successfully lived the vision of enhancing the capacity of individuals and institutions in Nepal to contribute to the nation’s development.
In all our programs we place high emphasis on providing practical knowledge, skills and exposure to our students. We are deeply committed to promoting a learning environment where individuals rediscover themselves and learn to be thoughtful and responsible managers, leaders and entrepreneurs.
The foundation for what was to become a leading school of management in the country was laid down in 1999. The name ‘Ace’ grew popular and strong with every consecutive year with our continuous endeavors to serve and facilitate learning.
Over two decades of existence have been rewarding. Our MBA and Executive MBA programs have acquired a distinguished reputation of being the most rigorous and fulfilling programs. Our BBA and BBA-BI (BBA in Banking and Insurance) programs are considered to be one of the best in the country and the graduates are widely sought after in the employment market.
Over the years our students have managed to prove their worth in Nepalese businesses and society; some are doing very good abroad too. Our graduates are almost everywhere; banks and financial institutions, management and education consultancies, hotels and tourism sectors, media, IT, the social/development sector are just to name a few.
Most students who graduate from Ace constantly recall the hard work and rigor that they went through and how the entire process helped them to grow and transform into open minded, culturally sensitive and responsible individuals.
We were established with an objective to make world class quality management education available to Nepalese students and I believe in the last 22 years since our establishment, we have been able to make quality management education available to Nepalese students.
Till now, more than 5,000 students have graduated from this institute including the bachelor’s and master’s levels, and our graduates have been placed all over the world, not only in Nepal. They have been doing remarkably well for themselves and have achieved phenomenal successes in their career and life. You will find our graduates working in top level managerial positions in reputed organizations in Nepal and abroad.
What are the main reasons behind the success of your college? What are the distinct features of this college? Can we share with us the unique thing available here that has established your institution as a separate identity?
We focus on Individual-centered learning and adopt a holistic approach to learning. We focus on creating a sense of responsibility for learning among learners. We believe that learning is not only limited to the classroom. We focus on co-creation of learning by actively engaging the students in co-creation of learning inside and outside the classroom.
We have created strong linkages with reputed business houses for our students’ benefits. A wider network of our alumni community and two-decade long experience are other commendable benchmarks of Ace Institute. We prepare students not for passing examinations and getting a degree but for their life.
The individual centered learning approach at Ace focuses on helping the students explore their potential to bring out the best in them. The students are encouraged to explore, experiment and ask questions. Besides the regular credit courses, through the various noncredit courses, the students learn to be creative and independent. By organizing various activities independently, they develop their management skills, learn to take up leadership responsibilities and work in teams. Through the recurrent guest lectures, the students get an opportunity to closely interact with the practitioners and understand how the knowledge acquired in the classroom can be utilized in real life setting. Our graduates acquire a global outlook to meet the local challenges of globalization.
We continue to live our vision and commitment to value based management education which has strong relevance to real life. We continue to ensure that the programs are rigorous so that students learn the values of hard work and sincerity which are essential for success in every walk of life and continue to provide our students with opportunities to explore and develop their potential so that they can make their mark in whatever they do.
Where can we see this college in near future?
It is a great sense of achievement that we are perceived to be one of the leading institutions of higher education in Nepal, but at the same time, we feel highly responsible as people have put so much trust in us. We are hence committed to keeping the trust intact and working hard in making the overall experience for students at Ace better every day.
We are focused on two very important things, enhancing academic quality and student experience at Ace. With these aspects in mind, we are set not only to be one of the finest institutions of management education in the country but in the region and primarily contributing to development of individuals and institutions in Nepal.
In the modern trend without technology, teaching and learning activities cannot be. Convincing the learner, what have you done for making teaching and learning activities techno friendly?
Ace has always been focused on integration of technology in teaching and learning. We had implemented a robust Learning Management System (LMS) at Ace much before the need was felt by the academic sector in Nepal after the pandemic struck. Ace had already set up a virtual learning platform and a Learning Management System much before the pandemic. We also have a rich collection of e-resources that aim to assist the students to broaden their knowledge base. All students at Ace have access to the diverse e-learning resource and virtual libraries set at ProQuest through ABI/INFORM Collection and E-Book Central.
In your view, what things should Pokhara University improve for its better academic upshots?
As I have been working with Pokhara University for the past twenty years, I can infer that Pokhara University is an exceptional university that offers Nepalese learners a great curriculum. Furthermore, working with the university is easy because of the system and the friendly people. Likewise, they are always open to the feedback for academic improvement. I believe that Pokhara University is doing a great job in providing students with education that ensures a bright future.
We have witnessed continuous improvements in the administration of the University in the past. I would like to suggest for the continuation of the established practices of the University. I would like to see the growth of the University in terms of programs and subjects. Moreover, the University should make a strategy to stop students from going abroad for higher education. It should also work to retain the cherished legacy of the University as a centre of academic excellence and set priorities to carry out research-based education.
What suggestions would you like to give to the plus two graduates for enrollment in bachelor’s level?
Finishing high school and getting into the Tertiary Level or Higher Education is the first step towards your professional careers. Hence it is extremely important that you choose the right institution for your higher education.
While choosing an Institution for Higher education, I suggest carrying out strong research about the reputation of the institute, its alumni and their performance in their respective careers, the faculty and also the overall infrastructure the Institute offers. Do not base your decisions on opinions and word of mouth, instead work on collecting all the facts and analyse them before making a decision.