United Technical College is a well-established college out of Kathmandu valley, particularly, in the field of engineering education. What is your aim to further strengthening the college?
Most top-level technical colleges and the course pursuers for their higher studies have been centralized in the Kathmandu valley. Due to this reason, we decided to run market-sought technical programs. Our prime aim was to run a top-notch college to facilitate technical courses out of Kathmandu valley as we witnessed a flow of many students going to the valley-based colleges in pursuit of technical courses due to unavailability of such courses beyond the valley. Currently, we offer BE Civil, BE electrical and electronics, BE Computer and MSc. Construction Management. So, we have aim to add more master’s level programs and prepare skilled human resources.
There is an acute scarcity of highly qualified human resources to teach in BE engineering. In such a condition, how have you managed to recruit qualified tutors to teach in master’s level?
We have managed human resources in two ways: one by upgrading and strengthening our own permanent faculty and the other by collaborating with Pokhara University and Tribhuvan University. We collaborate with experts from TU in Social Science and Management subjects. Similarly, we manage technical human resources as visiting professors from Pokhara University. Our prime concern is to focus on research and publishing. So, we upgrade the capabilities of our teachers by involving them in research and publications of research-based articles.
United Technical College offers BE Civil, BE electrical and electronics, BE Computer and MSc. Construction Management programs of Pokhara University. The same programs have been offered by other colleges too. How do you corroborate your claim that the career hopefuls should pursue bachelor’s degree in your college?
The first reason adheres to the facilitation of master’s degree program along with bachelor’s level. So, here is a guarantee of delivery of high-quality education by the experts. Second, we have provided students with sufficient physical infrastructures including a well-equipped lab and a well-stocked library. Third, the college has maintained a proper academic environment by managing qualified faculty, and fourth, the management team is visionary having a strong bond of team spirit. Fifth, we focus on the transformation of knowledge and skill and follow a mixed model in teaching and learning activities.
We have been given an individual care and focus on practicality as well as exploration of individual hidden talents. We believe that every student is unique and has his or her own unique talents. As an educator, it’s our responsibility to open their minds, nurture their talents and help them reach their peak of excellence. Students at our college learn to become skilled and confident communicators. The provision of guest lecturers for giving knowledge in depth is another beauty of our college. We groom them well and make them experienced with direct exposure to the real market and equip them with the skills to work professionally in the global market. The college has abundant access to technological, advanced physical and academic facilities required to support daily curricula as well as extra-curricular activities. Hence, the students should study in our college to enrich their careers.
There’s a rumor that the students’ dropout ratio is high in engineering programs. In your analysis, what are the reasons behind this anomaly?
I am not at the side of blaming any components. Every individual is equally responsible behind it. In my analysis, a major reason behind the high dropout rate is the misuse of latest technologies, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tik-tok and so on. Most students join engineering education without preparation and strong determination. Similarly, due to the lack of proper guardianship and residential system, most of the students discontinue their study in half-way of their course tenure.
The Covid-19 pandemic put a chokehold on our regular teaching and learning activities and compelled us to embrace online classes once again after reinstating the physical classes in the aftermath of the first wave of the pandemic. We are not sure that the pandemic will be extinct completely. How is your plan to go ahead to cope with such situation in the days to come?
Online class cannot be an alternative to a physical class for teaching and learning activities. It is said that something is better than nothing. Due to the lack of proper monitoring mechanism of virtual education deliverance, there is degradation in education quality, especially in engineering education. Still, it’s our compulsion to adopt the virtual way of learning due to long effects of the pandemic. So, we should adopt physical way of learning if the situation becomes normal and favorable, but if the situation becomes worse for physical classes, we should be ready to adopt the virtual way of teaching. So, if any such kind of pandemic breaks out in the future, we should comply with a virtual way of delivering education as an alternative to physical way of teaching and learning activities to cope with unforeseen consequences.
What message would you like to convey to the ten-plus-two graduates wishing to pursue their higher studies?
First of all, I suggest all of them to be determined to pursue their higher studies in Nepal. My perspective is that it is better to study undergraduate level education in Nepal. It helps students to be familiar with our society and culture. Secondly, it is the right time to choose right path of career building sincerely. So, I convey my message to the students to choose the field of their interest and then choose a suitable college which can fulfill their dreams and pursuit of knowledge. If the students choose management education, particularly engineering education as their field of interest and career building, United Technical College can be the best place for strengthening their careers.