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Outbound student figure all-time high in Nepal

Publication Date : 22-07-2014

 

The number of Nepali students opting for foreign degrees set a record last fiscal year with more than 28,000 acquiring the No Objection Certification (NOC) from the Education Ministry.

Records at the scholarship department show a total of 28,126 students received the NOC, which is a must for prospective students to enroll in universities abroad except India. The number was 26,948 in 2010/11.

As many as 16,499 students got the NOC in 2012/13, up from 11,912 in the previous year. Consultants for foreign education believe around 80 per cent of those who acquire the NOC leave the country.

Officials at the ministry said a liberal visa policy adopted by Australia and students’ growing attraction for Japan led to the rise. Besides, the emergence of new academic destinations like Malaysia has also contributed to the growth.

Malaysia, which received hardly a few dozen Nepali students earlier, got 1,190 this fiscal, making it the fourth most popular destination for Nepali students.

The record shows that Australia with 11,184 aspirants topped the list while Japan with 7,933 is in the second position.

Australia has become the most sought after destination for Nepali students for the past three years. The population of Nepali students in Australia is the fifth largest among foreigners studying in the country.

In response to the steep rise in students seeking the NOC, the ministry in March doubled its staff strength at the department.

The decision was prompted by a clash between police and students who failed to get the certificate despite queuing up for hours.

According to Ram Chandra Poudel, vice-chairman of the Education Consultancy Association of Nepal, a liberal visa policy of the United Kingdom led 26,948 Nepalis to study a degree there four years ago.

However, the number of students who actually left for Australia is believed to be much smaller than that of the NOC receivers considering that some 2,000 visas were rejected by the Australian High Commission suspecting that the applicants had produced fake documents.

The soaring numbers have contributed to a rise in revenue generation: the education ministry collected 56.22 million Nepalese rupees (US$583,400), a 70 per cent increase on 32.99 million Nepalese rupees ($342,300) in the previous fiscal.

Education experts believe the perception of foreign degrees as a prestige symbol in the Nepali society and the failure of universities in the country to maintain a high quality are two prime factors for the outflow.

“This is not going to change unless we ensure academic excellence in the country,” said Bishnu Karki, an education expert.

 

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