Prof. Dr. Ramesh Raj Kunwar is the academic advisor of Nepal Mountain Academy (NMA). Nepal Parbatiya Praschichen which was established on 16 Jestha 2059(30 May 2002) has been renamed as Nepal Mountain Academy. It is an independent, not for profit mountain research and educational institution. The Government of Nepal, Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil aviation has formed a governing body to carry out the programs of the academy. MA conducts and facilitates research providing educational opportunities and internships and conducts environmental monitoring. Currently, it runs Bachelor Program in Mountaineering studies (four years eight semesters). This academic program follows professional, vocational and entrepreneurial approaches with an aptitude for lifelong learning mountain education. This program is multidisciplinary. It is under the wing of Tribhuwan University. Recently, NMA also designed the courses for Master in Adventure tourism studies under leadership of Prof. Ramesh Raj Kunwar along with help from eminent professors of Management, Social sciences, Pure science, medicine and eminent international mountain guides of Nepal. As of now, the students in take are 30 in a batch. Those who have completed 10+2 or equivalent exam with minimum 45% aggregate marks from the board recognized by T.U with English as compulsory subject are eligible to apply.
Q) What is the scope of Mountaineering studies in Nepal? What is the reason behind bringing this program among the students?
University always wants very new academic programs. It is one of the main duties of University to bring new courses for higher studies in Nepal. Accordingly, we thought that we should introduce a new academic program as a result of this we approached our University i.e. Tribhuvan University. We spent nearly two years in design and completion of this course. This is a program launched by the government under Ministry of Culture, tourism and civil aviation. Nepal Mountain Academy is the sister organization of Ministry of tourism. This is a very new academic program. As far as mountaineering studies is concerned, out of total tourist coming in Nepal around 90% of tourist want to visit Mountain regions in Nepal. They undertake their activities in the field of tourism. In Nepal out of 800,000 tourist visits in our Country nearly 20-25 percent tourist visit Mountainous areas, from which 20% engage in Mountain climbing while others go on trekking, rafting, wild life safari, hiking, mountain biking, cannoning, paragliding, bungee jumping.
Q) How can Mountaineering studies help to promote tourism sector of Nepal?
Definitely human capital is very important. Nepal is also an adventure Capital. So that everywhere around the world whenever the name of our Country is mentioned there comes adventure tourism, mountains and mountaineering, trekking. It reveals how much adventure tourism is important to our Country and how significant is mountaineering. Therefore our duty is first to launch this kind of academic program and second to produce human capital which ultimately helps not only to our industry but also to our Country.
Q) How is this program associated with economic sector of our Country? What contributions does it provide for development of our nation?
When the students complete their studies first they will acquire mountaineering knowledge and mountaineer's knowledge. When they acquire such knowledge they can apply that knowledge in the field of business, promoting tourism in Nepal and preserving Himalayas of Nepal. If they do such kind of works then definitely our country will get directly benefited from studying this kind of academic program.
Q) Like this program should the University bring other international courses in the mainstream for the students and giving them choice for selecting degrees that have better prospect in the future?
As I have heard, there are altogether 1830 different subjects introduced in the whole world. So this means University should be always innovative whenever there is requirement for innovation. University should immediately prescribe the new degrees with the help of academicians and the academic institutions for their knowledge.
Q) Your message to all aspiring students who want to study this course at Nepal Mountain Academy?
Nepal Mountain Academy will always welcome them and this is the first ever introduced new kind of academic degree. I always stress students should be innovative from their part and explore new academic degrees and programs, which they will find at Nepal Mountain Academy. We always assure them to come and join this program for having new academic knowledge on Mountaineering, adventure tourism and the Mountains.
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The Need for new Degrees in NEPAL
The education system of Nepal has leaped a huge step towards providing quality education with international courses because of the demand driven market. One of the reasons is high chances of job placements after course completion which attracts students to enroll into these Colleges and Universities.
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An interview with the TU Registrar Mr. Dilli Ram Uprety