The executive council has authorized the addition of new, in-demand courses to the curriculum at several campuses of Tribhuvan University, just as the terms of Prof. Dr. Dharma Bhakta Baskota, the vice chancellor, and other administrators were coming to an end.
The Sanothimi campus in Bhaktapur, established in 2024 as a National Vocational Training Center. It will soon begin offering courses in management and science and technology in addition to educational courses.
After the campus witnessed a significant drop in enrollment and went into a state of crisis, TU granted the permission to begin Bachelor of Business Studies (BBS) from this year.
From the next academic year, the courses that are in demand such as Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Information Technology (BSc CSIT), Bachelor of Science (BSc) will be made available in the college.
In a recent interview, the head of SanoThimi Campus, Professor Jagat Krishna Pokharel, hinted at the decision to allow the campus to run the BBS and BSc CSIT programs.
Now, if this happens, the Campus Chief said, “we will start enrolling students for these programs from this year. The number of students has been extremely low with just the Faculty of Education."
Aside from that, TU provided authorization for dozens of other campuses to implement the new courses. However, how many of the 62 constituent campuses were given permission has not been made public.
According to the university, the growing demand in the market resulted in the approval to introduce various subjects, including BIT, BSc-CSIT, BBA, BBS, BIM, and others on several campuses.
The vice chancellor stated that primarily IT and self-sustaining programs were introduced in about 12 constituent campuses as they were highly sought after.
Also, in response to demands and needs, the University Grants Commission is preparing to approve the introduction of new courses on public campuses that have obtained Quality Assurance and Accreditation (QAA).
It must be noted that the decisions were made while the tenure of Prof. Dr Dharma Bhakta Basokta, vice chancellor of Tribhuvan University, and other office bearers were coming to an end.
It is suggested that the academic decisions made amidst the nearing end of the tenure are questionable, whether these actions are well-thought-out or rushed for various unknown reasons.
Neither the university nor the vice chancellor revealed the accurate number of colleges that were granted the permission to run various programs. The basis on which the affiliation was permitted was also not disclosed.
Since such important information was not made public, many academicians are questioning the transparency that was mandatory. They are also speculating the probable case of favoritism.
Yes, it is compulsory to address the market demand but the quality and sustainability of the education have to be considered as well. Introducing new courses in such a hurry might bring short-term benefits but it lacks academic excellence in the long-term.
The program requires infrastructure aspects that cannot be met in such a short span of time. Moreover, the decision made in such a fleet raises the academic concerns about the quality of the education.
The elective decision to choose someone for the position of Vice Chancellor, who is not from the related field, can be criticized. Likewise, Prof. Dr. Dharma Bhakta Baskota, personal medic of former Nepalese president, Bidya Devi Bhandari, was chosen for the position in 2019.
Academicians and students indicate the political involvement in Baskota’s selection and decisions. According to public opinion, selecting someone for such an esteemed position requires background and experience.