Engaging with Higher Education Reforms in Nepal
Various high level commissions set up by the Government of Nepal and several projects funded by donors such as the World Bank have attempted to address the problems in the higher education sector in Nepal. Some of the major reform initiatives that were started in the early 1990s include the concepts of multi-universities and the decentralization of Tribhuvan University. However, macro-level evidence thus far suggests that these efforts have not been all that successful. Furthermore, there is relatively little research-based academic or media engagement with the various reforms initiated in the higher education sector in the past 25 years. The three papers in this panel try to redress this gap by providing analyses based on detailed historical and contemporary data collected through a mix of research methods. The first paper engages with the history and the consequences of the ‘affiliation’ mode adopted by Nepali universities for their growth. The second paper examines the complexities involved in the re-making of a Tribhuvan University (TU) constituent campus as an ‘autonomous’ campus. The third and final paper discusses the difficulties of institutionalizing a new university in mid-western Nepal via the proposed transfer of TU’s constituent and affiliated campuses. Together these three papers augment our understanding of the complexities inherent in reforming the higher education sector in Nepal. The titles and abstracts of the three proposed papers in this panel are given below.