Challenges and criticisms surrounding Nepal’s educational giant, Tribhuvan University

Tribhuvan University

In the heart of Nepal’s education landscape stands a monumental institution that has steered the academic odysseys of millions – Tribhuvan University. Enrolling over 80 per cent of the nation’s college students, Tribhuvan University wields an unmatched sway over the educational domain.

However, this once-hallowed institution now grapples with an unrelenting spotlight, facing allegations of orchestrating the exodus of students seeking broader horizons in higher education.

A resounding refrain among citizens, “Nepal’s education system falls short,” has evolved into a shared anthem. This sentiment inherently connects the majority of Nepali to Tribhuvan University, rendering it synonymous with the pursuit of a college or university education.

This phenomenon prods us to question – Is Tribhuvan University truly culpable for the disillusionment often experienced by students after completing their high school education?

Inadequate operational framework of Tribhuvan University

Tribhuvan University (TU) oldest university nepali universities FSU elections graduation programmes
Tribhuvan University central office. Photo: Shankar Giri

At the core of the critique aimed at Tribhuvan University lies its steadfast adherence to antiquated teaching methodologies. In a rapidly evolving global educational landscape where innovative pedagogies and advanced technologies are embraced to prepare students for the challenges of the contemporary world, the university appears to have fallen behind.

The operational framework of Tribhuvan University, frequently criticised as unscientific and unsystematic, presents a substantial obstacle to its effectiveness. The very foundation on which the institution stands seems inadequate to meet the demands of a swiftly changing educational panorama.

Being reliant solely on the taxes of Nepali citizens for funding, the university’s inability to diversify income sources, such as through research grants and partnerships, is a glaring limitation that hampers both its expansion and quality enhancement endeavours.

A striking issue that mars the university’s reputation pertains to the irregularities in examination schedules and result announcements. The consistent delays in exam conduct and results disclosure have morphed into a dismaying norm, leaving students and parents exasperated. The axiom “time is of the essence” resonates profoundly in education, where timely evaluations are pivotal for academic advancement and future planning.

Moreover, the fragmented system in which distinct individuals oversee various facets of the educational process – from teaching to question design and examination – underscores a lack of synergy that impairs effective learning.

Lack of accountability

File photo: Temporary teachers padlocked the Tribhuvan University’s central office demanding they get tenure.

In the modern educational ecosystem, collaborative efforts between educators, designers, and evaluators are imperative for holistic learning experiences – a fact that Tribhuvan University seems to grapple with.

A recent scandal, involving the alleged theft of attendance machines by professors, has cast a sombre shadow on Tribhuvan University’s leadership. A university dean is not merely expected to be an academic guide, but also a paragon of ethical conduct and accountability. This incident raises concerns about the competence of the university’s administrative leadership and the overall ethical standards upheld within the institution.

The incident’s implications are far-reaching. The respect for professor’s command in society is pivotal, given their role in shaping the nation’s future. The actions of a few possess the capacity to influence the perception of the entire academic community. Unfortunately, in this instance, they have established a discouraging precedent that undermines the trust society places in educators.

While the legacy of Tribhuvan University is indisputable, its current challenges have thrust it into an unwelcome spotlight. The trials encountered by this educational giant mirror larger concerns within Nepal’s education sector, underscoring the pressing need for a transformative shift towards a more progressive, efficient, and student-centric approach to learning.

Nepal’s education system must embrace international best practices and adapt to the digital age’s demands. Nurturing innovation, research, and collaboration is imperative, with universities actively seeking partnerships to diversify funding streams. A unified, transparent, and streamlined administrative and examination approach is essential to restore students’ trust and optimise their learning experiences.

However, we must also recognise that alongside Tribhuvan University, other institutions, such as Kathmandu University, strive to cultivate a more progressive educational culture. While Kathmandu University seeks to preserve the purity of the educational environment, the encroachment of traditional Tribhuvan University practices into Kathmandu University is a reminder of the concerted effort needed to safeguard the essence of academic excellence. Although other universities exist, they often remain overshadowed by Tribhuvan University, developing within the cultural framework established by the giant institution.

Protest at Tribhuvan University is a common affair.

Tribhuvan University’s legacy cannot be erased, but its future is moulded by the choices made today. The mass exodus of students after completing their high school education serves as a clarion call for change. The challenges confronting Tribhuvan University are not insurmountable, yet they necessitate collective endeavours from all stakeholders – government, educators, students, and society at large.

Nepal’s education system possesses the potential to transcend its current limitations, emerging as a beacon of knowledge and innovation. By fostering an environment that values modern teaching methods, research, accountability, and ethical conduct, the nation can provide its students with an education that prepares them for the global stage.

The journey towards educational excellence is no easy feat, but it is a journey that Nepal must embark upon with unwavering resolve. The transformation of the education system will influence not only the individual students’ lives but also the trajectory of the entire nation. The time has come to redefine Nepal’s educational landscape, cultivating a legacy that forthcoming generations will hold in high esteem.

React to this post

GC is a research faculty at Kathmandu Research Institute for Biological Sciences (KRIBS).

More From the Author


New Old Popular